Author(s): Gideon Haigh
As enigmatic in life as in death, Mollie Dean was a woman determined to transcend. Creatively ambitious and sexually precocious, at twenty-five she was a poet, aspiring novelist and muse on the peripheries of Melbourne's bohemian salons - until one night in 1930 she was brutally slain by an unknown killer in a laneway while walking home.
Her family was implicated. Those in her circle, including her acclaimed artist lover Colin Colahan, were shamed. Her memory was anxiously suppressed. Yet the mystery of her death rendered more mysterious her life and Mollie's story lingered, incorporated into memoir, literature, television, theatre and song, most notably in George Johnston's classic My Brother Jack.
In A Scandal in Bohemia, Gideon Haigh explodes the true crime genre with a murder story about life as well as death. Armed with only a single photograph and echoes of Mollie's voice, he has reassembled the precarious life of a talented woman without a room of her own - a true outsider, excluded by the very world that celebrated her in its art. In this work of restorative justice, Mollie Dean emerges as a tenacious, charismatic, independent woman for whom society had no place, and whom everybody tried to forget - but nobody could.
Gideon Haigh has been a journalist for more than three decades, has contributed to more than a hundred newspapers and magazines, published thirty-two books and edited seven others. The Office- A Hardworking History won the NSW Premier's Literary Award for Non-Fiction; On Warne was shortlisted for the Melbourne Prize for Literature; Certain Admissions won the 2016 Ned Kelly Award for True Crime; and Stroke of Genius- Victor Trumper and the Shot that Changed Cricket was shortlisted for the NSW Premier's Literary Award for Nonfiction. Gideon lives in Melbourne with his wife and daughter. Nobody has played more games for his cricket club - nor, perhaps, wanted to.