Shortlisted for the National Year of Reading 2012 Award January 1900, and Australia's tropical north just got a little hotter. An outbreak of plague is suspected, and the Queensland Government sends Dr Alfred Jefferis Turner - small, refined and immaculately dressed - to assess the situation. Turner, armed with a microscope, a butterfly net and his lovelorn yet devout colleague, Dr Linford Row, is met with incredulity, not least by local councillors who insist it's only typhoid. Fifty-two possible plague-carriers - including two prominent MPs - are isolated in a dilapidated quarantine station on Magnetic Island. Meanwhile, in town, the sewers overflow, the streets choke with rubbish; and still no-one wants to listen. When Dr Row delivers a letter from one of the quarantined men to his hauntingly beautiful wife, he ensnares both himself and the eccentric Dr Turner in a hotbed of small-town scandal and fear. Written with wit and wonder, Affection uncovers a unique period in Australian history. A novel based on a true story of shonky politics, courageous medicos, and humidity, it's also a mystery of heart and mind.