Originally published as a novella, this prequel to the Emma Berry Mystery series in now novel length as Emma felt, on reflection, there was more to tell about events at the time. Set in the 1870s on the Murray River when paddle steamers were as common as buses, the story features a not-so-perfect heroine, interesting supporting characters, and a murder mystery that will, hopefully, keep you guessing.
A terminally ill woman. A Murder. An old promise. Emma can understand, in the current situation, why Matty wants to honour the old promise they made but she isn’t ready for that commitment yet. If she ever will be. Now life has been complicated by the arrival of visitors, including one with an even older grudge against her. Tension between family members and guests is immediately apparent. When a body is found in the stable some want to mark it an accident. Emma is charged with finding out the truth, a task made more stressful because of who she saw that night. But it’s her inability to keep her thoughts to herself that puts her in the path of the murderer. Who has the most to lose – or gain? Are family more deadly than strangers? And can she call time on that old promise without breaking her word?
Targeted Age Group:: suitable for any age group from 15 up
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I grew up and went to school by the Murray River. My father's family were involved with the paddle steamer trade for around 100 years. My great grandfather William Bennett is listed as the Captain of the PS Sapphire in the 1897 register of the Mildura Customs office. The riverboats at that time hauled wool to market and delivered supplies and anything else the sheep stations needed, also carrying passengers. The family later had the PS Britannia, a hawking boat, and later still, my grandfather and two of his brothers were fishermen operating from riverboats. It seemed a natural choice to set this series during the heyday of the paddle steamers before railways took over the bulk of the river trade.