The following PhD research is made of two parts, namely a crime novel titled ‘Better Dead Than Never’ and an accompanying exegesis that reflects and explores the literary techniques and the author’s journey in the creation of the novel. The novel’s frame is built around the tradition of the hard-boiled genre of crime fiction, popular in the USA in the 1930s and 1940s. Whilst the novel keeps the tradition of having a Private Investigator as the protagonist, the setting is Melbourne, Australia, and the timeframe is the mid-2000s. In addition, the protagonist is an attached woman in her thirties rather than the traditional single male protagonist. The novel, through the protagonist’s journey, explores issues of class, racism, sexism, homophobia, police corruption and the Australian legal system. The exegesis explains how the novel was created, both in terms of fiction technique and the author’s self-reflection on his choice of genre, setting, protagonist, dialogue and structure. The methodology includes placing the novel in comparative evaluation with other works from Cornwell, Grafton, Evanovich and works from the hard-boiled genre. It also examines feminism issues in terms of the protagonist’s place in a male-dominated police environment and discusses the author’s choice of using a female protagonist whilst being a male author.