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  • Writer's picturePatricia Bernard

Why I Love Murder Mysteries

I have always adored mysteries.

As a child I read every mystery I could find. I was also an explorer from 7 years old. With my trusty steed, a boy’s

bike, I explored Melbourne. I rode to the Merrie Creek and explored the steep dirt tracks on both sides. They went for miles (it was miles then). I swam in the Yarra River when my mum thought I was at the local pool. I rode to Darebin Creek (read my serial- murder mystery ‘Ghosts Dancing on Water’) to explored the spooky ghost-filled Darebin Cement Works that were closed before my birth, I rode 10K to Elwood Beach to visit my aunt and discovered the ancient mystery woman who lived and died in one of her 8 bedrooms (which is in my historical novel ‘The Devil’s Bargain’). I explored alone and with my best friend Janet. All the time I had stories forming in my head and I would ask myself. ‘What if I find a body, a treasure, a baby, a severed hand or foot?' This had me digging in countless piles of seaweed along Rosebud beach, creeping into old quarry caves exploring the foundations of the soon to be built church. I was always looking for a haunted house, although ghosts and the dark frighte

ned me more than the finding of a body.

In those days the milkman delivered bottled milk early in the morning. The empty bottles were put out at night. This meant I had to walk across our large tree-filled garden, climb the wooden fence and slip the empty bottles into a metal holder. BUT I was absolutely sure that the moment I put my hands over the wooden gate, the devil, ghost or monster would grab my wrists. SO the moment the bottles dropped into place I was off galloping like a mad thing leaping over vegetable beds, racing around the apricot trees through the fernery (another scary place) up the steps and with hands outstretched I’d push open the fly wire screen door to arrive panting, but safe, in the house.

I have a younger sister who isn’t afraid of the dark or anything (see newest book being written, ‘Where Will We Bury Mum’). One night she locked the screen door from the inside. I galloped over the garden with the devil breathing down my neck, expecting to hit the door and it would swing inwards and I’d be safe. But it didn’t. I almost broke my wrists. I started screaming to get in. My mother came and saved me. My sister thought it was funny.

I began professional writing when I was thirty-five years old. I have had 78 books published and have been published by Harper Collins, Transworld, Random House, Scholastics, Blake Educational and Ford Publishing.

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