Sonoma Whittington, now fast approaching middle age, is a widowed Private Investigator, based in the Central Queensland coastal city of Millhaven. She runs her own agency, Whittington investigations, single-handedly from a shoebox-sized office in the town centre. Her life now is settled and sweet, with plenty of work and a healthy bank balance. This hasn’t always been the case. Sonny (as she prefers) hasn’t always been a PI and, along the way, she has experienced her share of tragedy.
Sonny’s parents died in a plane crash shortly after she completed her undergraduate degree. They worked for the Foreign Affairs Department and were on their way to a new European posting when their plane went down. A grandmother with advanced dementia was Sonny’s only other family, and she already was in a care facility when Sonny lost her parents. Gran died a couple of years later.
Her first job after graduating saw Sonny become a public servant when she accepted a position with the State’s largest museum. A qualified wreck diver, her work with the museum often involved investigating and recovering material from the many wrecks off the Queensland coast. After a few years, Sonny left the museum to take up a position with the Department of Technical and Further Education. She began as a trainer but, after a few years, switched to the administration side of the Department and worked her way up to middle management level.
In her mid-20s, she married Paul, a mining engineer, and they settled in Millhaven. After her husband died in a mining accident a few years later, Sonny threw herself into her work to help cope with her grief and save her sanity. Bored with her job, a few months prior to Paul’s death, purely for something different to do, Sonny signed up for a Private Investigator’s course. She completed the practical component of the course as a part-time trainee in James Harris’ agency while continuing to work full-time in her ‘real’ job.
Sonny gained her license and continued to juggle both her full-time job with the department along with part-time work as a PI for James. After spending about ten years as a public servant, she became disenchanted and fed-up with bureaucracy. She quit the department. James Harris took her on as a full-time investigator. A couple of years later, she became an equal partner in the agency. On James’ death, Sonny inherited the agency and changed its name to Whittington Investigations.