30/11/2014 - 7:33pm

Anna Krien, who won the 2014 Sisters in Crime’s Davitt Award for True Crime has won the UK William Hill Sports Book of the Year, only the second woman to do so in the 26-year history of the award.

Her book Night Games: Sex, Power and a Journey into the Dark Heart of Sport, about the rape trial of a young AFL footballer, beat six other nominees to the £26,000 ($41,000) prize.

"It's not a celebratory book about sport," she said. "It's about the dark side of sport ... it can be pretty ugly."

Congratulations from Sisters in Crime Australia Anna.

Click here to read the Fairfax Media report.
 

28/11/2014 - 10:37pm

Sisters in Crime Australia mourns the death of British crime queen, P D James, who died at the age of 94 on Thursday (27 November 2014) at her home in Oxford.

James, a public servant, had her first book published at the age of 42 and was best known for her Adam Dalgliesh mysteries which sold millions of books around the world, and were widely adapted for television and film.

However, it is debateable as to whether this statement, published in The Guardian, is entirely accurate:

“With second-wave feminism at high tide, James flirted with a tough, working-class female lead. When Cordelia Gray made her debut in 1972’s An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, she became one of modern crime fiction’s first female private detectives, paving the way for Liza Cody’s Anna Lee and Sara Paretsky’s VI Warshawski.”

For more go to The Guardian feature which includes links to an interview with P D James, a video, a gallery of photos, quotes from James, and an obituary.

Click here for the BBC report,

Serendipitously, the first episode of the three-part TV adaption of her Jane Austen homage¸ Death Comes to Pemberley, screened at 8.30pm Friday 28 November. Check it out on iView until 6 December.

 

22/11/2014 - 6:30pm
 

Good news - Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries has a future after series 3 (currently in production).

At last year’s Scarlet Stiletto Awards, Sisters in Crime members were all busy signing a petition to the ABC calling to commission for a 3rd series ofMiss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries in which the presenter, Essie Davis (pictured), starred. More signatures were collected via a e-petition.

We – and other fans – were successful –and the ABC is currently shooting 8 new episodes of Series 3. The even better news is that the ABC TV Director said on 12 November:

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries is now an integral part of future ABC programming. Miss Fisher is now an international phenomenon. We have just sold the rights to the Miss Fisher scripts to China and it is being remade in Chinese… [W]e are very pleased to have it back on air... there is no reason why it couldn’t continue for many years to come.”

Click here to read the full article.

 
22/11/2014 - 4:37pm

Judith Bridge (centre), a Perth-based short story writer, singer, songwriter, playwright and actor has won the HarperCollins First Prize ($1500) in Sisters in Crime Australia’s 21th Scarlet Stiletto Awards with her short story, “Amy’s Sandal”, an unusual crime tale about a ‘girlwoman’ with mental health issues who finds a gold nugget.

Bridge also won the coveted stiletto trophy,a scarlet stiletto shoe with a steel stiletto heel plunging into a mount.

Bridge told the 140 strong crowd at a gala dinner at Melbourne’s Thornbury Theatre on Friday night (21 November) that she was a rampant genre-swapper who has had mixed success in her various artistic endeavours.

“Having been long-listed, short-listed, and short, short-listed so many times, it’s refreshing not to be the bridesmaid again. ‘Amy’s Sandal’ is one of the few crime stories I’ve written. I usually write fantasy or ‘pretty’ stories for women’s magazines,” she said.

“Now that I’ve won the Scarlet Stiletto Award, I might have to start honing my murderous impulses.”

Now working as a library technician at Curtin University, her short stories and microfiction have been published in Dotdotdash, Indigo, That’s Life, The Big Issue,Spineless Wondersanthologies, the Sand Journal (Berlin), the Fish Anthology (Ireland) and online. (See www.judebridge.com)

Marta Dusseldorp, star of ABC1’s Janet King, presented the awards. Prior to the award presentations, Dusseldorp discussed her ‘life in crime’ (and much more) with crime author Leigh Redhead.

This year a record 207 stories competed for the Scarlet Stiletto Awards for a record $8800 in prize money plus the coveted trophy for the overall winner. Twenty-three authors and 27 stories from across Australia were shortlisted for a total of 15 awards. A record 20 shortlisted authors attended the award ceremony.

Julianne Negri (Brunswick, Vic),variously a musician and eco craft warrior, took out the Pantera Press Second Prize ($1000) for “#hitandrun”, a story about revenge and social media.

The Sun Bookshop 3rd Prize ($500)went to Fin J Ross (Eagle Point, Vic), a journalist, author and creative writing tutor who runs a boarding cattery, for “What's a Girl to Do”, story of revenge and the Coburg mafia. Another story by Ross, “The VOTOS Solution”, about a social work program to re-educate the town’s errant husbands, was runner-up in the Athenaeum Library’s Body in the Library Prize ($500).

