My name is Joanna Baker. I live in Albury and Hobart, and I write murder mysteries.



The Beechworth Novels

I have a trilogy for young adults, set in North Eastern Victoria.  They are: Devastation Road, The Elsinore Vanish and Evermore.

Devastation Road won the Sisters in Crime Davitt Award for best young adult novel, and was reviewed in The Age, by Jane Sullivan as “an outstanding first novel,” so I hope you enjoy it.



In 2018, Devastation Road and The Elsinore Vanish will become available in paperback and ebook, with Evermore following soon after.

The Tasmanian Novels

I also have two novels for adults, The Slipping Place,  set in Hobart, and Sleeping Cold, set on Bruny Island. These are to be published very soon, so please keep an eye out for them. 

And you will find a couple of short stories scattered about the place.

No, I mean literally. Little booklets. In coffee shops.

On these pages …

you’ll find some details of my novels and, soon there’ll be notes for reading groups and study guides and other material.

In the blog I’ll be posting thoughts about murder mysteries and why I take them seriously. That’ll be mostly based on the hours of reading I did for my PhD at RMIT.

I’ll also explore the work of two of the greats (who are, of course, great in very  different ways): Agatha Christie and P. D. James.

I use both the terms ‘detective fiction’ and ‘murder mysteries’.  There are many different ways of defining these terms and there are subtle distinctions that can be made. But for the purposes of general discussion, without getting bogged down into fine theoretical detail, I use the terms interchangeably. I define what I mean in this post.

Murder Mysteries are not Trivial

The thing is, I have an abiding enthusiasm for murder mysteries. I don’t think they’re junk literature. I take them very seriously, and hopefully on these pages I’ll be able to explain why. I’d love some responses. I’d love a conversation.

But that’s enough for now …

except for this …

Joanna Baker2

Hope you like the site.

* (Just as a footnote, I might as well mention my other site, devoted to thoughts about Tasmania with occasional discussion of why I think provides suitable settings for mysteries. It’s called Tasmania Recherche. *

I also have two sites for young people, Light Up the Pagewhich offers writing tips, and The Pain-Free Essay, which is … well it’s pretty clear what that’s about.)