A murder mystery and comedy of manners that is never what it seems.
When brothers Arcadia and Otto Cirque arrive in a fading gold-mining town with their travelling circus, Saturnalia, the town and the life of young Mary Ann Ward will never be the same. Months later, the flamboyant Arcadia Cirque is found dead, a pregnant Marianne Ward goes missing and Otto Cirque sets off in pursuit of her.
These dramatic events echo down the decades to Mrs Ivorie Hammer, who is dealing with her own problems. Pregnant and vexed by recent catastrophic events in her home town, she discovers that her own origins are not as she thought. As the small community of Pitch is scandalized by several mysterious deaths and disappearances, it is Ivorie’s secret history that holds the key to the truth.
The Inheritance of Ivorie Hammer is an imaginative epic that weaves together a Dickensian sense of mystery, colourful characters and a township at social war with itself. It is a unique and playful literary novel that announces the arrival of a dynamic new Australian writing talent.