Burning the Evidence

About the book

The year is 1809. Sydney and New Zealand lie at the very end of the world, places ripe with double-dealing, cheating, swindling and death. Ann Morley is at the centre if this turbulence. Once a convict but now a woman of means, she can no loger stay in Sydney. Her journey back to England in the sailing ship Boyd takes her via New Zealand, and plunges her into an adventure she could never have dreamed of, an extraordinary tale of blood, sex and violence. And the story is true.

When the news breaks of what has happened to the Boyd near the Bay of Islands, New Zealand becomes the most dangerous place on earth. No ships dare call there. Ann finds herself at the hart of tribal ritual and rhythms. Feisty and quick-witted though she is, Ann must draw on all her courage and determination to try to win through.

About the author

Terri Kessell is a social historian who teaches in Auckland. Her special interest is in the early contact period of Maori and European in the late 18th century and into the first years of the 19th century. She has a degree in history from the University of Auckland, and lives across the harbour in Devonport.


Based on a true incident. Ann Morley, once a convict but now a woman of means, journeys from Australia back to England via New Zealand on the sailing ship Boyd, and what happens as Maori and Europeans clash.