& the World of Murray Whelan

“Not just a fine crime writer, but a fine writer full-stop.”
– Malcolm Knox, Sydney Morning Herald

“There’s no doubting the brilliance of the writing.”
– Ian Rankin, The Age, Melbourne

“Just the right mix of politics, crime and slime.”
– Hobart Mercury

“Funny and gripping.”
– Rolling Stone

Shane Maloney is the creator of the popular Australian crime novel series – the Murray Whelan novels: StiffThe Brush-Off,Nice TryThe Big Ask , Something Fishy and Sucked In. All these books are published by Text Publishing. They are all currently in print.

In 2009, he was presented with the Crime Writers’ Association of Australia Lifetime Achievement Award.

He is currently Writer in Residence at the Scrapings Foundation.

The Brush-Off won the Ned Kelly Prize for Crime Fiction in 1996. It was shortlisted for the Premiers Literary Award and set as an English text for Victorian secondary students. Nice Try was a nominee for the Age Book of the Year in 2000.

In 2004, Stiff and The Brush-Off were adapted for the screen by John Clarke and made into movies with David Wenham in the role of Murray Whelan. Stiff was directed by Clarke andThe Brush-Off by Sam Neill. They both rated extemely well, causing considerable confusion at the Seven Network who immediately shelved plans for further adaptions.

Short samples, photos of the shoot and stills from the movies can be found on the Video and Audio page, along with links to John Clarke’s daily directorial diary and where-to-buy info.

Some of the books are also available on audio format, featuring either Mike Bishop or Tiriel Mora as the voice of Murray Whelan. Listen to samples.

Various Murray Whelan titles are published in Germany, France, Japan, Finland, Britain and the U.S. Links to foreign edition publishers are listed under each title. Some observations about the perils and pleasures of literary translation can be found on Articles page.

In addition to his novels, Maloney writes columns, travel stories, articles and book reviews for various newspapers, magazines and anthologies. His ‘Encounters page appears every month in The Monthly. The first fifty, lavishly illustrated by Chris Grosz, were published as a book in December 2010. (More fulsome details, but no cover art appear on the Bookspage)

Maloney is also the co-author of The Happy Phrase — Everyday Conversation Made Easily, a self-help book for people wanting to enhance their unintelligibility.

Ancient History

After graduating in Asian history and politics at the Australian National University, Shane Maloney had the usual assortment of ragtag jobs before turning to literature. When that didn’t work either, he became a full-time writer. At various times he has been a booking agent for rock bands, the promotions manager for Melbourne public radio station 3RRR, public relations director for the Boy Scouts Association, an arts bureaucrat for state and local government, general manager of the Melbourne Comedy Festival, cultural director for Melbourne’s bid to host the 1996 Olympics and, finally, a swimming pool lifeguard.

Formal credentials

  • Herald Learn to Swim Certificate (50 yards) 1962
  • Christian Brothers College St Kilda Christian Doctrine Prize (Form 4) 1968
  • Sale of the Century Contestant (pipped at the post) 1985