Whenever I see a girl with a gold bikini, I think of Princess Leia. Here on the Gold Coast, gold bikinis are common, so I think of Princess Leia a lot.

Olivia Grace is on a gap-year and is a private investigator in her childhood friend’s detective agency on the glittering shores of the Queensland Gold Coast. Olivia may have feelings for Rosco, her childhood friend, if she ever admits them to herself, and becoming a detective like Nancy Drew requires Olivia to challenge every part of herself.

The Girl with the Gold Bikini is Lisa Walker’s second YA novel and delivers a contemporary spin in the tradition of Nancy Drew and my all-time favourite detective series, The Hardy Brothers.

Olivia is a quirky, memorable character who enjoys mystery, possibly headstands, and she never shies away from challenge. Walker cleverly incorporates discrimination and sexual-harassment in her fast-paced and easy-to-read delightful book. This one is sure to charm the socks off you and will have you reconsidering the importance of verbal communication with whales and dolphins!

The Girl with the Gold Bikini is a fun and enjoyable read. Highly recommended. Many thanks to Wakefield Press for an advance copy to read and review.


Eighteen-year-old Olivia Grace has deferred her law degree and ducked out of her friends’ gap-year tour of Asia. Instead, she’s fulfilling her childhood dream of becoming a private investigator, following in the footsteps of Nancy Drew and Veronica Mars – who taught her everything she knows, including a solid line in quick-quipping repartee, the importance of a handbag full of disguises, and a way of mixing business with inconvenient chemistry.

Playing Watson to the Sherlock of her childhood friend, detective agency owner Rosco (once the Han Solo to her Princess Leia), Olivia pursues a routine cheating husband case from the glitzy Gold Coast to Insta-perfect Byron Bay, where she faces yoga wars, dirty whale activism, and a guru who’s kind of a creep.

Olivia Grace is a teenage screwball heroine for the #metoo era, and The Girl with the Gold Bikini is a body-positive detective romp, rich with pop-culture pleasures.

Find out more about the book

Wakefield Press


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About Lisa Walker

Lisa Walker writes novels for adults and young adults. She has also written an ABC Radio National play and been published in the Age, Griffith Review, Big Issue and the Review of Australian Fiction. Her recent novels include a young adult coming-of-age story, Paris Syndrome (HarperCollins, 2018), and a climate change comedy, Melt (Lacuna, 2018). She has worked in environmental communication and as a wilderness guide and recently spent six months in a Kmart tent in outback Australia. Lisa lives, surfs and writes on the north coast of New South Wales. The Girl with the Gold Bikini is her sixth novel.

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Also on my blog:

Book Review of Paris Syndrome by Lisa Walker

Interview with Lisa Walker