It's Broadway in Reefton, the new, booming 1870s gold town.
Suspiciously, Gordon Trembath, a naive young police constable has been left in charge over Christmas and New Year. He is immediately faced with investigating a murder carried out by sly-groggers in the valley.
In the meantime, the town has been invaded by "a collection of scamps, card sharps, liars and chats who have come to town for the pickings available in the holiday season."
Among them is Duke Dixon, a Yankee con-man and gambler determined to carry out a swindle to empty the pockets and bags of gold of the unsuspecting citizens of Reefton.
How will the young policeman deal with so many problems, including more murders - in this story of the gold rush frontier?
Quirkly written tale of 1870's gold rush New Zealand, with more than enough parallels with local history to make this believable and entertaining reading. Central character Gordon Trembath, is a young, inexperienced police constable, stuck with being the only one on duty over the Christmas / New Year summer break. Whilst he's dealing with a murder executed by sly-groggers in the nearby valley, the town has been overrun with holiday petty crooks - card sharps, liars, cheats and scammers come to fleece the incoming holiday makers of anything they can get their hands on.
A crowded time in a young policeman's life, made even more complicated as the murder rate rises and the frontier side of the gold rush town becomes more and more apparent. A good little tale, told in a light-hearted manner with styling quirks that will work for some readers, and instantly annoy others, MURDER ON BROADWAY has a great sense of the timeframe, and setting, and provides a glimpse into some shared history between New Zealand and, in particular, this reader's part of Australia. If you're in the market for something a little bit different with that historical perspective, then it's worth having a look at.