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Veteran Sydney journalist Robin Adair has had a wide and colourful career at the Daily and Sunday Telegraphs, the Australian Financial Review and the ABC. For many years he reflected on the lighter side of life in a humorous column for the Australian Women’s Weekly. He has been a lifelong student of early colonial history, especially police, pubs, crime and punishment. One of his ancestors was an early Sydney police superintendent; he believes another was a London judge who sent many convicts to Australia. His first novel, Death and the Running Patterer, won the inaugural Penguin’s Most Wanted competition for new Australian crime fiction and was short-listed in the Best First Fiction category of the 2010 Ned Kelly Awards.