Author(s): Tony Matthews
What would have been going through the mind of the SS Gothenburg's captain when he realized that his beautiful ship - laden with gold, was heading straight for the bottom of the sea? These extraordinary stories and many more are described vividly in Murder, Mystery & Massacre - Chilling Stories from our Pioneering Past. There are astonishing stories of murder, shipwreck, lost treasure, disasters, intriguing mysteries and even real life 'whodunits' that will leave you gasping with surprise. From the beautiful to the bizarre and from great sadness to great joy, Australian author Tony Matthews has brought to life a rich selection of astonishing true stories from the colourful and controversial days of early Australia.
Tony Matthews was born in Swansea, South Wales, where he was educated at the independent school, Clevedon College. He subsequently travelled extensively through the Middle East, Africa, Asia and much of the Caribbean while continuing his tertiary education externally. In 1972, after almost a year in the West Indies, particularly at the beautiful colonial city of Port of Spain, Trinidad, he arrived in Australia where he soon totally immersed himself in his writing career. He worked in the television industry for many years, writing, producing and directing, and during that time wrote a number of highly acclaimed historical documentaries which were broadcast on the Seven Network and ABC Television. His first book, This Dawning Land, followed in 1986. Since then Dr Matthews has become a full-time author and has written more than thirty published books, thirteen television documentaries and approximately five hundred programs for ABC Radio and community radio stations around Australia. His second book, Crosses, Australian Soldiers in the Great War, which was also published by Boolarong, remained on Queensland's best-selling list for thirteen consecutive weeks following its release in 1987. A number of Tony's regional histories, including Landscapes of Change, a History of the South Burnett, have been received with warm acclaim from academic institutions such as the Australian National University in Canberra. A copy of this history is now on deposit with the Bodleian Library at Oxford University and copies of several of his other works are held by the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. In 2004 his twin volume history of the Chinchilla Shire, Footsteps Through Time, was awarded a 'Special Mention' in the Australian Cultural Studies Awards, for, 'an outstanding contribution to Australian culture'. A third volume of Chinchilla's history followed in 2009. Dr Matthews' books and articles have been published in Australia, England, the United States and New Zealand and his television documentaries are widely distributed to schools, universities, colleges and libraries across Australia. One of his books, Shadows Dancing, which was originally published in England and America, was translated and released in Czechoslovakia in 2005. It was re-released in London under the title: Spies for Nippon in November 2010.
Chapter 1 - Capture the Caledonia, Chapter 2 - The Pine River Killings, Chapter 3 - The Strange Disappearance of Benjamin Boyd, Chapter 4 - From Gold Diggers to Pirates, Chapter 5 - The Fever Ship Killer, Chapter 6 - Tigers in Red Shirts, Chapter 7 - The Fiery Fiery Star, Chapter 8 - The Attempted Assassination of the Under Colonial Secretary, Chapter 9 - The Simon Zieman Whodunit, Chapter 10 - The Gothenburg Disaster, Chapter 11 - Justifiable Homicide, Chapter 12 - Disaster at Creswick, Chapter 13 - The Killing of Bridget Rice, Chapter 14 - The Ship Destined to Die, Chapter 15 - The Hanging of Ellen Thompson, Chapter 16 - Murder by Sacrifice