Miss Hayward and the Detective series

An exciting historical mystery romance series set in Australia, in 1888.

Miss Hayward and the Detective series
Murder at the Freak Show

Murder at the Freak Show

Matilda Hayward is determined to have a career, after all, it is 1888! While reporting for the Women’s Journal newspaper, Matilda is sent to cover the visiting ‘Freak Show’ and to interview Mrs Anna Tufton, a giantess. During the interview, the giantess slips a note to Matilda begging for help to her escape the show she is forced to do by her husband. But when the giantess’s husband is found murdered; the giantess is a likely suspect.

Matilda enlists the help of her lawyer brother, Amos, to prove the giantess is no killer and to free her from a life of exploitation. But close family friend, Detective Thomas Ashdown – who has feelings for Matilda having known her since childhood – would prefer Matilda was nowhere near his murder case. There is mystery, danger, and love afoot!

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The Artist’s Missing Muse

The Artist’s Missing Muse

Beautiful muse, Miss Sapphire Reubens, the inspiration for her lover's latest art exhibition, is missing – items of her clothing found in the river. Worryingly, Miss Matilda Hayward and her fellow writer for the Women’s Journal, Miss Alice Doran, enjoyed a preview of the inspired work featuring Miss Reubens immersed in water. Was it a death portrait? When another two rival artists are found murdered and posed in the manner of their painting, Matilda and her new beau, Detective Thomas Ashdown, fear the artist's inspiration may have come from ill means. There is mystery, passion and love afoot!

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Mystery at the Asylum

Mystery at the Asylum

Miss Matilda Hayward has a nose for a story which serves her well as a writer for the Women’s Journal newspaper. Her beau, Detective Thomas Ashdown, is not quite as enthusiastic about her role. When Matilda’s brother, Elijah, takes up a doctor’s position at the Asylum for the Insane, she volunteers, seeking more life experience to improve her writing. Joined by her illustrator friend, Miss Georgina Urry, the two ladies are thrust into the mystery of several strange asylum deaths as patients believe they can fly. When Thomas is sent to investigate, their worlds collide. Now the race is on to find the sinister threat dwelling inside the dark and gloomy walls of the asylum. There is secrecy, danger, and love afoot!

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The Mortician’s Clue

The Mortician’s Clue

Miss Matilda Hayward has been assigned her first book review for the Women’s Journal newspaper and she is very much enjoying Mr Linton Turner’s novel, The Pyjama Girl Mystery, until it comes to life. When a young lady is found murdered and left on the church steps dressed only in blue satin pyjamas – just like in the plot of the novel – the author immediately comes under suspicion. But no one can identify the victim.
Matilda’s beau, Detective Thomas Ashdown, is on the case, and with his partner, Detective Harry Dart, they hire a talented mortician, Miss Phoebe Astin, to illustrate the deceased lady for identification purposes. After Matilda and her friend, Miss Georgina Urry, make Phoebe’s acquaintance, the three ladies find themselves unwillingly caught in a battle of words and hearts between an author and a poet with deadly intent. There is secrecy, danger, and love afoot!

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Murder in Bridal Lane

Murder in Bridal Lane

Miss Matilda Hayward has a wedding to plan and while ordering her bridal bouquet in Bridal Lane, she finds a note in her sample bouquet requesting a liaison. Innocently believing the note to be a mix-up, Matilda engages her brother, Daniel, to attend the liaison with her, but the young paramour rushes off. He is later found beaten and bruised in an alley off Bridal Lane by Matilda’s fiancé, Detective Thomas Ashdown, and his partner, Detective Harry Dart.
When a respected lacemaker is also found murdered in the same laneway, the note takes on a new significance. Matilda is assigned to write the obituary for the Women’s Journal with her illustrator friend, Miss Georgina Urry, and soon finds herself embroiled in danger in the middle of a murder case, much to her fiancé’s displeasure. There is mystery, danger, and love afoot before Matilda makes it to the altar!

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