BOOK CLUB: Mad Men, Bad Girls and the Guerilla Knitters Institute

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Author: Maggie Groff
ISBN: 978-1742-610-795
RRP: $27.99

From the author of the national bestseller Mothers Behaving Badly (1999) and Hoax Cuisine (2001) – Maggie Groff turns her hand to fiction. Mad Men, Bad Girls and the Guerilla Knitters Institute is frequently hilarious, always surprising and delivered with a strong cast of charmingly eccentric characters.


When a secretive American cult moves to the Gold Coast, freelance journalist Scout Davis’s investigative antennae start quivering. She sets out to expose the cult’s lunatic beliefs and bizarre practices, but when she learns the identity of a recent recruit, her quest becomes personal. And dangerous. The cult isn’t the only case on Scout’s agenda. Someone is cutting up girls’ underwear at an exclusive school and Scout agrees to look into it. And the sinister secret behind the vandalism is not nice. Not at all.

Mad Men, Bad Girls and the Guerilla Knitters

But Scout has her secrets too. In the dead of night she sneaks out with an underground group of yarn bombers to decorate the locality with artworks. The next mission ticks all the right boxes – it’s risky, difficult and extremely silly. However, not everyone is amused, and Scout has a sneaking suspicion that the local police sergeant, Rafe Kelly, is hot on her tail.

Mad Men, Bad Girls and the Guerilla Knitters is not your conventional crime novel. It is a work of humorous fiction which also engages with serious contemporary moral and social issues, such as the ethics of investigative journalism, cults, bullying, family and community dynamics, graffiti, the value of friendships and the responsibilities attached to relationships. Narrator and freelance investigative journalist Scout Davis is an intelligent and intuitive heroine who is
addicted to solving mysteries; fiercely protective of family and friends; and perhaps in love with two men. It’s a mystery, full of romance and hilarious comedy.

8 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Mad Men, Bad Girls and the Guerilla Knitters Institute

  1. I was fortunate enough to be part of the trial team for this book, and I really enjoyed it. I found the main character Scout, so likeable, and so normal! I could totally relate to her. I found myself going back to the book every chance I got as the storyline was very interesting. As a result, I finished it within a few days as I found it hard to put down!The book was very easy to read, what I mean by that is that the story just flowed and it wasn’t at all confusing. I love the fact that it is written by an Australian author, (Maggie Groff), and set in Australia too, as I could visualise the scenes she reffered to throughout the story, eg. the Gold Coast, Byron Bay, etc.
    I was SO happy to read that there will be another book based on Scout; she is such a great character!
    I would highly recommend this book; it is witty, funny at times, and has a love aspect thrown into it too, amongst all the drama of Scout trying to find out more about the cult, whilst dealing with all the other goings on in her life!
    A really great read!!!

  2. This book was not what I expected, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the cover. It is the age old adage though doesn’t judge a book by its cover. This book is definitely proof of that. I have to say I wouldn’t have picked it up in a shop because I guess I am a cover snob. However, once I opened the book and started reading, I couldn’t stop.
    I loved the characters, even though I knew Scout was in her late 40’s early 50’s I kept picturing her as late 20’s early 30’s, because she is such a glorious character my mind kept on trying to make her so much younger because of her crazy exploits. I love that she seems to have a little bit of Byron crazy, but she also has a pure heart and always tries to help anyone if she can, even when that means sharing some difficult truths to friends or colleagues.
    I love her Bohemian styled apartment and I love that she doesn’t care if anything matches or not.
    Scout seems perfectly counteracted by her slightly uptight sister Harper, a school teacher. They have interesting interactions and can be quite snippy, but also can tell they love each other.
    There are so many great character, Rafe who every time I imagine him I see a gorgeous man running down the beach Baywatch style, Miles, the restaurateur that works under Scout’s apartment, and the knitting group who I think are hysterical, what a great way to have a bit of fun without doing any real damage to anyone or anything.
    Scout’s interaction with Marcia was sometimes very sad and seeing it from her point of view would just about crush anyone under circumstances like she is enduring. Marcia is a strong woman and I really like the role she plays on the book, and I also like how she and Scout become friends even under the difficult situation she is going through.
    I cannot forget chairman Meow; he was a real focal point in the story and such an amusing character for a cat.
    This book was so much better than I gave it credit for, it was easy to read, and the story was so good I had difficulty putting it down for too long. I would really like to see a continuation of the series as I think Scout could have plenty of adventures ahead of her being an investigative journalist, I would definitely read more by Maggie Groff because Mad Men, Bad Girls and the Guerrilla Knitters Institute, I thought was just that good.

