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Tamam Shud

Tamam Shud 2

The Somerton Man mystery

by Kerry Greenwood
Publication Date: 01/12/2012
2/5 Rating 2 Reviews
RRP  $32.99 $26.75
In 1948 a man was found dead on an Adelaide beach. Well-dressed and unmarked, he had a half-smoked cigarette by his side, but no identity documents. Six decades on we don't know who he was, how he got there or how he died. Somerton Man remains one of Australia's most mysterious cold cases.
Yet it is the bizarre details of this case that make it the stuff of a spy novel. The missing labels from all his clothing. The tiny piece of paper with the words 'Tamam Shud' found sewn into the lining of the dead man's coat. A mysterious code found etched inside the very book of Persian poetry from which this note was torn. Brimming with facts that are stranger than fiction, the case has intrigued novelist Kerry Greenwood for almost her whole life. She goes on a journey into her own past to try to solve this crime, uncovering a new way of writing about true crime - and herself - as she goes.
True crime
Publication Date:
NewSouth Publishing
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Kerry Greenwood

Kerry Greenwood is the creator of the bestselling, beloved contemporary crime series featuring the talented Corinna Chapman, baker and sleuth extraordinaire. There are currently six previous novels in this series with The Spotted Dog as Corinna's most recent adventure.

Kerry's much-loved 1920s crime series, featuring the marvellous Miss Phryne Fisher in twenty novels, has been developed for television and screened on ABC TV in Australia. The series is sold in print in the UK and US as is the television series.

Kerry Greenwood is also the acclaimed author of several books for young adults, the Delphic Women series and is the editor of two collections. She has been longlisted, shortlisted and is a winner of the Scarlet Stiletto, Davitt and the Ned Kelly awards. Kerry is also the recipient of the Ned Kelly Lifetime Achievement Award, 2003 and the Sisters in Crime Lifetime Achievement Award, 2013.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

2 / 5 (2 Ratings)
5 stars (0)
4 stars (1)
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2 stars (1)
1 stars (1)
  • A little too chatty

    by on

    I brought this book hoping for an accessible and comprehensive coverage of the Somerton Beach Man mystery. Have to admit reading it proved to be rather a disappointment. The style was more 'chatty' than 'forensic' (but that was probably intentional, just not what I was looking for) and I thought the coverage of important aspects of the mystery (such as the Nurse who lived close to Somerton Beach, where the Man's body was found, and probably knew who he was and, possibly, why he was there) was too superficial.
    Having said that: I enjoyed the read even if it left me dissatisfied that I hadn't been given 'all the facts' or speculations

  • A pointless, silly book

    by on

    How did this book ever get published? On Greenwood's reputation as, I believe, a novelist whose books sell well, rather than on its own merits. Clunkily written, full of embarrassing and childish attempts at humour, it adds nothing to the explanation of "Somerton Man"; in fact, it manages to detract from what little information there is. Greenwood can come up with whatever wild and wonderful theories she wants to, but should keep them for her friends, or her blog, rather than a book that may lead buyers to think they are paying for new information or a reasoned discussion of a famous mystery. Greenwood is far too keen to reminisce about her father in this book -- and if he really gossipped in the pub at Woomera about the secret work being done there in the space-race days, he'd have been under arrest pronto. Author and publisher should be ashamed of themselves for palming off this piece of rubbish on the public. I'd give it no stars if the rating system allowed.