A BOOK about the murder of a woman and her illegitimate child near Edenhope almost 140 years ago sold out before its launch at Rupanyup Show on Wednesday.
Rupanyup-based author John Henry Ellen said ‘The True Story of the Maryvale Murders and the Langley Family Ghost’ went to press late last month.
He gave 20 copies to Edenhope and District Historical Society to sell. “They have sold out already,” he said.
He distributed a further 20 to Horsham’s Redrock Books and Gallery, which have also been sold.
“I know for a fact that people are already queueing up for a copy,” he said.
The Langley family has ordered 200 copies of the book for their family reunion next year. Copies will also be available online on sites such as Amazon in December.
Mr Ellen said the book had also been ordered by two readers overseas – one in America, the other in France.
He said the story appealed for many reasons: it involved a crime, a mystery, a family and history.
“It was very well researched by the Langley family and Geoff Langsworth of Edenhope and District Historical Society,” Mr Ellen said.
“All I had to do was put on the icing, as it were.”
He said the book also provided an insight into the Wimmera’s history.
Then, there is the story’s supernatural side.
“When a bushfire went through the area a few years ago, every bush was razed except her tree, where Maria and her child’s bodies were found,” Mr Ellen said.
“The Langley family really believes there is a ghost protecting their remains.”
Mr Ellen said people could email him at email@example.com for details about the book.