Sleuths, Lies & Alibis

Tracey Hawkins

Your Presenter: Tracey Hawkins

Workshop Method: zoom
Date: March 21, 2021
Price: $50

Want to solve the mystery of how to write a Detective/Secret Agent story for kids? In this workshop, you’ll learn about investigative procedures: fingerprinting, DNA, hair fibres, crime scene disturbance and alibis.

Does your character have a sidekick, how do they communicate, where is their HQ, what cool gadgets could they use to solve crimes, how will they interview witnesses?

Award-winning author and ex-Fed, Tracey Hawkins will help you unravel the clues to discover your plot.

Workshop outline

Outline of the role of a Sleuth/Detective/Spy/Secret Agent – their investigative procedure and activity in a mystery or crime.

Investigation as a sleuth

Code names/gadgets.
Particular skill set eg good with numbers, puzzles, photographic memory, Morse code etc.

Motive for the Mystery

What is the crime or mission?
(discovery of maps/old belongings that involve a secret/ mystery.)
Or a death that was never resolved?
Sudden disappearance of someone/pet whatever.

Setting for the story – eg: staying with an elderly relative/eccentric Aunt or Uncle who have a large rambling house and access to bush/forest/water for interesting twists and scenarios.
How to commit a crime and cover evidence.

Sleuths & Spies

Are they working alone?
Do they have a sidekick?
How do they communicate? (walkie talkie/phones/secret coded messages?)
Do they have a HQ? (Cubby/tree house)

How to break down the investigation

Get the basic facts.
Speak to witnesses.
Research and investigate the crime and events leading to it.
Clues – how to mislead the reader.

Crime scenes & how to create/evaluate & investigate them

Sketches/photographs of scene.
Fingerprints and footprints.
Fibres – DNA.
Crime scene disturbance – entry and exit points/broken locks and windows.

Witnesses and Alibis-Bin day, gardeners, nosy neighbours, postman.
Calendar appointments not attended.
Disturbance of dust/cobwebs/marks from shifted items.
Missing vehicle/bikes/scooters – get away transport.
Missing tools/pets etc.
Hidden cameras/telephone bugs/baby monitors for hearing conversations.

What does the Investigator/Spy need?

Mobile phones/Ipads/computer/GoPro/Drone etc.
Invisible Ink.
Fingerprint kit.
Evidence plastic bags for collection of things at crime scenes.
Mirror glasses.
Metal detector.


How to unravel a web of lies and falsehoods.
Set a trap, discover the truth.

And so much more..

Session information
Sunday, 21 March 2021 4.00pm – 5.30pm (Syd time)
Tickets go on sale 9.00am 9 February.
Spots are limited for this online workshop.
$50 per person.

About Tracey Hawkins

Tracey Hawkins is an award-winning author of children’s books and adult non-fiction works. She has lived in the Australian Capital Territory since 1983, where she formerly worked as a Policewoman with the Australian Federal Police Force, and raised her family.

Tracey writes for children of all age groups. Her books include stories about monsters, wild adventures, being lost in Alaska, sports, ocean adventures, history, and her favourite- mystery.

Hidden beneath her stairs, Tracey keeps a secret stash of skeletons, and an interesting collection of fake arms, legs and hearts for her crime workshops for children.


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