A new Seth Kelly story

As a big thank you to all the readers of The Colour of Shadows, the first book in my Far North Queensland crime trilogy –  here’s a fresh Seth Kelly yarn for you.
Set almost a year after The Colour of Shadows, The Malaan Monster is a stand-alone tale . . . with a few Easter eggs, and clues to the trilogy, hidden inside.

A bit longer than a short story – it’s a 50 minute read. Please follow the link to start reading.
The Malaan Monster



Tropical North Australia 1980

Seth Kelly is the nicest bad guy around. Dope grower, bouncer and party animal – he’s got a smile as big as his rep. Returning to his hometown Cairns, he finds that new players – interstate criminals, the Mafia and the most corrupt police in the country – are changing all the rules.

When a teenage runaway, a marijuana kingpin and a wealthy guru enter his life, Seth realises that everything he thought he knew is now out of date. He’s a tough bastard but the automatic weapons, kung-fu kicks, vulnerable young women and freaky spirituality are starting to get to him.

All he wants is that one big score, a chance to rekindle the best relationship of his life and to keep the darkest memory from his past right out of his head.

Trouble is, what’s really got Seth running . . . is himself.

The Colour of Shadows is the first book in a trilogy set in the wild & beautiful world of Far North Queensland, Australia in the 1970s & ’80s. If you like your noir drenched in sunshine and with more than a little heart and soul – then this white-knuckle thrill ride is for you.

Available as an eBook and paperback from Barnes & Noble, Book Depository and most online booksellers. Also on Kindle. For signed copies @AU$30.00 with postage, and all inquiries, please write to [email protected]

For images, video, music and other retro thrills, check out the website

A lot can happen in 200 kitchens.

A giant razor-clawed lizard attack. An ecstasy overdose on a busy service. A stripper in the cold-room. Billionaire special forces bodyguards and dish pigs on acid. A twenty-eight-hour day and the spine nipple. Not to mention a whole lot of love, hate and magic.

200 Kitchens: Confessions of Nomad Cook is an insider’s trip through the world of  professional cooking. From tropical beaches to corporate skyscrapers, from big food shows to week-long music festivals – it’s all in a day’s work for a gypsy knife-for-hire.       

It’s also about the psychology and politics of an industry where permanent physical damage and going insane are very possible. Feel the serious pain involved in giving serious pleasure.      

Stuffed full of sex, drugs, magic, madness – and great food – this is a culinary odyssey celebrating the world’s oldest pleasure.Thought-provoking and very funny, 200 Kitchens is a true-life story about cooking . . . and where it can take you.

200 Kitchens is available in paperback from Barnes & Noble, Book Depository and most online booksellers. Also on Kindle. For signed copies @AU$30.00 with postage, and all inquiries, please write to [email protected]

New stories from the world of food & cooking on the blog

About the Author

After a South Pacific childhood, Gawain Barker spent the next 30 years cooking around the world – especially in Far North Queensland. From TV chefs like Rick Stein and Ainsley Harriott, to techno ravers and bare-foot hippies, he has worked with the biggest cast of kitchen characters imaginable.

Now retired from the kitchen and writing full-time, he’s focused on a crime thriller trilogy set in 1970s & 1980s tropical North Queensland, Australia. The novels explore the rough-as-guts social mores, endemic corruption and the often absolute freedoms of the era. Through extensive research, decades of personal experience and many interviews with the old-school, Gawain is recreating an untold time and place filled with epic natural beauty, extreme conditions and some very dangerous people.


An independent publisher & imprint from tropical Queensland, Australia, is also an art & design studio. For a selection of work, look in the galleries