That’s where the peacocks come in. Her neighbours, Mr and Mrs Hudson, have lost their two peacocks (William Shakespeare and Virginia) again. ‘The Peacock Detective’ aka Cassie, found them last time and she is once more on the case.
Whenever there is a new clue, she jots it down in her notebook, collecting all manner of details in the hope they will lead her to the peacocks’ hideout and make for a good story. However, all this observation and note-taking leads her to discover quite a few unexpected things about her family.
Her older sister, Diana, is growing up rapidly. She isn’t into hide-and-seek any more, but she is into Buddhism. Cassie tries to keep up with the changes in her sister’s life and moods but it’s not easy, especially when she starts to sleep outside in a tent!
Her dad is also changing. He has been quiet and sad more often than usual. When Cassie discovers he is visiting ‘The Clinic’, a hospital for your brain and not your body, she doesn’t know what to think.
Everything begins to unravel when Cassie’s mum moves out – her simple life of cooking with mum and talking books with dad along with laughter-filled family holidays now seems in jeopardy. On top of all of this her best friend, Jonas, is acting strangely and her beloved grandpa isn’t well.
Like her dad Cassie wants to retreat from all the hard things but if she doesn’t find the courage to help the important people in her life what will happen to them?
Set in a small town based on Australian author Carly Nugent’s hometown of Bright, in Victoria, The Peacock Detectives takes Cassie on an adventure that she never expected, helping her understand her friends and family a lot more and starts her on the journey to becoming an author.
This is a heart-warming, coming of age story that deals with many of the big issues in a very insightful way. Young aspiring writers will love this story and Nugent has followed her own advice on writing about what you know – she grew up across the road from a holiday park where two pet peacocks lived!
Carly Nugent lives in Bright in Victoria. Her short fiction has featured in numerous publications, including theBellevue Literary Review and Award Winning Australian Writing. The Peacock Detectives is her first novel.