Marshall Browne



Browne was an international banker - he racked up 37 years with NAB - and one of his forebears was a founder of Australia's first bank. But the former paratrooper who once hankered for a spell in the French foreign legion loved writing and had three books published in Britain in the early '80s when writing was still ''an occasional Sunday activity''. Then came a couple of historical novels about Melbourne in the late 19th century, The Gilded Cage and The Burnt City. It was with The Wooden Leg of Inspector Anders, published in 1999 and featuring his one-legged policeman investigating the murder of a magistrate who was himself investigating the killing of an anti-Mafia judge, that he really struck a chord with readers. It won the Ned Kelly award for a first crime novel and was shortlisted in the 2002 Los Angeles Times book awards. Browne then turned his attention to Nazi Germany, writing three novels starring Franz Schmidt, an auditor, as their hero. Schmidt has only one eye, and Browne told Bookmarks he was interested in damaged heroes. He included Hideo Aoki, the hero of his 2006 novel, Rendezvous at Kamakura Inn, a disgraced Japanese policeman intact physically but not psychologically. Browne wrote three novels about Anders, and Australian Scholarly Press, which published The Gilded Cage in 1996, will bring out the fourth later this year. The book was at the editing stage when Browne died. But only 10 days earlier he had a bookshop signing for The Sabre and the Shawl, the novella published by ASP last month that The Age review described as ''a romantic evocation of the historical time and place, with great characterisation and an exploration of the creative process''. Publisher Nick Walker said Browne was delighted by the queue of people who bought books but exhausted by the time he got home. When people assembled for a celebratory drink he told them in his characteristic self-deprecating way, with a smile on his face, that they were looking at the ghost of Marshall Browne.

* Inspector Anders
* The Melbourne Trilogy
* Frank Scmidt

  • Primary profession
  • Novelist
  • Country
  • Australia
  • Nationality
  • Australian
  • Gender
  • Male
  • Birth date
  • 27 November 1935
  • Place of birth
  • Melbourne
  • Death date
  • 2014-02-14
  • Death age
  • 79
  • Place of death
  • Melbourne