Many thanks to Melbourne's The Herald Sun for publishing an extract from Last Woman Hanged. They chose to focus on the hangman, bumbling Robert 'Nosey Bob' Howard who also hanged the Aboriginal tracker, Jimmy Governor (later made famous in Thomas Keneally's The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith) and so many others. He was called Nosey for the simple reason that he didn't have one. He was born with a nose but a horse kicked it off, leaving him with just two holes in the centre of his
One partner dead. Then two. Then three. Then four, five, six ... then SEVEN partners dead?! No wonder they call her the Black Widow. Japanese police yesterday arrested Chisako Kakehi is a 67-year-old, multi-millionaire from Kyoto, Japan, whose seven partners - yes, seven - have died in suspicous circumstances. Police believe that she poisoned them with cyanide in order to inherit her seven million dollar fortune. Incredibly, it's not an isolated case. Japan in fact has a numb
Many thanks to the staff at the Stanton Library in North Sydney for hosting a lively talk on Last Woman Hanged on Tuesday. The audience was fully engaged with Louisa's story and the questions were terrific. Thank you also to Jay Lansdown from Constant Reader. He is one of the most informed and interesting sellers of books. He knows what is good, and what is popular, and what is the difference. He says I should read some Lee Child. My sister says the same! So perhaps I will.
Hey, what's this thing called an e-book bundle? Well, funny you should ask! The e-book bundle is new to the Australian marketplace. Essentially, it's a special, wrapped package whereby you can buy both the book and the e-book in one bundle. Why, you ask, would you want to do that??? Well, ever had that feeling where you buy a book for a friend for Christmas - but wish you could keep it for yourself? And you don't really want to buy two copies !! Books can be expensive. Or ...
Belltrees. It even sounds beautiful - and it is. Belltrees is a magnificent pastoral station in the Hunter Valley. It has been owned and managed by the White family for seven generations. It is special to me because Louisa Collins was born at Belltrees. Her father, Henry Hall, was a convict who worked there, as a shepherd. He lived in one of the tiny convict cottages that still stand on the property. Louisa took her first steps at Belltrees. It is where she learnt to crawl, t
Well, I couldn't be more thrilled. Mum sent me this list of the Top 10 best-sellers from The Age this morning - and look at No. 3. It's Last Woman Hanged. Now, I realise it's the Military and History bestsellers - and my friend Peter FitzSimons is kicking my butt. If it was the *actual* best-sellers lists, well ... there's a rumour going around the book-selling world that Pete Evans sold 8000 copies of his Paleo diet book in the first three days! If true, he's on track to hav
South Australia. It's history is very different to that of New South Wales. South Australia is the Free State: it was never a penal colony. People did not go there in chains. They were not thrashed in the streets or forced into servitude. South Australia was first and foremost home to free settlers - and although much smaller than the other States it has long been a beacon of democracy. The South Australian parliament is one of the world's oldest. South Australian women were
Travelling in South Australia this week, it seems that all the state is abuzz with the death of a man called Kenneth Perry. Who was he? He was the last surviving husband of Emily Perry, known as The Black Widow. The case truly is bizarre. Emily was first charged in 1981 with the attempted murder of Kenneth, who was her third husband. He had become violently ill for no apparent reason. He could not stop vomiting and had trouble walking. Doctors found arsenic in his system, and
THE crime of murder is most often carried out by men, against other men, and it's very rarely carried out in a cool and pre-meditated way, despite what you see on TV. The US has, in recent months, been transfixed by this terrible exception: an eminent scientific researcher from the University of Pittsburgh, Robert Ferrante, 66, was accused of murdering his young wife, neurologist, Dr Autumn Klein, 41, by mixing cyanide into her Creatine (which, as gym junkies will know, is a