Shane Maloney studied politics and Asian history at the Australian National University and was a director of the Melbourne Comedy Festival. He was appointed an honorary visiting fellow in the School of Communication, Arts and Critical Inquiry at La Trobe University, Melbourne, in 2005 ('Funny Fellow Maloney Chases the Infinitive', The Age 10 September 2005, Review p.6). At various times Maloney has been booking agent for rock bands, promotions manager for Melbourne public radio station 3RRR, public relations director for the Boy Scouts Association, an arts bureaucrat for state and local government, cultural director for Melbourne's bid to host the 1996 Olympics and, finally, a swimming pool lifeguard.
In addition to his novels, Maloney writes columns, travel stories, articles and book reviews for various newspapers, magazines and anthologies. These have included his 'Encounters' page in the Monthly. Two of his books, Stiff and The Brush-Off, have been produced as movies with David Wenham in the role of Murray Whelan. The movies were released in Australia in 2004 and New Zealand in 2006.
Sucked InThe Next Murray Whelan Trilogy
2007single work novel crime detective humour Now pushing fifty, Murray Whelan is spinning his wheels in parliament, a toothless cog in a stalled political machine. The millennium is coming but the prospect of Labor regaining power is utterly remote. But when the remains of a long-dead union official are found in dried-up Lake Nillahcootie, Murray soon gets sucked into murky waters. For a start, it seems that his old mate Charlie Talbot was implicated. But Charlie has just dropped dead of a coronary occlusion in the dining room of the Mildura Grand Hotel, leaving a grieving widow and a lot of unanswered questions. The press is sniffing around and Labor's enemies are lining up for a free kick. And then there's the blackmail attempt. And as if that wasn't enough there's an ALP preselection brawl arcing up. (Back cover)
'On a sultry summer night Murray Whelan is in the Botanical Gardens tasting Salina Fleet's apricot lips. Meanwhile the body of an artist is being fished from the ornamental moat outside the Art Gallery. The papers called it suicide. The police say it's an accident.
'Political minder, brushed-off lover and art buff on the make, Murray goes looking for the big picture. He finds there's more than meets the eye among the self-made millionaires, ruthless culture vultures, and cool operators of Melbourne's art world. He learns that when you dabble with death there's nothing abstract about a loaded gun.
'Murray Whelan, the hero of Stiff, Shane Maloney's brilliant debut novel, is back at his richly futile best. A romantic comedy and drop-dead thriller, The Brush-Off mixes high art with low blows.' (Publication summary)