About The Unmourned
For Robert Church, superintendent of the Parramatta Female Factory, the most enjoyable part of his job is access to young convict women. Inmate Grace O’Leary has made it her mission to protect the women from his nocturnal visits and when Church is murdered with an awl thrust through his right eye, she becomes the chief suspect.
Recently arrived from Port Macquarie, ticket-of-leave gentleman convict Hugh Monsarrat now lives in Parramatta with his ever-loyal housekeeper Mrs Mulrooney. Monsarrat, as an unofficial advisor on criminal and legal matters to the governor’s secretary, is tasked with uncovering the truth of Church’s murder. Mrs Mulrooney accompanies him to the Female Factory, where he is taking depositions from prisoners, including Grace, and there the housekeeper strikes up friendships with certain women, which prove most intriguing.
Monsarrat and Mrs Mulrooney both believe that Grace is innocent, but in this they are alone, so to exonerate her they must find the murderer. Many hated Church and are relieved by his death, but who would go as far as killing him?
About Meg Keneally
Meg Keneally started her working life as a junior public afairs officer at the Australian Consulate-General in New York, before moving to Dublin to work as a sub-editor and freelance features writer. On returning to Australia, she joined The Daily Telegraph as a general news reporter, covering everything from courts to crime to animals’ birthday parties at the zoo. She then joined Radio 2UE as a talkback radio producer.
In 1997 Meg co-founded a financial service public relations company, which she sold after having her first child. For more than ten years Meg has worked in corporate affairs for listed financial services companies, and doubles as a part-time SCUBA diving instructor.
About Tom Keneally
Tom Keneally won the Booker Prize in 1982 with Schindler’s Ark, later made into the Steven Spielberg Academy Award-winning film Schindler’s List. His non-fiction includes the memoir Searching for Schindler and Three Famines, an LA Times Book of the Year, and the histories The Commonwealth of Thieves, The Great Shame and American Scoundrel. His fiction includes Napoleon’s Last Island, Shame and the Captives, The Daughters of Mars, The Widow and Her Hero (shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award), An Angel in Australia and Bettany’s Book.
His novels The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Gossip from the Forest, and Confederates were all shortlisted for the Booker Prize, while Bring Larks and Heroes and Three Cheers for the Paraclete won the Miles Franklin Award. The People’s Train was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize, South East Asia division.
About Rosamund Burton
Rosamund Burton was born in Ireland, and grew up in England. Having worked as an actress in Dublin and London (1982–1989), and as Publications Manager for England’s first left-wing think-tank (1990–1994) she came to Australia to join the organising team for the Mind Body Spirit Sydney Festival (1995–2001). For three and a half years she headed this small team as the General Manager.
From 2000 to 2005 she was both a story contributor and presenter for the weekly alternative health program Panacea on 2SER Community Radio.
Since 2001 Rosamund has worked as a freelance journalist.