Good Money

West of the city, everything’s gone south

Introducing Stella Hardy, a wisecracking social worker with a thirst for social justice, good laksa, and alcohol.

Stella’s phone rings. A young African boy, the son of one of her clients, has been murdered in a dingy back alley. Stella, in her forties and running low on empathy, heads into the night to comfort the grieving mother. But when she gets there, she makes a discovery that has the potential to uncover something terrible from her past—something she thought she’d gotten away with.

Then Stella’s neighbour Tania mysteriously vanishes. When Stella learns that Tania is the heir to a billion-dollar mining empire, Stella realises her glamorous young friend might have had more up her sleeve than just a perfectly toned arm. Who is behind her disappearance?

Enlisting the help of her friend Senior Constable Phuong Nguyen, Stella’s investigation draws her further and further into a dark world of drug dealers, sociopaths, and killers, such as the enigmatic Mr Funsail, whose name makes even hardened criminals run for cover.

One thing is clear: Stella needs to find answers fast—before the people she’s looking for find her instead.

Set in the bustling, multicultural inner west of Melbourne, Good Money reveals a daring and exciting new voice in Australian crime fiction.


With a big heart, a loud mouth, a thirst for alcohol and a propensity for choosing the wrong man to love, Stella Hardy is a wisecracking flawed heroine, and a promising addition to Australian crime fiction.

[The] characters are complex, engaging and, most of all, real. You find yourself caring for them, laughing with them, and forgetting that this book is only paper-thin. The plot itself is clever and suspenseful, but it is the enigmatic and three-dimensional portrayals that make Good Money extra special.

Gritty and terrifically engaging, this hardboiled story with its matching prose had me hooked from the first page. Leading lady Stella Hardy is a charming mix of chaotic and cool. She had me grinning like an accomplice as I read. The authentic characters and dry humour lift Good Money to that most satisfying place—unique, intriguing, quality crime. Green is an assured and bold new author doing already what great crime novelists do—delivering a bloody good story.

Stella Hardy is certainly a witty and engaging heroine, although as a Saints supporter clearly doomed. A satisfying romp through corporate and political corruption, love, drugs, sex and the Western suburbs.

The narrative flows as easily as the Maribyrnong River; Green is a welcome addition to the growing coterie of Australian female crime writers.

Green writes with a dry humour and wit that is enjoyable and more importantly, relatable…The novel progresses at a cracking pace and readers will have no time to be bored.

A rattling good story.

Set in Melbourne’s western suburbs, the story races along with action scenes that have just the right amount of gritty reality to ensure that readers are along for the ride. Leading lady Stella is in equal parts engaging, exasperating and entertaining and I hope we see her in another outing soon.

More from J.M. Green

About the author

More about J.M. Green

J.M. Green lives and works on the unceded land of the Jadawadjali people in Western Victoria. Her work has appeared in Overland and The Guardian. Her debut novel, GOOD MONEY (2015) is the first in a hardboiled trilogy to feature social worker and accidental detective Stella Hardy.