Setting the scene in historical crime fiction
Mar 07, 2023 7:40 AM
Laraine Stephens
Setting the scene in historical crime fiction

Writing historical crime fiction requires a lot of research to create authentic and accurate depictions of the times. Laraine sets her Reggie da Costa Mysteries in Melbourne of the early twentieth century, in the aftermath of the Great War and during the heady days of the 1920s, when gangs, sly-grog and gambling dens inhabited the back streets of Melbourne.

Laraine will talk specifically about the Brighton storm of 1918; the effects of the Great War, including ‘shell shock’; and the Police Strike of 1923. Drawing on her time as a volunteer guide at the Old Melbourne Gaol, she will reveal the fascinating and bizarre background to the pseudo-science of phrenology and the making of death masks.

Laraine lives in Beaumaris. After working as a teacher-librarian and Head of Library for over 35 years, she decided to experience life on the other side of the bookshelves and became a writer of historical crime fiction. Apart from writing, she is an avid golfer, loves travelling, going to the football and playing Mahjong, and enjoys reading, restaurants and films.

Laraine has a six-book contract with Level Best Books (USA). Her first novel in The Reggie da Costa Mysteries, The Death Mask Murders, was published in 2021, followed by Deadly Intent in 2022. The third in the series, A Deadly Game, will be published in June 2023.

Laraine is a member of Writers Victoria, Sisters in Crime (Australia), the Australian Crime Writers’ Association, the International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers’ Association of the U.K.