Barry Maitland

Barry Maitland was born in Scotland and brought up in London. After studying architecture at Cambridge, he practised and taught in the UK before moving to Australia where he was Professor of Architecture at the University of Newcastle. He has since retired from the university to pursue his writing. Maitland's first mystery The Marx Sisters was a nominee for the John Creasey award for Best First Novel and The Malcontenta won the Ned Kelly Award for Best Crime Fiction.

Barry Maitland is the author of the acclaimed Brock and Kolla series of crime mystery novels set in London, where Barry grew up after his family moved there from Paisley in Scotland where he was born. He studied architecture at Cambridge University, and went on to work as an architect in the UK, then took a PhD in urban design at the University of Sheffield, where he also taught and wrote a number of books on architecture and urban design. In 1984 he moved to Australia to head the architecture school at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales, and held that position until 2000.

The first Brock and Kolla novel, The Marx Sisters, was published in Australia and the UK in 1994, and subsequently in the USA and in translation in a number of other countries, including Germany, Italy, France and Japan. It was short-listed for the UK Crime Writers' Association John Creasey Award for best new fiction, and featured the central two characters of the series, Detective Chief Inspector David Brock, and his younger woman colleague, Detective Sergeant Kathy Kolla.

The sequel, The Malcontenta, was first published in 1995 and was joint winner of the inaugural Ned Kelly Award for best crime fiction by an Australian author. It was followed by All My Enemies, The Chalon Heads, Silvermeadow and Babel. The seventh novel in the series, The Verge Practice, was published in 2003, followed by No Trace, and in 2006 by Spider Trap. The most recent Brock & Kolla mystery is The Raven's Eye (2013).

The books have been described as whydunits as much as whodunits, concerned with the devious histories and motivations of their characters. Barry's background in architecture drew him to the structured character of the mystery novel, and his books are notable for their ingenious plots as well as for their atmospheric settings, each in a different intriguing corner of London.

Barry Maitland now writes fiction full time.

Books by Barry Maitland

The Russian Wife

Published: November 2021

Fraud, forgery and murder, set in the high-stakes world of fine art. 'Barry Maitland is one of Australia's finest crime writers.' - Sunday Tasmanian

The Promised Land

Published: January 2019

Brock and Kolla return in an enthralling new mystery from a master of the genre.

All My Enemies

Published: August 2012

Brock & Kolla join forces in a sinister case of secrets, obsession and murder.

Chelsea Mansions

Published: July 2012

A deadly virus, a vicious killer and a long-buried mystery push Brock & Kolla to the limit.

Dark Mirror

Published: August 2010

When the red-haired, beautiful and mysterious, Marion Summers dies in horrendous circumstances in the London Library, Brock and Kolla are brought in to investigate, in the latest spine-tingling mystery from Australia's master of crime.

Bright Air

Published: June 2009

A death in the tight-knit mountain-climbing community reveals long hidden secrets in the fast-paced and nail-biting stand-alone mystery from the master of crime writing, Barry Maitland.

The Verge Practice

Published: August 2008

From the backstreets of Barcelona to the sophisticated world of international architecture, this fast-moving mystery cements Maitland's reputation as a writer of intriguing and thrilling crime.;


Published: August 2008

Murder, fundamentalism, intrigue - and that's just the start of Babel, Maitland's gripping sixth Brock + Kolla mystery.;

Spider Trap

Published: August 2007

Old skeletons, new deaths, crime families, torture and intimidation; David Brock and Kathy Kolla are challenged like never before.


Published: July 2007

Silvermeadow is a brand-new mega-shopping mall - 'more like a small city than a department store'. Detective Sergeant Kathy Kolla and Detective Chief Inspector David Brock investigate the reappearance of one of the most violent criminals Brock has ever come across.

The Marx Sisters

Published: June 2007

When one of three elderly sisters, great-granddaughters of Karl Marx, is found dead in her Jerusalem Lane house, Detective Sergeant Kathy Kolla and Detective Chief Inspector Brock investigate. An atmospheric police procedural - the first in the acclaimed Brock and Kolla mysteries.

The Chalon Heads

Published: March 2007

Brock and Kolla have been called to a shop dealing in rare stamps on the assumption they'll be handling a simple case of theft. But a man from Brock's past, Chinese East End ex-villain Sammy Starling, comes to him for help when Starling's vivacious young wife is kidnapped . . .

No Trace

Published: January 2007

An edge-of-your-seat Brock and Kolla mystery set within a radical artists' community in London where three children have been abducted in a matter of weeks.

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