Undara by Annie Seaton

1. First lines. 2. Published 2019 Harper Collins 3. Undara Lava Tubes. Own work. 4. Photograph of map inside the book.
A great setting for a mystery.

Emlyn Rees is an entimologist leading a team of researchers at the privately-owned Carlyle Station, looking for new species of insects in the lava tube system at Undara, North Queensland. She is trying to recover from a family tragedy, and becomes friends with station-owner, Travis Carlyle who has his own problems, which threaten to derail the project. During the course of her research, she accidentally solves a 100-year-old mystery.

‘She’s coming around.‘ The unfamiliar voice was calm. She fisted her fingers into the sand to lift herself, but firm hands gently pushed her shoulders back. ‘It’s all right, Mrs Barber.’ No. There is no Mrs Barber. Not anymore.”

“Emlyn worked near the thick deposits of bat guano and her gloves were soon filthy. Her mood was euphoric as she bagged specimen after specimen, and noted the grid she was working in. Long-legged spiders, cockroaches, a white scorpion and several beetles that were unlike anything she had ever seen before.”

“A thick stand of matted vines blocked their view, until he reached in and held up enough of the vine so there was a small space to walk through. He nodded for her to step inside.. ‘Look what’s down here.'”

  • Northern Daily Leader: “ALL the ingredients were there for author Annie Seaton’s latest novel in far north Queensland. A vast, ancient landscape, a 160 million-year-old volcano and a scientific discovery. She just needed to “throw in a bit of murder and suspense”.

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