A Voyage, A Bride, and a Mystery

The Case of the Missing Bride

Carmen Radtke

It was supposed to be the start of a happy, new life …
1862 - a group of young Australian women set sail for matrimony in Canada.
Their presence is withheld from the male passengers and all but a select few
members of the crew. But their worlds collide when one of the gentlemen
stumbles over the women.
When one of the intended brides goes missing, only Alyssa Chalmers, the
one educated, wealthy woman in the group, is convinced the disappearance
is no accident. She sets out to find out what happened.
Has there been a murder?
Alyssa is willing to move heaven and earth to find out the truth. She is about
to discover that there is more to her voyage into the unknown than she bargained for ...
Inspired by a true event l

Book Excerpt or Article

From The Case of the Missing Bride - it’s 1862, and a group of young women are on their way across the ocean to be married.

Matron clapped twice. ‘Hush now,’ she said. ‘You have three cabins to share, which is more than enough space to accommodate you all. We’ll now be shown to our quarters and tomorrow you’ll receive a medical examination, which is nothing to worry about, I promise. Afterwards I’ll select three girls who will act as my helpers and take on responsibility for their roommates.’ She raised her right hand to quell any chatter. ‘I’ll attend every examination, of course, and Dr Bryson will behave with the utmost decorum, as will all of you. Doctor?’
He gave them all a quick smile that stopped short of his eyes. ‘There’s one more thing I’d like to mention,’ he said. ‘Whenever any of you feels unwell and wishes to consult me, always go to see Matron McKenzie first. We must, at all times, observe propriety.’
How Alyssa hated that word. If not for the idiotic rules of society, she’d be free to go where she pleased and do what she wanted. The doctor had it easy. He wasn’t forced to knuckle under to matron’s authority as their guardian, or to lie to secure passage on a boat. Frown lines wrinkled her forehead. She smoothed them away. Smile, she told herself, smile and soon I’ll be free.

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Carmen has spent most of her life with ink on her fingers and a dangerously high pile of books and newspapers by her side.

She has worked as a newspaper reporter on two continents and always dreamt of becoming a novelist and screenwriter.

When she found herself crouched under her dining table, typing away on a novel between two earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand, she realised she was hooked for life.

The shaken but stirring novel “Walking in the Shadow”, set in 1909, made it to the longlist of the Mslexia competition, and her next book and first mystery, The Case Of The Missing Bride, was a finalist in the Malice Domestic competition in a year without a winner and nominated for a CWA Historical Dagger.

Carmen now lives in York, UK, where she is busy acting as cat servant and in between pens more historical fiction.

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