In A Devious Mind, Dusty and Sean have teamed up again to work on another unsolved murder following their success in Murder in Murloo. This time they are lucky enough to be in Byron Bay, Australia’s famous alternative lifestyle beach town. The town’s welcome sign tells you all you need to know. It reads: Cheer Up, Slow Down, Chill Out...
Apart from the laid-back, low-key lifestyle, the Byron Bay area is renowned for its biological diversity, supporting a wide range of frogs, snakes, marsupials, birds and plants. It’s natural beauty includes spectacular beaches, world heritage rainforests, waterfalls, conservation parks and abundant marine life such as whales and dolphins.
I was lucky enough to go to Byron Bay too because, of course, I had to research the setting for the book. So, on Anzac weekend in 2015, I dragged some friends along for a short holiday at Ardem@Byron. Actually, dragged is the wrong word because they certainly weren’t protesting. After all, we were exchanging the chilly cold of Melbourne for the balmy warmth of Byron Bay.
On Anzac Day, we attended the Dawn Service in Byron where I met a young man who had previously made the trip to Gallipoli to pay homage to the thousands of young men who fought in the trenches in 1915. I was moved by his description of the trip and how after seeing the landscape for himself he developed empathy for the soldiers of the past. Later that day we had a little fun and lost a little money in the traditional Anzac game of Two-up.
The rest of our stay was spent exploring Byron and meeting the locals, including Daniel Green who ended up in A Devious Mind. Well, to be more accurate, his name did. He kindly offered me his name for a character when I met him at the pool table in the Beach Hotel.
We also dined on fine food at a variety of Byron’s excellent eating places. We cruised the shops, from boutiques, to stores with a difference, to markets showcasing local artisans and crafts people and local produce. And we walked. One of our beautiful walks took us to Cape Byron Lighthouse. On the way we passed through Wategos Beach where bottlenose dolphins love to surf. Another species of surfer swarms to Wategos in Kombi vans which are parked in a seamless line along the beach front against a backdrop of rows of multi-million dollar houses.
On our last morning we ventured out at the crack of dawn again – to experience the sunrise at Tallow Beach. That was the day I had to drag my friends back to Melbourne. This time they were protesting!
A Devious Mind available on Amazon. Read it now!