The Athenaeum Library’s first prize ($1000) was awarded to Natalie Conyer (Mosman, NSW), who abandoned a sensible corporate career to pursue a PhD in South African crime fiction at the University of Western Sydney. Her story, “The Book Club”, features a dismembered body in a suburban library and an inventive use of the Dewey Decimal classification system.

The Kerry Greenwood Malice Domestic Award ($750) was won by Frances Sutherland (Surrey Hills, Vic) for “Deathon a Triple Score”, a murderous tale about Scrabble. Sutherland describes herself as ancient, feminist, tree-hugging, animal-friendly, opp-shopping, cinema-addicted pagan” who has retired from the community sector.

Eleven-year old Bridey Carmel (Bittern, Vic) won the Allen & Unwin Young Writer’s Award ($500), open to writers 18 or under,for “Dorothy Gale P.I.”, a sleuth who bears a certain resemblance to another fictional Dorothy. Carmel starts high school next year and dreams of being a film director. Carmel’s mother, Kylie Fox (Bittern, Vic), was highly recommended for “Blue Eyes, Yellow Roses”. Fox is a writer, student, editor and mother of five. She has been placed third and been awarded a category prize in previous Scarlet Stiletto Awards.

A brand-new award sponsored by Arena Magazine for the Best Story with a Political Edge ($500) went to Melanie Myers (Ilkey,Qld) a university lecturer who is alsothe Artistic Director of Reality Bites Festival, a nonfiction writers’ festival based on the Sunshine Coast, Her story,“Savage Women”, a dystopian story about abortion set in 2044, will be published n the December edition of Arena. The runner-up story in this category, “The Elephant Thief”, by crime novellist, Angela Savage (Brunswick, Vic) will also appear in the same issue.

The Catherine Leppert Award for Best Environmental Theme ($500) was won by retired zoologist Suzanne Frankham (Brighton, Vic) for “The Island”, a story of scientific exploration where tides take their revenge.

Lindy Cameron presented her Clan Destine Press Award for Cross Genre ($400) to speechwriter and training consultant Richenda Rudman (Flemington, Vic) for “The Sixth Sense”, a futuristic story about ichips implanted in the brain. “The Recollection” by Rudman was also highly recommended.

Another brand-new prize, the Liz Navratil Award for Best Story with a Disabled Protagonist, was jointly awarded to Vicky Daddo (Hazelwood South) for “Prussian Blue” and Anna Snoekstra (North Fitzroy, Vic) for “”Out Came the Sun”. Both will receive the full award of $250. The award was sponsored by the Queensland Chapter of Sisters in Crime in honour of the late Liz Navratil, a member with disabilities.

Crime writing personal trainerSandi Wallace (Mt Dandenong, Vic) was awarded The Scriptworks Great Film Idea Award ($200)for “Ball and Chain”.Her debut novel Tell Me Why, the first book in her new Rural Crime Files series, was released in September 2014. Another story, “Losing Heidi”, was highly recommended. Wallace won the ‘Best Investigative Prize’ in the 2013 Scarlet Stiletto Awards.

This year’s Benn’s Books Best Investigative Award was awarded to academic librarian Katie Mills(Doubleview. WA) for “Statuary Offence”, a crime caper about missing statues. 

Also highly commended were:

·         Cheryl Rogers (West Swan, WA) for “Ballad of Maggie Carson”

·         Loren Auder (Mareeba, Qld)for “Brute Force”

·         Fiona Drury (St Kilda, Vic) for “In My Shoes”

·         Jane Lee (Kensington, NSW) for “Flightplan”

·         Mary-Ellen Mullane (Lilyfield, NSW)for “The Assassin's Rule Book”

·         Beatrice David (Lilyfield, NSW) for “Bad Luck” (Youth Category)

·         Hannah Van Didden (Duncraig, WA) for “Dark Undertakings”

·         J M Peace (Burnside, Qld) for “The Hitchhiker” and “The Perfect Crime”

National Co-convenor and event organiser, Michaela Lobb,said that Sisters in Crime had been overwhelmed – and delighted – by the sheer quantity and quality of the stories this year.

“Two new categories, Best Story with a Disabled Protagonist, and Best Story with a Political Edge, attracted a swag of strong entries. Altogether, 21 stories vied for the Best Story with a Disabled Protagonist Award, with four being shortlisted and one taking out the Stiletto,” Lobb said.

“The popular Malice Domestic and Body in the Library Awards drew 91 and 56 entries awards apiece. If there were as many bodies in libraries as imagined by Australian women, we’d never get any reading done!”

