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Books, Birds and Boots

Desmond Collins

Secret rooms, hidden treasure...

In the early nineteenth century, New Zealand was established as the most remote colony of the British Empire. Land was bought and sometimes stolen from resident Maori tribes to establish settlements. Wellington, later to become the capital city, was first settled by Europeans in 1840. During the remainder of the nineteenth century, the city grew rapidly onto the surrounding hills.

Today, the inner suburbs still contain many wooden villas and cottages built during that Victorian era. Many of the builders and early owners are unknown and later owners doing repairs and renovations sometimes discover secrets from the past hidden within their homes.

This story describes three generations of a Wellington family and the effect on their lives from some very surprising discoveries.

Paperback  |   Hardback   |   eBook


Desmond Collins has lived most of his life in or near Wellington, New Zealand. He enjoys the steep bush clad hills and landlocked harbour that dominate the city. The air is fresh and the wind frequently gusts over fifty miles per hour. He currently lives in a Victorian cottage that was built in 1880. The garden is packed with fruit trees, flowering plants and vegetables in a scene reminiscent of a somewhat unkempt English cottage garden. While the house has been modified, many of its original features remain. Recent renovation of the house by the author and his wife revealed a hidden space big enough for a priest hole that is now used to store suitcases. The finding of this space provided the final impetus for writing this story.