Gerard Hardy’s Misfortune, the third in Dorothy Johnston’s sea-change mystery series, and her twelfth novel, was launched in Queenscliff by Janey Runci, Vice-President of the Henry Handel Richardson Society. Queenscliff’s historic Royal hotel is reputed to be haunted, but a bizarre murder in the hotel’s basement puts a decidedly eerie spin on things. The victim is an academic, obsessed with spiritualism, the tarot and the town’s most famous literary resident, Henry Handel Richardson. From the outset, the local knowledge and unorthodox methods of Queenscliff police officers, Chris Blackie and Anthea Merritt, are ridiculed by Geelong CIU’s bull-necked DI Masterson. And yet, hard-nosed police investigation practices seem ill-equipped to counter the other worldly influences at play.