Matthew Condon is a writer who confounds expectations. He followed his prize-winning epic novel The Trout Opera (2007) with Brisbane (2010), a meditative exploration of the city’s rich history. In The Toe Tag Quintet, he turns his hand to crime. This is not a novel but a series of novellas about a detective’s exploits following his retirement to the Gold Coast. The stories are consecutive but distinct, a mosaic structure not unlike the one Condon used to great effect in his début collection, The Motorcycle Cafe (1988).