  3. What a wonderfully light and easy read this book was. I actually wasnt sure about this book, because of the unusual title, but was thrilled and found it so easy to read that I finished it in one week.
    So the story is based around a lady called Scout, who is an investigative journalist. She is asked to follow a story on a cult that has moved from America to Australia. There are several other stories going on around Scout, as she investigates this story.
    Scout is a very likeable character, and it is hard not to be drawn in to her world.
    The storyline is set amongst Byron Bay and the Gold Coast, so it is really easy to relate to and imagine what is going on.
    I wont go on too much about the storyline, cause I dont want to ruin it for you, but you certainly would be happy if you did read it.
    I highly recommend this book and have already passed it on to my mum. It is funny, enticing and very down to earth, and very Aussie as well. It pulls you in and you cant wait to see what happens next.

  4. It was a real privilage to be selected to recieve,read and review this entertaining book.
    Meet Scout Davis – investigative reporter,member of Knitters Institure. She is a charismatic character, wickedly funny and very expressive. She shares her home with Chairman Meow – he also is a main focus in the book and very much suited to Scouts lifestyle..
    She follows up on leads of a cult originating from America and it moves to Australia. Among this story line she is also involved in the goings on at an exclusive school where her sister works,makes friends and meeting a new man.
    This book was set in Byron Bay and the Gold Coast so it made it really easy to envisage the surroundings mentioned..
    This is a must read book – it became part of my ”me time” everyday and I would reccommend it to anyone who wants a wickedly funny and absorbing yet relaxing read. I for one will be re reading this gem of a book again very soon!

  5. Not knowing what to expect from this book, I was pleasantly surprised and very glad I was given the chance to review it. The pace is fast and exciting; this is a real page turner. In fact once I got into it after the first few chapters, I couldn’t put it down. The characters are colourful yet realistic – as are the great Australian landmark settings – don’t we all wish we could live in Byron Bay! As the story line developed it was easy to follow and start casting the movie in your mind – particularly the leading man! Scout is a great character, there are so many things going on around her, but each event is useful in understanding her and getting to know and like her better. The book also provides an interesting insight into investigative journalism to an outsider – it does sound very exciting, if not a little dangerous. I highly recommend this book to those that like a fast paced light read with a little bit of romance thrown in. Definitely looking forward to the next instalment in the series.

  6. I am very glad that I accepted to trial this book as I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The story line was very interesting and once I picked up the book to read I couldn’t put it back.
    All the characters were interesting and were like normal people specially the main character Scout. I could totally relate to her and her feelings.
    The story has all the elements of a great novel as it has fun, thrill, emotions, love and everything you ask for in a novel. The story is set in Byron Bay & Gold Coast and I have been to Gold Coast couple of times and can totally imagine myself there whenever author mentions the places.
    I liked that the book is not only about one people but it revolves around several people and author descibes each situation & character of each person in very interesting way and it feels like I know that person for very long.
    I really would like to recommend this book to everyone out there looking for some fun and witty read but also interested in thrill.

  7. I had no idea what I was getting into with this book – who on earth would be able to guess from the title? But it was wonderful. There were three stories going on in the book. The lead story was about Scout, the main character, researching a cult that had just moved into her local area. That was interesting, but scary at the same time. How easy it could be for anyone of us to get caught up in something like that! Fortunately, the ending for that story was happy for all. Then there were two secondary storylines, one about some naughty students at Scout’s sister’s school and one about a group of people, the Guerilla Knitters Institute, doing some cheeky things with their knitting projects. The three storylines blended in well together, but I only wish I knew what happened between Scout, her boyfriend, Toby and her ‘fling’, Rafe. Who knows? Perhaps part 2, will fill us in? Finger’s crossed for a part 2! Thank you so much for allowing me to review this book >:o)

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