To date, 2,735 stories have been entered with 18 Scarlet Stiletto Award winners and other category winners going on to have novels published: Cate Kennedy, Tara Moss, Angela Savage, Josephine Pennicott, Ellie Marney, Sara Evans, Inga Simpson, Alex Palmer, Liz Filleul, Margaret Bevege, Patricia Bernard, Bronwen Blake, Jo McGahey, Cheryl Jorgensen, Kylie Fox, Simmone Howell, Sandi Wallace and Amanda Wrangles.

“The Scarlet Stilettos have spawned a vast criminal enterprise but Australian men should sleep more soundly as a result. Without this outlet for so much murderous intent, more would end up sleeping with the fishes or meeting some other dire fate,” Lobb said.

Three collections of winning stories have been published by Clan Destine Press: Scarlet Stiletto: The First Cut, Scarlet Stiletto: The Second Cut and Scarlet Stiletto Short Stories: 2013(ebook).

Prizes kindly sponsored by HarperCollins; Pantera Press; Sun Bookshop, Athenaeum Library; Allen & Unwin; Arena Magazine; Clan Destine Press; Scriptworks; Benn’s Book Shop; Ann Byrne; Kerry Greenwood; Catherine Leppert; Josephine Pennicott; and the Queensland Chapter of Sisters in Crime. The awards are also supported by Spinifex Press.

The judges decided not to award the Ann Byrne Best Financial Crime Award and the Josephine Pennicott Award for the Best Story by an Indigenous Writer.

The 22st Scarlet Stiletto Awards close on 31 August 2015.

Comment: Michaela Lobb, National Co-convenor, Sisters in Crime0409 431 397 or

Info: Carmel Shute, National Co-convenor, Sisters in Crime: 0412 569 356

An edited version of the script with author bios and story synopses is attached.

11/11/2014 - 7:14pm

Twenty-seven short stories by 23 women authors vie for Sisters in Crime Australia’s 21st Scarlet Stiletto Awards to be presented by Marta Dusseldorp, star of Janet King and Crownies, at a gala dinner,6.30pm, Friday 21 November at Melbourne’s Thornbury Theatre.

This year a record 207 short stories competed for awards offering a record $8,800 in prize money plus the coveted Scarlet Stiletto trophy for the overall winner.

The authors under contention are: Loren Auder (Qld); Judith Bridge (WA); Bridey Carmel (Vic); Natalie Conyer (NSW); Vicky Daddo (Vic); Beatrice David (NSW); Fiona Drury (Vic); Kylie Fox (Vic); Suzanne Frankham (Vic); Jane Lee (NSW); Katie Mills (WA); Mary-Ellen Mullane (NSW); Melanie Myers (Qld); Julianne Negri (Vic); JM Peace (Qld); Cheryl Rogers (WA); Fin J Ross (Vic); Richenda Rudman (Vic); Angela Savage (Vic); Anna Snoekstra (Vic); Frances Sutherland (Vic); Hannah Van Didden (WA); and Sandi Wallace (Vic).

Judges’ spokesperson, Michaela Lobb, said that the murderous impulses harboured by Australian women had never been so evident nor so inspiring.

“The record number of short stories comes hot on the heels of the record 76 crime books in contention for this year’s Davitt Awards. We are witnessing an explosion of talent and ideas in women’s crime writing in this country,” Lobb said.

“As always, there were quite a few stories where women kill men, usually their husbands, for often surprising reasons but this time they were counterbalanced by a surge of stories entered in the “Body in the Library’ category and the new category, Best ‘Story with a Disabled Protagonist’. We were buoyed by the quality of the writing.”

To date, 2,735 stories have been entered with 18 Scarlet Stiletto Award winners.  Many Scarlet Stiletto and other category winners have gone on to have novels published: Cate Kennedy, Tara Moss, Angela Savage, Josephine Pennicott, Ellie Marney, Sara Evans, Inga Simpson, Alex Palmer, Liz Filleul, Margaret Bevege, Patricia Bernard, Bronwen Blake, Jo McGahey, Cheryl Jorgensen, Kylie Fox, Simmone Howell, Sandi Wallace and Amanda Wrangles.

At 8pm, prior to the award presentations, Dusseldorp will discuss her ‘life in crime’ (and much more) with crime author Leigh Redhead.

Dusseldorp’s criminal past includes the critically acclaimed Janet King and its predecessor Crownies (ABC), three telemovies opposite Guy Pearce in Jack Irish and the six-part Blackjack telemovies opposite Colin Friels. Other key television roles include two seasons as Sarah Adams in A Place To Call Home (Seven Network); Devil’s Dust, the award-winning mini-series After the Deluge; and Hell Has Harbour Views. Click here for info. 

