'Sydney in 1944, the tide is turning in the Pacific War and American forces have made Sydney a gaudy, hectic garrison town. The gamblers and "good time charlies" converge on the South Pacific Hotel, one of Sydney's finest.
The heart of the hotel is the bustling beauty salon run by the cool professional Claire (Lisa Harrow), who hides a guilty secret; Deb (Kerry Armstrong,) who has a pre-war marriage and a wartime alternative; and Guinea (Rebecca Gibney), whose 'good war' is not what it seems.
Come in Spinner is the story of one week in their lives, as they play the game of chance for the highest stakes...survival, security and the opportunity for happiness and love.'
Source: ABC Commercial website http://www.abc.net.au/abccontentsales/s1475926.htm (Sighted 27/03/12)
In October 1945 the Sydney Daily Telegraph announced that it was offering one thousand pounds sterling for a novel written by an Australian in Australia. The winning manuscript was to be serialised by the newspaper and published as a book in Australia and overseas. When rival newspaper the Sydney Morning Herald countered with a competition offering two thousand pounds sterling, the closing date for entries was extended until 30 October 1946.
On the day the competition closed, a manuscript 'Unabated Spring', by `Sydney Wyborne', was entered and was the majority choice of the judges. In August 1947 Wyborne received a telegram summoning him to see the editor of the Daily Telegraph. A fortnight later Wyborne was unmasked as a female partnership consisting of Florence James, and Dymphna Cusack but editor Brian Penton announced that 'Unabated Spring' (re-named 'Come in Spinner') was the prize-winner After further delays, the two women writers were informed in May 1948 that the prize was theirs and the book was to be set immediately. But still the matter was far from resolved. The authors clashed with Consolidated Press over the length of the manuscript, and it was not until August 1948 that a contract was signed and the prize money was paid.
Come in Spinner was finally published in 1951 by Heinemann.
(Source: Bridget Griffen-Foley, 'Re-visiting to :Mystery of a Novel Contest": The Daily Telegraph and 'Come in Spinner' ALS 19.4 (2000): 413-424.
'Charlotte Brontë was 12 and Charles Dickens 18 in October 1830 when Captain Patrick Logan, third commandant of the Moreton Bay penal settlement, was murdered by a person or persons unknown, his decomposing body discovered in hilly country behind Brisbane Town more than a week after his disappearance. All the signs were of ambush and desperate flight, and Logan’s body showed the marks of Aboriginal weapons.' (Introduction)