In 1953, a small dog leads his owner to the mutilated, dead body of a young girl. The senseless and brutal homicide not only shakes up the small seaside town of Mt Martha, but also begins an Australia-wide manhunt for the callous murderer. However, the witness testimonies are strangely inconsistent, and without a prime suspect, the case goes cold.
That is until the present time, when Nick Szabo begins an unrelated research project and comes across an old newspaper clipping. Aided by his friend Arthur, he digs deeper into the case, uncovering horrific layers of deception and betrayal.
Steeped in Melbourne’s past and historically accurate, Murder in Mount Martha is inspired by a real-life unsolved murder. It is an exciting and harrowing tale of what might have happened on that dark day on September 12, 1953.
“A captivating story about family secrets, love, loss and deceit.” – Emma Viskic, author of Resurrection Bay
“A slow-burn of a mystery where the tentacles of the past twist the present. Secrets are revealed and a rapist/murderer discovered as the action switches from the 1950s to contemporary Melbourne. Crime buffs who like mystery with a strong dose of history will rejoice.”
– Carmel Shute, National co-convenor, Sisters in Crime Australia
“Murder in Mt Martha is a terrific debut novel; engaging in its own right and full of promise of good things to come from Janice Simpson … It straddles the line between true crime and crime fiction with great aplomb and will satisfy fans of both.” Read the full review from Fair Dinkum Crime here.
“Murder in Mt Martha is a page-turner, as well as a psychological exploration of what makes a murderer. Janice’s readers are gripped by the way the story unfolds in two eras, providing insight into how lives were lived more than half a century ago, as well as in modern-day Australia.”
– The Peninsula Star. Read the full article here.
Read the interview in Star Weekly here.
About the author: Janice Simpson is a Melbourne based writer with a background in university teaching and educational publishing. Her books include a travel memoir Let Sleeping Dogs Lie (2012) about her bicycle trip from Paris to Istanbul, and All the Good Ones Aren’t Taken about the singles industry (1997). Janice teaches at RMIT, is a national co-convenor of Sisters in Crime and is completing her PhD in creative writing. Check out her website (with a great blog!) here.