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Murder in Punch Lane : Gothic crime in the laneways of 19th century Melbourne - Jane Sullivan

Murder in Punch Lane

Gothic crime in the laneways of 19th century Melbourne

By: Jane Sullivan

Paperback | 2 July 2024

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Inspired by real events and people, Murder in Punch Lane is a dark and gripping crime novel that maps the sins and secrets of nineteenth-century Melbourne.

Melbourne, 1868.
When dazzling theatre star Marie St Denis dies in the arms of her best friend, fellow actress Lola Sanchez, everyone believes it was suicide by laudanum overdose. Everyone except Lola. On the brink of stardom herself, she risks everything by embarking on a quest to find Marie's killer.

When journalist Magnus Scott, writing as 'the Walking Gentleman', publishes a compassionate obituary about her friend, Lola decides to seek his help. A fraught attraction develops between these two amateur detectives from opposite sides of society, and their volatile relationship soon begins to compromise their investigation.

Lola keeps a secret from Magnus. She traverses the corrupt underbelly of the brash young metropolis just as he does, but disguised as a boy, entering dangerous, forbidden spaces where the lives of the rich and privileged intersect with the city's underclass and outsiders: bohemians, theatre folk, prostitutes, down-and-outs and opium addicts.

Neither are prepared for the truths they will uncover about the powers that rule Melbourne - or the consequences for their own lives. And now they must race to find the murderer before the city destroys them both.

About the Author

Jane Sullivan is an author and literary journalist who loves books and has always written about them.

She was born in England to Australian parents, came to live in Melbourne in 1979 and worked at The Age as a reporter, feature writer and editor of various sections, including the books pages. She won the inaugural Australian Human Rights award for journalism. At present she contributes to The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald, writing features and a Saturday column, 'Turning Pages', about books and writing.

She has also written for Griffith Review, Meanjin and Australian Book Review and has reviewed books for ABC Radio National's Books and Arts program.

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