People who claim most accidents happen in the home have forgotten what school is like. Take it from me, most of them make the average suburban house seem about as dangerous as a padded cell. It's a miracle there aren't more deaths and disasters. At my school, Paradise Park, accidents happen more often than you'd believe possible.

But if I was planning a real crime in Paradise, there's one day of the year I'd choose. A day when students get away with murder. Muckup Day.


Ruth Starke

Ruth Starke has worked in public relations and travel marketing, and at a great variety of other jobs - of which the most interesting, she says, were selling French perfume in Harrods, cooking on the radio, taking tourists to Kashmir, and interviewing Grand Prix drivers. She turned to fiction writing in 1992, and since then has written over a dozen novels for young people, including the best-selling NIPS XI which was recently named Honour Book (Younger Readers) in the 2001 CBC Awards, The Twist in the Tale, winner of an Aurealis award, and Coming Out, a CBC Notable Book (1998). For a complete list of titles visit the Books section of this website. Ruth lives in Adelaide where she teaches English at Flinders University and creative writing at TAFE. She reviews for Viewpoint and Australian Book Review magazines, has been a judge for the National Festival Awards for Children's Literature since 1995, and is deputy chair of the South Australian Writers' Centre.

Country of Origin


Series: Mammoth Mystery

Year of Publication

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