Circus Noir series
Welcome to my three stand-alone crime mysteries, each with an acrobatic twist, inspired by the circus and gymnastics world.
The Trophy Room
The year is 1976 and nine-year-old Montrealer, Gabby Clark is enthralled by Nadia Comaneci’s electrifying Olympic performance and is determined to take up the sport. The more difficult her family life, the more Gabby throws herself into the sport. When she passes a trial and makes it into the respectable high-flying elite gymnastics club, Sprites, her new trusted adults are the Berger brothers, doctor and coach.
But now she’s made it into the Berger’s inner sanctum of talented gymnasts, all is not as it seems. Behind the veneer of respectability stands a conspiracy of silence about a drug scandal and a murder. Gabby faithfully records what’s happening in her secret diary. Although she recognises the diary might be helpful to police in their murder investigation, she cannot let them have it. The diary is too private and she will not let them look.
Thirty-five years later this failure to act comes back to haunt her in a car accident where she hurts a little girl. Looking to atone for the accident, she returns to Montreal to track down the diary, face up the truth of her childhood and track down a perpetrator. Circumstances conspire against her, and now she must confront her a murder suspect in the Trophy Room, armed with nothing more a clapped-out getaway car, a shabby training bag and a Netherland dwarf black rabbit.
The Trophy Room will be circulated to agents and publishers in America, Canada and Australia in January of 2020.
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Kirsten Frank is no ordinary British tourist to India. She’s a seasoned traveller who has seen it all. But on the day she visits a circus act in northern India, her life takes a sudden turn. Something suspicious is happening to the children who are working for this circus. Where are their parents? Why are their smiles so strained and what are those peculiar welts on their bodies? Once her dark suspicions firm into fact, Kirsten calls together a team and undertakes a heist to rescue the children.
Circus Heist is loosely based on a the true stories of Nepalese children who are trafficked across the border into India and enslaved as circus performers.
This novel is in its concept stages and will be approaching completion in 2022.
Want to buy a copy once the novel has found a publishing home?
General Crime and Mystery
Mysteries with strong female protagonists who won’t give up until they get what they want….
Crazy About Cakes
Minnie McGill is a Brisbane-born pastry chef whose dream to run a first-class bakery in Manhattan has finally been fulfilled. But all is thrown into disarray when she answers the door to a stranger, a young woman half her age. What the stranger says next throws her in shocked and confused silence. The stranger claims to be Minnie’s daughter, a fact that must be impossible since Minnie has never had children. DNA evidence shows them to be a mother and daughter match – so how did this happen and what can she do now?
Previous drafts of Crazy about Cakes have attracted two Varuna fellowships, and the manuscript has twice been long-listed for the Mslexia international novel competition. It has also attracted an Australian Society of Authors mentorship. It is now in its final stages of completion and will be circulating to agents and publishers early next year, 2020.
The Hope Nest
Camilla Crest dreams of becoming a big-city investigative reporter and has a plan to get there. But her plans go awry the day she commits a critical mistake and must leave the state. An attractive job offer lures her to Chipper’s Point, a Western Australian country town. Here she is determined to undercover small-town secrets and make a big splash. Her goal is helped along by the solicitations of a young security guard, who is keen for her company on his night patrols. Everything on those night patrols appears innocent enough until a final clue falls into place, and now she must make the choice between reporting a story or stepping in to change the ending. Even when she does make the decision to act, what she doesn’t know is that other people have the same enemy in their rifle crosshairs.
The Hope Nest, in its first draft, attracted an Australian Society of Authors mentorship and is now in its second draft. It will be going out to publishers and agents in 2021.
Want to register your interest in buying a copy once the novel has found a publishing home?
The Executioner's List
It is 1979, Iran, and Parisa Mahmoud is a 19-year-old Tehran university student with plans to earn a degree in translation and travel the world. But everything changes when the Shah is deposed and a new revolutionary government is installed. Classes are put on hold and students everywhere must reconsider their options.
Parisa is approached to use her translating skills in the American Embassy hostage crisis. What starts out as a peaceful, three-day siege, soon becomes a situation that spirals out of control. Now Parisa is trapped in a job that will lead her to translate lists that mark people for execution – without a fair hearing and in the dark of night. Parisa, who fears for her own life if she quits the job, can either continue to translate documents that aid in executions or strike out with a daring plan to save those on the list and escape Iran.
The Executioner’s List is a work of historical fiction largely based on research into the American Embassy hostage crisis in Tehran. My novel is in its second draft and will be presented to publishers and agents in 2022.