A Note from the Author

In the beginning, my interest in crime was totally fiction. My first foray into crime was in about Year 7 when I plucked Agatha Christie’s Sparkling Cyanide off the shelf of my school library. From the first novel, I loved the drama and the trickery of crime fiction. I also loved that the reader was sort of the detective as well. It was up to us to try and pick whodunit before it was revealed at the end.

When I decided that I wanted to try and write one of my own – but of course it would be set in Melbourne where I grew up – I realised that I had a big deficit of knowledge about murderers and why some people killed other people. I set out for my favourite book store – Kill City in Prahran and found a book about one of the infamous Moors Murderers called: Myra Hindley: inside the mind of a murderess. Reading true crime had an instant impact. All of a sudden stories with a body in the library and seven suspects seemed trite and unreal.


True stories were full of power because they were about real people and real suffering. I read every true crime book that I could lay my hands on but most of them were from the UK or American. There was little written about crime in Australia. 

From the moment I started reading true crime, I knew that if I was going to be a writer, these were the stories that I wanted to write. Back to Kill City and another book, this one by an author called Gary Provost called How to write and sell true crime. I followed Gary’s advice and produced my first book called The Phillip Island Murder. And the rest as they say is history.


-- Vikki Petraitis