Marele Day’s first, The Life and Crimes of Harry Lavender (1988), is a crime novel about contemporary Australian life, written with all the ambiguity and moral sophistication of most “who dun-nits “. Claudia Valentine is a private investigator who is asked to look into the death of the brother of an old school friend. Mark Bannister, writing the bestseller of the century, is found dead at his computer. The coroner proclaimed the death was not suspicious but a note with the words “terminal illness” was left for the sister and it got her wondering. Claudia follows the clues, the drugs and the computer trail through Harry Lavender’s Sydney of the 1980s. The chase for the murderer leads Valentine into a deadly high-tech game of cat and mouse with those who control Sydney’s cancerous network of crime and corruption—Harry Lavender has his fingers in every pie – and not as an upstanding citizen.