books and writing

A fan of mystery and detective stories…

since her childhood, Laraine embraced the creation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and has been a Sherlock Holmes tragic ever since. In 2009, she visited the Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland where the Great Detective met his (supposed) death at the hands of arch-villain, Moriarty.

She has combined her love of mystery stories with her love of history to create historical crime fiction in the form of the ‘Reggie da Costa Mysteries’.

THE DEATH MASK MURDERS. Published June 2021

Death is just a close shave away. It is February 1918. Somewhere in the bayside suburbs of Melbourne, the Death Mask Murderer is lurking, engaged in a ritualistic killing spree: shaving the heads of young women, strangling them and creating a gruesome memento of each in the form of a death mask.

As a wild storm batters Brighton, Emma Hart, an aspiring artist, and Max Rushforth, a shell-shocked ex-soldier, take refuge in the cellar of a derelict mansion, the killer’s lair and home to his sinister collection of plaster casts. With Max under the spotlight of the police investigation, Emma calls on the expertise of crime reporter, Reggie da Costa, and Dr Silas Bacon, an expert in death masks, to prove his innocence, unaware that she, too, is in the killer’s sights.

IN THE TOP 10 OF THESAURUS BOOKS, BRIGHTON IN MAY 2022:

DEADLY INTENT. Published May 2022

It is October 1923. What looks like a routine report, on the heavy rains battering Melbourne, becomes another case of murder for The Argus’s celebrated crime reporter, Reggie da Costa, devotee of fashionable suits and flamboyant automobiles. A flooded basement hides a ghastly secret: the decomposing remains of Cornelius Stout, a wealthy widower, who has been missing for over two years. With an unlikely partner in straitlaced Dotty Wright, Reggie pursues a cold-blooded, manipulative killer with deadly intentions.

A DEADLY GAME. To be published June 2023

It is 1925. Ruby Rhodes inherits the estate of her estranged identical twin sister, who has died in mysterious circumstances. But how could Katherine afford to buy a house, a motorcar, expensive jewellery and a wardrobe of the latest fashions on the wages of a museum assistant? And what about that large sum of money stashed under the floorboards? It appears that she was leading a double life, holding down a respectable job in the daytime, while at night she lived on the edge, frequenting the illegal gambling dens and risque social clubs of 1920s Melbourne. And was this why she died? With the assistance of the inimitable Reggie da Costa, Ruby must take on her sister’s identity, if she is to expose Katherine’s killer.

‘The Reggie da Costa Mysteries’ is being published by Level Best Books, Maryland, USA.