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  • Hachette Australia
  • Hachette Australia
  • Hachette Australia

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

Tanya Bretherton

2 Reviews

Rated 0

True crime

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2018 NED KELLY AWARD, DANGER PRIZE AND WAVERLEY LIBRARY NIB

SYDNEY, 1923: a suitcase washed up on a harbourside beach reveals its grisly contents - and from there, an extraordinary story unfolds.

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2018 NED KELLY AWARD, DANGER PRIZE AND WAVERLEY LIBRARY NIB

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.

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Praise 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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5 Minutes With...Tanya Bretherton

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The Shocking Secrets of The Suitcase Baby

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5 Minutes With...Tanya Bretherton

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Tanya Bretherton

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.

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