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That's the story . . . Author Bernadette Joyce has released her fourth book, Detective Mitchell's Stories. PHOTO: HELEN HOLT

by Helen Holt

A Timaru author has released a new book of short stories set in her hometown.

Detective Mitchell’s Stories is Bernadette Joyce’s fourth book.

She said it was nice for people to read stories set in her hometown.

“I was born in Timaru, I live in Timaru, so it’s quite nice to have something in the area.”

The six short stories are crime mysteries with a bit of humour. Mrs Joyce said the readers would enjoy the banter between the detective and his wife.

The illustrations were designed by Lynette Melville, who incorporated Caroline Bay behind the cartoon detective on the front cover.

“I love that she added Timaru into the background,” Mrs Joyce said.

Mrs Joyce’s previous books – The Effects of Henry’s Cage: Elean’s Story, The Effects of Henry’s Cage: Roberta’s Story and Cargill’s Castle Revisited were all set in Dunedin.

Mr Joyce started writing when she was 65, having only written letters before.

“English wasn’t my subject at school. I was more into maths,” she said.

“After I turned 65, there was a wet day, so I sat down and started writing.

“I wanted to see if I could write. I’d always had in my head I wanted to write a novel.”

Mrs Joyce is a member of the writers’ club in Timaru, which she joined 19 years ago shortly after her writing journey began.

She wanted to improve her writing style, so she wrote a short story at every opportunity.

She began writing her latest book during a competition at the club, and finished the book during lockdown.

Club members supported her while she wrote the book, and helped her proofread it before it was published.