The Rat Catcher: A Love Story, coming 5 April 2022, from Brio Books

I’m very excited to report that my new novella, The Rat Catcher: A Love Story, is on the way. Here’s a blurbly blurb for it:

In the sweltering summer of 1900, young wharf labourer Patrick O’Reilly is down on his luck in the slums of Sydney and homesick for Tralee. When a deadly outbreak of plague descends on the city, O’Reilly’s daydreaming mind is miles away – in the golden hair and kindly, confident air of a girl called Rosie Hughes.

Just as he’s wondering why any girl would want a no-hoper like him, opportunity knocks with the offer of a job as a rat catcher working for the city’s Plague Department, containing the spread of disease. But the job will bring him a lot more than a pay rise and a swift education on traps and poisons.

In the Public Lending Library, on the top floor of the Queen Victoria Building, above the bustling centre of Sydney, he comes face-to-face with a legendary rat called Old Scratch who will change the way he understands himself and the world forever.

Drawn from Kim Kelly’s own trove of Irish-Australian family lore, The Rat Catcher: A Love Story is a mischievous, fast-paced fable told with her trademark compassion, a sharp eye on the epic in the ordinary, and an irrepressible love for life, in all its marvellous forms.

No word of a lie! If you like the sound of it, the paperback can be preordered now here.


Wild Chicory available now on the Audible Plus Catalogue.

For Audible members, the audiobook edition of Wild Chicory can now be downloaded at no charge or extra credit – that is, free! Find the audiobook here, and information about Audible Plus here.