Read Between the Lines with River Read

Image source: Photographer Ian Waldie

The River Read unites readers with their favourite writers as they wine, dine and discover the stories behind award-winning novels. Georgia Beard turns the page on the bookstore’s Literary Lunches coming to Noosa this winter. 

At the end of a tiring day, the one thing I long to return to is the book on my bedside table. It has all the ingredients of a riveting mystery – a close-knit community; a secret behind every door; a protagonist haunted by their past mistakes who shows up to make them right. 

As I turn the pages, the unanswered questions weave around each other until they’re caught in a knot. The suspects, the strange behaviours, each character’s emotional baggage slowly revealed – it’s never enough to untangle the mystery. The real culprit slips by undetected until the final act. 

When I close the book, there’s still one secret left to uncover: How did the author write such a convoluted yet satisfying story? 

Discovering an author’s writing process enriches the reading experience. You develop an appreciation for the effort poured into a novel. You find out who inspired the author’s characters, how they knew what clues to drop and what disturbing topics they researched online without getting flagged by ASIO. 

The best part? Learning more about the fictional world you’ve fallen in love with!

The River Read owners Natalie and Lucinda love to to connect writers and readers. The Noosaville bookstore’s Literary Lunches invite authors to share insights into their latest novel over lunch at beautiful local restaurants. 

You can meet the mastermind behind your favourite books, enjoy a lunch with fellow fans and get your hands on a signed copy of the latest tome. 

It’s encouraging for authors to emerge from their writing caves to connect with readers and share their story with passionate readers ready to listen. 

This July and August, The River Read has a line-up of Literary Lunches exploring the genre of mystery, from cosy village secrets to crime thrillers. Stay tuned for future announcements, including Natasha Lester this October! 

Here’s what’s on offer over winter:

Lying Beside You, Michael Robotham
Friday 15 July, Frenchies Brasserie


Two missing women. One witness. So many lies… Lying Beside You is the brand-new thriller by the number-one bestselling and award-winning master of crime, Michael Robotham. 

Twenty years ago, Cyrus Haven’s family was murdered. Only he and his brother survived. Cyrus because he hid. Elias because he was the killer.

Now Elias is being released from a secure psychiatric hospital and Cyrus, a forensic psychologist, must decide if he can forgive the man who destroyed his childhood.

As he prepares for the homecoming, Cyrus is called to a crime scene in Nottingham. A man is dead and his daughter, Maya, is missing. Then a second woman is abducted. 

The only witness is Evie Cormac, a troubled teenager with an incredible gift: she can tell when you are lying.

Both missing women have dark secrets that Cyrus must unravel to find them – and he and Evie know better than anybody how the past can come back to haunt you.

The Wrong Woman, JP Pomare
Wednesday 10 August, Whisky Boy


A private investigator returning to the hometown he fled years ago becomes entangled in the disappearance of two teenage girls in this crime thriller.

Reid left the small town of Manson a decade ago, promising his former Chief of Police boss he’d never return. He made a new life in the city, became a PI and turned his back on his old life.

Now an insurance firm has offered him good money to look into a suspicious car crash, and he finds himself back in the place he grew up – home to his complicated family history, a scarring relationship breakdown and a very public and career-ending incident.

As Reid’s investigation unfolds, nothing is as it seems: rumours are swirling about the well-liked young woman who crashed the car, killing her professor husband, and there are whispers about a second local student who has just disappeared. As Reid veers off course from the job he has been paid to do, will he find himself in the dangerous position of taking on the town again?

PLUS! Don’t miss the chance to find out about the upcoming eight-part series of his book, In The Clearing – retelling the story of the infamous Australian cult, The Family. 

The Bellbird River Country Choir,
Sophie Green, Thursday 18 August, 250 Grammi


This is a warm-hearted story of fresh beginnings, unexpected friendships and the sustaining power of love and community, from the Top Ten bestselling author of The Shelly Bay Ladies Swimming Circle and Thursdays at Orange Blossom House.

Bellbird River, 1998: Teacher and single mum Alex is newly arrived in the small NSW country town of Bellbird River after escaping the city in search of a change of pace and the chance to reconnect with her young daughter. 

Across town, well-known matriarch Victoria and her globe-trotting, opera-singing cousin Gabrielle find themselves at a crossroads in their personal and professional lives, while local baker Janine and newcomer to the district Debbie are each secretly dealing with the consequences of painful pasts. 

With its dusty streets, lone pub and iron-lace verandahs, Bellbird River could just be a pit stop on the road to somewhere else. But their town holds some secrets and surprises – and it has a heart: the Bellbird River choir. 

Amid the melodies and camaraderie of the choir, each of the women will find the courage to leave the past behind. And together, they’ll discover that friends are much closer to home than they’d ever realised.

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