Freja will be making some wonderful new friends: Frau Neiderhauser, a pleasantly plump chocolatier who appears to spend more time eating chocolate delicacies than creating them; Manfred, a stuffy concierge with a heart of gold and a spirit of adventure; Her Berna, a chocolate maker who dreams of being coated in milk chocolate and placed in the market square as a statue; and the ever cheerful Lady P, who is bandaged from head to toe after a nasty fall from a cliff.
Then, of course, there’s a mystery to be solved. A chocolate mystery involving chocolate crimes. Serious chocolate crimes.
And, finally, Freja will be reunited with her mother Clementine and the true identity of Tobias Appleby will be revealed.
Did you spend time in Lucerne when writing this book?
Unfortunately, no. I tried to convince my publisher that she should send me to Lucerne for research, but she politely said, ‘No way!’.
I had been to Lucerne many years ago, so I refreshed my memory of this beautiful city by reading travel books and travel blogs, looking at photos, and using Google Maps to do street walks around the city.
I also made the setting feel more real by eating Swiss food – chocolate, apple strudel, sausages, schnitzels and cheese. Although, upon reflection, I probably didn’t need to eat quite so much chocolate and cheese…
For readers who haven’t yet delved into the wonderful world of Freja, Clementine, Tobias and now Vivi what would you tell them they are missing out on?
A rollicking travel adventure that involves crime, mystery, romance, literature, food, nature, action, comedy and dog slobber. Sometimes there’s a bit of travel misadventure, too. Tobias is extremely clumsy and absent-minded and he and Freja become entangled in some awkward and scary situations.
Where will your next travel adventure be to, and will you write about that in another book?
I’m planning to travel to Romania and Bulgaria next year. I’m telling everyone that I’m going for the mountains, but really, I’m hoping to meet some vampires. And if I do, I will certainly write about it in a book.
You’re obviously an animal lover. Could you recommend some of you favourite animal books from childhood?
The only fictional animal book I can remember really loving was Clifford the Big Red Dog. I adored Clifford and dreamt of owning an enormous dog I could ride around the neighbourhood. It would be so much cooler than riding my bike.
I owned a lot of non-fiction books about dogs and used to spend hours poring over the photographs. If my parents had allowed it, I would have owned one of every breed, and a dozen old English sheepdogs.
As an adult, I discovered Winnie the Pooh and wondered why nobody ever read this to me as a child. It’s the best animal book ever written. Possibly the best of all books ever written!
Finally, how close are you to achieving your goal of having a pig called Harold?
Hmmm. That’s a complicated and emotional issue.
There are free range pigs living near my place. They are magnificent beasts – large, fat and spotty. But I cannot help noticing the state of their paddock. It’s dug up, turned over and mashed into a boggy mess. Those pigs are either hunting for truffles that they can’t find, or they’re having an identity crisis and think they’re moles. I don’t want my paddocks to look like that.
I have considered a micro pig. A teensy-weensy piggy couldn’t make much of a mess. But we have wedge-tail eagles around here and, call me a wimp, but the idea of little Harold snuffling happily about the lawn one minute, then being carried away through the clouds the next, makes me feel icky.
So you can see my dilemma. Do I get mega Harold and turn my property into a quagmire, or do I get mini Harold and know that I may only have the pleasure of his company for a week or two?
Feel free to write to me at [email protected]with your opinion.
Purchase a copy of The Girl, the Dog and the Writer in Lucerne | Read our review | Read an extract
Katrina Nannestad is an award-winning Australian author. Her books include The Girl Who Brought Mischief, the Girl, the Dog and the Writer series, the Olive of Groves series, the Red Dirt Diaries series, the Lottie Perkins series and Bungaloo Creek.
Katrina grew up in country New South Wales in a neighbourhood stuffed full of happy children. Her adult years have been spent teaching, raising boys, perfecting her recipe for chocolate-chip bickies and pursuing her love of stories. She now lives near Bendigo with her family and an exuberant black whippet called Olive.