Twixt Semites and swastikas: Temlett Conibeer’s greatest challenge.

October 31, 2012 at 5:52 am (Book review, Commentary)

A.C.T. Marke

Twixt Semites and swastikas: Temlett Conibeer’s greatest challenge.

Fans of Andrew Marke’s writing and his fictional character, Temlett Conibeer, will be pleased to hear that he has produced another novel following on from his previous two: Love on the Run and Love in a Hot Climate.

If anything Marke has excelled himself with his latest work: Twixt Semites and swastikas: Temlett Conibeer’s greatest challenge.

It has all the excitement of Ira Levin’s thriller: The Boys from Brazil — a somewhat stranger setting in Papua New Guinea – a juxtaposition of the Third Reich with a primitive land in the upper reaches of the Sepik River.

There is something of a boy’s own adventure about this tale and the love scenes between Temlett and Lena are droll and hilarious without meaning to be. There’s really nothing of Dax from Harold Robbins’ The Adventurers in Temlett Conibeer. No one could say that women trembled at the power in Temlett’s loins! However Marke’s repeated descriptions of the way Lena wore her shorts that emphasized ‘her hips and bottom,[ making her] gorgeous’ leads to some steamy passion if not to sexual climax; because of Temlett’s Victorian moral values in not as it were breaching the protocol. Near the end Lena offers Temlett the gift of her virginity!

The allure and attraction of the beautiful young East German, Lena Adler, some would say, is just too much for Temlett Conibeer, even if she appears to save him from circumstances created by his own naivety. But in clearing himself of a murder charge he somehow ends up in deeper trouble..

The resolution of the mystery surrounding the death of Sandra Donnigan must be made for Conibeer to clear his name. The run ins with the malignant Hoss and the frightening Gluwitz, two Nazi characters that engender the novel with the forces of evil, are two people who Lena and Temlett have to face!

Adler and Conibeer are both challenged by a New Guinea at its rawest in their trek to the centre of the island. It is on this journey that the writer’s descriptive powers and knowledge of the country are at their best – the natural beauty and the characters in a pre-independence PNG come alive.

This novel is guaranteed to satisfy the discerning reader who appreciates an intriguing plot set in imaginative circumstances, and the ending chapters presenting us with a thoughtful, nostalgic and contemplative Temlett Conibeer are memorable!

We are left wondering: what does the future hold for Conibeer?

Orders can be placed with Frogmouth Press at mobile: 0428833212 or email:

187 Low Head Road, Low Head Tas 7253

$30.00 Posted $35.00



  1. Johanna Skelding said,

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading Mr Marke’s latest book.The plot is excellent and once again confirms Temlett as the anachronistic, 19th century, English upper class man, totally unsuited for marriage, but obviously destined for the army or some Empire posting, where he could have lived and died in singular glory.
    Mr Marke’s knowledge of New Guinea and expatriate life gives the book its inherent truth. We can once again enjoy the eccentrics found in any colonial outpost and are left hoping to meet a few more. As always the writing and style are superb. The syntax flows effortly and is one of the book’s main pleasures. It is a delight to read and even to search for a few words in the dictionary. Ignore the first few pages, they must have been written by someone else, an appalling travesty.

    Johanna Skelding.

  2. The works of A.C.T. Marke in pride of place in Peter Johnson’s bookshelf | Stories by David Wall said,

  3. Fans of Marke’s works, hold your breath; another novel is on its way! | Stories by David Wall said,

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