A Local Town Provides Inspiration for an Agatha Christie Style Mystery

Yackandandah, the setting for novel, Devastation Road.

When Albury author Joanna Baker, set out to write her first page-turning murder mystery, she didn’t need to look far for a small, peaceful, beautiful village to feature as the setting, with nearby Yackandandah right on her doorstep.

“Many Agatha Christie novels are set in small villages,” Joanna said.

“A conventional murder mystery is the story of the disruption of peaceful and ordered lives, followed by the restoration of order. They are best set in a place where life is calm, peaceful and safe. Yackandandah is just the right kind of place.”

Albury author, Joanna Baker.

Baker’s award-winning first novel, Devastation Road is being re-released and is the first in trilogy. The second book, The Elsinore Vanish, is set in Beechworth and will be published in 2019. The third, Evermore, is set in Bright and will be published about six months later.

When it was first released in 2004, Devastation Road was awarded the Davitt Award for Best Young Adult novel by Sisters in Crime Australia and The Age reviewed it as ‘an outstanding first novel.’

“When they were young, my kids loved Jonathan Creek on TV,” Joanna said.

“But when I tried to get them to read Agatha Christie, they found the old-fashioned language and ideas hard to relate to. So I tried to make Devastation Road a classical clue-puzzle mystery, with dire deeds set in an innocent-seeming country village, but set in contemporary times.”

Baker is hoping to have Devastation Road available in local libraries and will also be giving talks or writing workshops in schools over the next year or two.

The Albury author is also happy to meet with book groups to discuss the ideas in the book and can be contacted through her website.

Devastation Road is available at local bookshops and through the major online booksellers.

For more: www.joannabakerauthor.com