Team Dusty has just returned from Broome, Western Australia, the setting for Dusty Kent Mystery #5 – Tooting Moon. Pindan red cliffs, dramatic sandstone rocks, red earth, bright blue skies, shimmering turquoise oceans, a 22 kilometre long beach of white sand, pearls and pearl diving, traditional land of the Yawuru people and home to many other nationalities - Broome is all of these things and more.
Popular Australian actor and comedian Shane Jacobson was persuaded to (eventually) give up his phone and relax into ‘Broome time’ on his promotional visit to Broome. On our second day there, Team Dusty member Claudette also found herself without her phone. We searched high and low all day and racked our brains about where she might have left it, but to no avail.
It wasn’t until that evening just after we sat down for a meal at Matso’s Brewery that Claudette’s husband, five thousand kilometres away in Melbourne, rang to tell her he’d located her phone. What? How did he do that? Well, he called Claudette’s phone on the off chance that someone had found it and would answer. And that’s exactly what happened. The lovely man who found her phone, and took good care of it hoping he could somehow return it to its owner was none other than Ahmat Bin Fadal, a local identity and retired pearl diver. As a young diver, Ahmat lived to tell the tale when his oxygen supply was accidentally cut off while he was underwater.
When we met up with Ahmat the next day, he told us Broome was like a magnet. Once you have visited, it pulls you back. Certainly, its rich colours, warm climate and friendly, small-town atmosphere make it a difficult place to leave. We knew we had only a few days to experience the uniqueness of this remote Kimberley town where the red desert meets the sea so we packed in as much as we could.
We visited Gantheaume Point where, in the early 1900s, a lighthouse keeper called Patrick Percy modified a natural rock pool to provide a soothing bath for his much-loved wife Anastasia who suffered with arthritis.
We were moved by a memorial erected to honour the women who were forced to work for the pearling masters in the late 19th century. The sculpture depicts a young, pregnant Aboriginal girl emerging from the water with a pearl shell in her hands.
And we did much more; wandered around the markets, dined at the cafes, shopped in the town, strolled along Cable Beach, supped cappuccinos and sipped Parisian Margaritas. One evening we had reason to celebrate because I received an email notification that Disguising Demons (Dusty Kent Mystery #4) had made the long list in the Davitt Awards for excellence in crime fiction. How good is that!!
Update 9 November, 2019: I am behind schedule with the production of Tooting Moon. I now aim to have it ready around May 2020.
Update Novemnber 2020: Tooting Moon is now available on Amazon.
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