New Zealand was supposed to be a model society at the end of the world, a utopia for 'men and women of good character' who were willing to work hard for a better life. And, for most, so it proved. But this book is about the others - the misfits, the swindlers, the fallen women, the love rats, the escaped convicts, the hoaxers, the charlatans, the highwaymen, the mass murderers - from the earliest days of European settlement to the present day.
Law Breakers and Mischief Makers gives the scandalous details of those who've made a name for themselves in New Zealand for all the wrong reasons. Take for example, Charlotte Badger, a pistol-wielding English thief who launched a mutiny on a Tasmanian convict ship in 1806 and sailed over to hide among the Maori of the Bay of Islands, and Amy Bock, a con woman who masqueraded as a wealthy man to marry the daughter of her landlady in 1909.
Some of the people featured in this book are monsters, some are merely rascals, but all make fascinating reading. A lot of the people featured in it have somewhat disappeared into the mists of time and readers will be surprised at the shady characters in this country's past.