GEORGE OVERTON'S CASEBOOK - Five Detective Stories

george overton casebook

George Overton’s Casebook: Five Detective Stories.  

This work of crime fiction/short stories covers five different crime cases and is an exciting and mysterious read. Set in Sydney during the late 1940s to early 1950s, the cases are  investigated by Detective George Overton who is supposed to be retired and taking things easy.  

From the cases of ‘The Magicians Assistant’, ‘The Star-Crossed Lovers’, ‘The Bolt from The Blue’, to the cases of ‘The Eagle and the Fox’ and ‘The Murdered Milko’ all the stories vividly capture life and death as it was at that time. 

The characters, like the ones in Roger Wood’s previous books, are well crafted with straight believable dialogue that suits the situations. While the stories are different and varied, they all  contain the right balance of mystery and intrigue that keeps the reader guessing to the outcome.  

This is a great read for lovers of crime.  

In Store Price: $AU27.95 
Online Price:   $AU26.95


ISBN: 978-1-921731-84-6
Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 274
Genre: Fiction/Crime



Author: Roger Wood
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published: 2011
Language: English



About the Author

Roger Wood’s background is in television and theatre. He worked for BBC Television for 23 years in the design department before returning to Australia in 1987 to live on the Sunshine Coast.

Roger has written many plays for the theatre. This is his third collection of short stories.

Also by Roger Wood: George Overton (Retired): A collection of short detective stories, Zeus 2009.


Chapter One (part sample)


Balmain, Sydney, Australia. Winter 1949 


How long is this going to last?’ asked an irritated George Overton as he squirmed on the uncomfortable wooden seat. ‘My backside’s the wrong shape for these chairs.’

‘You will probably forget about it once the show starts,’ said his wife, Margaret.

‘I doubt it,’ grumbled Overton.

It was Saturday afternoon and instead of being in the pub he was in the auditorium at Balmain Town Hall to see a music and magic show featuring a magician called the Great Marvo.  Marvo was only his stage name of course and George and Margaret knew him by his real name, that was Edwin Simms.

This had been the means Margaret had used to get George to come to see the show. ‘Balmain boy made good,’ she had said. ‘We have to go and support him.’

Overton had been a detective in the New South Wales police force all his life and now that he was retired all he wanted to do was sit in a comfortable chair and read a good book. Margaret could see him sitting in his chair in their living room reading until he died so she secretly did all she could to find him chores to do and places to go.

If she had known the truth, he was a little bored with his lot and what had looked attractive when he was working was a bit dull now. It had been a big change from being a detective sergeant in the Rocks and his daily dealings with criminals and larrikins. Now his life revolved around the quietness of home and the smoky public bar of the Darling Hotel that was only a few doors along from his house.

He was fairly fit for his fifty years and still had a shock of thick hair although the dark waves were now grey waves. People would still seek his advice and he didn’t mind solving the odd problem that came his way, he looked upon it as keeping his hand in.

The lights dimmed slightly. ‘It’s starting,’ said Margaret.

A spotlight sprang to life in the centre of the stage and a small man in a suit with shiny, Brylcreemed hair shuffled his way across to stand in the light. ‘Ladies and gentlemen!’ he shouted, lifting his arms in the air as if he wanted to embrace the audience. ‘D.K.S. Promotions presents for your entertainment, the Great Marvo and his assistant, the lovely Roxanne.’

Some recorded music played a sort of fanfare and the audience applauded, the spotlight went out and the ornately-embroidered curtains opened to reveal an assortment of objects on the stage. There were several tables and chairs and a large box that looked more like an elaborate coffin, standing on its end at the back of the stage. Suddenly there was a bang that made the audience jump, and a cloud of smoke. When it cleared a figure had materialised, seemingly out of thin air. He was a strange-looking man of about the same age as Overton, dressed in baggy grey trousers and an old-fashioned black frock coat. He had long, grey hair and a pointed beard and could have been taken for a Victorian undertaker in his black top hat if it hadn’t been for the bright blue bow tie he was wearing.

The Great Marvo proceeded to pull coloured scarves from tubes, and doves from the air and made things disappear by just waving a sheet of black silk over them; all supported by the beautiful Roxanne who posed, bowed and applauded after every trick. She was a good-looking girl of about eighteen with curly blonde hair and long legs, dressed in a black and white sequined leotard and fish-net stockings. Overton thought Marvo was quite clever, he tried desperately to see how the tricks were being done but couldn’t catch him out. 

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