A Sense of Place Publishing brings you a quirky new Australian detective novel, Bloody Colonials by Stafford Sanders. The book pits a canny convict sleuth against the ruthless empire-builders of an early penal settlement – with exciting and amusing results. Set among the high cliffs and rugged bushland of the Australian coast, Bloody Colonials unleashes detective Seamus “Shameless” Halloran into a brave new world of mystery and intrigue, action, romance, dark humour, poignancy, irony – and barbed satire on power, pretension and the seeds of modern Australia.
Shabby but sharp stablehand Shameless has a problem: he suspects serious foul play, but dares not tell anyone in authority – since they’ll give the accusations of a ticket-of-leave convict short shrift, and very likely an even shorter rope. Added to that, most of them are suspects – ambitious, ruthless would-be big fish in a small pond.
So the canny con seizes on Dr Tom Quayle, newly-arrived young colonial surgeon of good intentions though weak vitals, as ally and front for the sleuthing. From here on, tension and hilarity will duel, literally, to the death.
Bloody Colonials is the first novel by award-winning journalist, broadcaster, satirist, playwright and songwriter Stafford Sanders – a literature and history graduate who’s written comedy including historical satire for radio and TV. He also boasts a naval background, having once performed on pop show Countdown in a sailor suit!
Stafford first developed Bloody Colonials as a screenplay before working it into a novel.
“The idea of Shameless Halloran came up during my radio comedy collaboration with Tony Latimore”, says Stafford. “It seemed great fun to create a detective who because of his lowly social position has to use someone else as a front – and then explore the relationship that grows between them.
“It was also a great opportunity to have a go at the hothouse politics of a semi-isolated community where competing ambitions are falling over each other – almost everyone is a potential murderer or murderee.”
Characters include a colonial governor with lofty ambitions and his vain daughter, a haughty pastoralist couple with a murky past, a sadistic and lecherous chaplain, an enigmatic maidservant, an embittered trooper, a gambling doctor, a deranged explorer and his Aboriginal tracker. Their motives and connections shift with every chapter.
“So far”, says Stafford, “no-one who’s read this has been able to pick the murderer- or murderers. I guess that’s good start – the murder mystery has to work well. But most of all I hope Bloody Colonials will give people a good, lively read – and a good laugh.”
Bloody Colonials is now available in Kindle and Google Books and will be available in hardback shortly.
For Media Inquiries contact A Sense of Place Publishing’s Commissioning Editor John Stapleton on Australian mobile Skype Number: +61 4786 0329 or email: email@example.com