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The Suitcase Baby

The heartbreaking true story of a shocking crime in 1920s Sydney

Tanya Bretherton



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Hachette Australia
26 March 2019
Biography; True stories; True crime; Australasian & Pacific history; 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000; Social & cultural history
True history that is both shocking and too real, this unforgettable tale moves at the pace of a great crime novel.

In the early hours of Saturday morning, 17 November 1923, a suitcase was found washed up on the shore of a small beach in the Sydney suburb of Mosman. What it contained - and why - would prove to be explosive.

The murdered baby in the suitcase was one of many dead infants who were turning up in the harbour, on trains and elsewhere. These innocent victims were a devastating symptom of the clash between public morality, private passion and unrelenting poverty in a fast-growing metropolis.

Police tracked down Sarah Boyd, the mother of the suitcase baby, and the complex story and subsequent murder trial of Sarah and her friend Jean Olliver became a media sensation. Sociologist Tanya Bretherton masterfully tells the engrossing and moving story of the crime that put Sarah and her baby at the centre of a social tragedy that still resonates through the decades.

Includes an extract from Tanya's next fascinating and chilling true crime story, The Suicide Bride.
By:   Tanya Bretherton
Imprint:   Hachette Australia
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 196mm,  Width: 128mm,  Spine: 26mm
Weight:   240g
ISBN:   9780733641466
ISBN 10:   0733641466
Series:   The Australian Crime Vault
Pages:   352
Publication Date:   26 March 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Tanya Bretherton has a Ph D in sociology with special interests in narrative life history and social history. She has published in the academic and public sphere for twenty years, and worked as a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Sydney for fifteen years. She has also worked as a columnist, and had an ongoing partnership with national workplace magazine The Intelligence Report for over a decade. Currently she works as a freelance researcher and writer. Her first book, THE SUITCASE BABY (2018), was shortlisted for the 2018 Ned Kelly Award, the Danger Prize and the Waverley Library 'Nib' Award. Her second book will be published in 2019.

Reviews for The Suitcase Baby: The heartbreaking true story of a shocking crime in 1920s Sydney

Bretherton's unflinching fact-finding is what makes this book throb. - Australian Women's Weekly Tanya Bretherton tells the moving story of an explosive and unforgettable mystery. - Woman's Day

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