Mandragora is the story of four old curses that destroyed a 19th century sailing ship, the Dunarling, and most of her passengers and crew. A hundred years later four teenagers uncover the objects that carried the curses — and the evil starts again, but this time in the small coastal town that bears the name of the doomed ship. Adam Hardy, with help from Catriona Chisholm, begins to unravel details of the curses that taunted and terrified both passengers and crew during Dunarling’s fatal voyage from Scotland to Australia.
But Adam is distracted from these important discoveries by his growing attraction to Catriona. Then all too slowly he realises it’s the wrong time to take his mind off what he is finding out.
Mandragora is two intertwining teenage love stories, but a hundred years apart. It’s also a tale of demonology, danger and deceit — and deduction.
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About the Author
David McRobbie was born in Glasgow in 1934. After an apprenticeship he joined the Merchant Navy as a marine engineer and sailed the world, or some of it. Eventually he worked his passage to Australia, got married and settled down for a bit only to move to Papua New Guinea where he trained as a teacher.
Subsequently he found work as a college lecturer, then a researcher for parliament. Back in Australia in 1974 he joined the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as a producer of radio and television programs for young people.
In 1990 he gave up this work to become a full time writer for children and young adults. He has written over thirty paperbacks, mainly novels, but some are collections of short stories, plays and ‘how-to’ books on creative writing.
Three of his novels were adapted for television, with David writing all of the sixty-five scripts — the first being The Wayne Manifesto in 1996, followed by Eugénie Sandler, PI then Fergus McPhail. These shows were broadcast throughout the world, including Australia and Britain on BBC and ITV.
The BBC adapted another of David’s novels for television — See How They Run, which became the first BBC/ABC co-production.
At the age of 79, David is still at work. His most recent paperback novels are Vinnie’s War, (Allen & Unwin) published in 2011, about childhood evacuation in the second world war. This was followed by To Brave The Seas, in 2013, a story about a 14-year-old boy who sails in Atlantic convoys during WW2. Both books are available online.