As part of Dymocks Sydney’s regular series of book launches, Meg and Tom Keneally attended Dymock’s prized city store this week for the launch of their first collaborative novel entitled THE SOLDIER’S CURSE.
In their promotional material Dymocks has cleverly described father and daughter as Australia’s newest super-sleuth duo.
THE SOLDIER’S CURSE is the first book in Tom Keneally’s latest crime fiction collection, The Monsarrat Series. One of Australia’s first novelists, a well-educated convict named James Tucker, has been the inspiration for the series’ main character, Tom Monsarrat.
Tom enlisted his eldest daughter Meg, a former journalist, to bring the first novel, The Soldier’s Curse to fruition. Tom explains “I knew Meg had tried her hand at novel writing in secret, and temperamentally she’s very like me – except she has extraordinary industry; I’m amazed at the pace she can write; 4,000 words a day to my 1500 on a first draft. So while I didn’t want to exploit my own child, I did offer it to her as a possibility.”
THE SOLDIER’S CURSE looks like it will be a real delight. Readers will spend their time with an engrossing cast of characters including the fallible hero Hugh Monsarrat, convict clerk to the progressively humane Major Angus Shelborne; his perceptive but illiterate Housekeeper Hannah Mulrooney; menacing Captain Diamond; and Private Fergal Slattery, the loveable rogue soldier hiding a dark secret.
Meg and Tom Keneally’s THE SOLDIER’S CURSE is now available at all good bookstores retailing at $32.99.