BOHAN, Edmund (1935 - ) is an historian and fiction writer who is a leading authority on 19th century New Zealand political history. He is also a former professional singer who, during a long career of over forty years, sang all over the world and released a number of commercial recordings. Bohan's first published books, written while he was touring Britain as a singer, were historical novels for junior readers, The Writ of Green Wax (1990), and The Buckler (1972). During his time in the UK he was also commissioned to write a centennial history of the Incorporated Society of Musicians The First Hundred Years (1982). On his return to New Zealand in 1987 Bohan decided to devote more time to writing and historical research. The first book published after his return was the acclaimed biography Edward Stafford: New Zealand's First Statesman (1994). The Daily Telegraph writes: "The book is essential reading for all interested in New Zealand history, philosophy or politics." The Nelson Evening Mail describes it as "a tour de force, one of the finest political biographies of the last decade."
August 1879. Christchurch is in the grip of election fever and the excitement generated by the visiting Lowry Opera Company. Then a body is discovered in the Heathcote River. Enveloped in the intrigue and horror caused by this grisly find is a complex cast of characters, each driven by spectres from the past, sexual desires or private delusions. Through their midst stalks the austere, enigmatic police detective Sergeant O'Rorke, ex-Pinkerton man and outsider, who is driven by his own inflexible moral imperatives. And in the background are the unruly mobs of the polling day riots and the politely cultured leaders of 'Society'. The Opawa Affair is a story of obsessions, illusions and hypocrisy. It is both a Victorian murder-mystery melodrama and a comedy of nineteenth century colonial manners, complex in construction and ironical in tone.