Murder mystery on the East Coast

The finished product

The finished product

Wairoa woman Margie Sullivan, who works under the pen name Rita Ann Ryan, has been writing novels for 20 to 30 years but has only recently decided to finish one.

“I’ve been fiddling with writing fiction for a long time but finally decided last year to do something about it,” she says.

“I tried a lot of different kinds of things but in the end I decided to write the book that I would like to read.”

For the Michael Robotham, P. D. James and Louise Penny fan, that book was bound to be a crime novel.

Sullivan describes the work, which was supported by a Margaret King Spencer Writers Encouragement Trust grant, as a murder mystery, with elements of financial fraud and political issues.

“It’s set in the present day in a fictitious seaside village but very much an East Coast one.”

A Confidential Agreement follows psychologist Frida Delaney, who is thrust into a world of murder and fraud when she returns home to find her neighbour’s bloodied body.

“There are a lot of people with a whole lot of secrets they don’t want to be revealed,” says Sullivan.

The novel has received five star reviews on Amazon.com, with one verified user commenting, “What a great read. Twists and turns around every corner. Rita did an amazing job capturing characters from every quintessential beachside town in New Zealand. Was hard to put down.”

Having started her writing career as a journalist for the Wairoa Star, Sullivan has a keen eye for facts, and made sure her work was a realistic portrayal of small town New Zealand.

“Having been a journalist, you definitely want to bring some authenticity to the book,” she says.

New Zealand might not have the highest rate of murder in the world, but Sullivan says that does not bear any relation to the number of murder-crime writers in the country.

“There are actually a lot of New Zealand crime writers who do really well internationally,” she says.

“There were 42 New Zealand crime fiction books published last year.”

A lot of the inspiration for Sullivan’s work has been from first-hand experiences, including her work with Wairoa’s Primary Health Organisation.

However, she assures, all real life stories have been kept purely confidential.

Sullivan hopes to make the crime novel into a series, with the next episode expected in March of this year.

Wairoa woman Margie Sullivan, who works under the pen name Rita Ann Ryan, has been writing novels for 20 to 30 years but has only recently decided to finish one.

“I’ve been fiddling with writing fiction for a long time but finally decided last year to do something about it,” she says.

“I tried a lot of different kinds of things but in the end I decided to write the book that I would like to read.”

For the Michael Robotham, P. D. James and Louise Penny fan, that book was bound to be a crime novel.

Sullivan describes the work, which was supported by a Margaret King Spencer Writers Encouragement Trust grant, as a murder mystery, with elements of financial fraud and political issues.

“It’s set in the present day in a fictitious seaside village but very much an East Coast one.”

A Confidential Agreement follows psychologist Frida Delaney, who is thrust into a world of murder and fraud when she returns home to find her neighbour’s bloodied body.

“There are a lot of people with a whole lot of secrets they don’t want to be revealed,” says Sullivan.

The novel has received five star reviews on Amazon.com, with one verified user commenting, “What a great read. Twists and turns around every corner. Rita did an amazing job capturing characters from every quintessential beachside town in New Zealand. Was hard to put down.”

Having started her writing career as a journalist for the Wairoa Star, Sullivan has a keen eye for facts, and made sure her work was a realistic portrayal of small town New Zealand.

“Having been a journalist, you definitely want to bring some authenticity to the book,” she says.

New Zealand might not have the highest rate of murder in the world, but Sullivan says that does not bear any relation to the number of murder-crime writers in the country.

“There are actually a lot of New Zealand crime writers who do really well internationally,” she says.

“There were 42 New Zealand crime fiction books published last year.”

A lot of the inspiration for Sullivan’s work has been from first-hand experiences, including her work with Wairoa’s Primary Health Organisation.

However, she assures, all real life stories have been kept purely confidential.

Sullivan hopes to make the crime novel into a series, with the next episode expected in March of this year.

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