Leigh Redhead is the author of the award winning Simone Kirsch private eye series. She has also contributed a chapter to the compilationIf I Tell You…I’ll Have To Kill You: Australia’s Leading Crime Writers Reveal Their Secrets (Allen and Unwin). Click here for info.

Venue: Thornbury Theatre, 859 High Street, Thornbury

Sit-down dinner: $60 ($35 concession for shortlisted authors). Drinks available at bar prices. Men or ‘Brothers in Law’ welcome.

Seats only (no dinner) from 8pm:$15 (no concession)

Bookings close Monday 17 November. Book individually or in tables of up to 10 or a seat only(without meal). 

Further information:Michaela Lobb 0409 431 397 or via email

Book stall: 10% discount for members from the Sun Bookshop stall.

Prizes kindly sponsored by HarperCollins; Pantera Press; Sun Bookshop, Athenaeum Library; Allen & Unwin; Arena Magazine; Clan Destine Press; Scriptworks; Benn’s Book Shop; Ann Byrne; Kerry Greenwood; Catherine Leppert; Josephine Pennicott; and the Queensland Chapter of Sisters in Crime. The awards are also supported by Spinifex Press.

Comment: Michaela Lobb 0409 431 397

Info: Carmel Shute, Sisters in Crime, National Co-convenor, Sisters in Crime: 0412 569 356; email 

20/10/2014 - 10:04pm

Marta Dusseldorp, star of Janet King and Crownies, to present the 21st Scarlet Stiletto Short Story Awards - 6.30pm, Friday 21 November

Sisters in Crime Australia is proud to announce that Marta Dusseldorp, star of Janet King and Crownies, will present its 21st Scarlet Stiletto Short Story Awards at a gala dinner from 6.30pm on Friday, 21 November at Melbourne’s Thornbury Theatre.

This year a record 207 stories competed for awards  offering a record $8,800 in prize money plus the coveted stiletto trophy for the overall winner.

At 8pm, prior to the award presentations, Dusseldorp will discuss her ‘life in crime’ (and much more) with crime author Leigh Redhead.

Dusseldorp’s criminal past includes the critically acclaimed Janet King and its predecessor Crownies (ABC), three telemovies opposite Guy Pearce in Jack Irish and the six-part Blackjack telemovies opposite Colin Friels. Other key television roles include two seasons as Sarah Adams in A Place To Call Home (Seven Network); Devil’s Dust, the award-winning mini-series After the Deluge; and Hell Has Harbour Views.

Dusseldorp has a wealth of experience on stage including three years with the Sydney Theatre Company’s Actor’s Company where she received a Helpmann Award. Her film credits include Paul Cox’s award-winning Innocence, Praise, Paradise Road and Burning Man. Info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marta_Dusseldorp

Leigh Redhead is the author of the award winning Simone Kirsch private eye series. She has also contributed a chapter to the compilation If I Tell You…I’ll Have To Kill You: Australia’s Leading Crime Writers Reveal Their Secrets (Allen and Unwin). Info: http://www.leighredhead.com

Venue: Thornbury Theatre, 859 High Street, Thornbury

Sit-down dinner: $60 ($35 concession for shortlisted authors only). Drinks available at bar prices. Men or ‘Brothers in Law’ welcome.

Seats only (no dinner) from 8pm: $15 (no concession)

Bookings close Monday, 17th November.

Book individually or in tables of up to 10 or a seat only (without meal). 

Further information: Michaela Lobb 0409 431 397 or via email

Book stall: 10% discount for members from the Sun Bookshop stall.

Prizes kindly sponsored by HarperCollins; Pantera Press; Sun Bookshop, Athenaeum Library; Allen & Unwin; Arena Magazine; Clan Destine Press; Scriptworks; Benn’s Book Shop; Ann Byrne; Kerry Greenwood; Catherine Leppert; Josephine Pennicott; and the Queensland Chapter of Sisters in Crime. The awards are also supported by Spinifex Press.

13/10/2014 - 11:57am

What are the challenges – and joys – of moving from journalism to true crime? Journalists Belinda Hawkins, Suzanna Lobez and Meg Norris cut to the thrust with crime author and former journalist Lindy Cameron at an event hosted by crime buff’s organisation, Sisters in Crime Australia: 8pm Friday 24 October at South Melbourne’s Rising Sun Hotel.

Multi-award winning Belinda Hawkins, who has reported on national and international events for ABC TV and SBS TV for almost 30 years, published her first true crime book, Every Parent’s Nightmare (Allen & Unwin) last year. She takes up the case of young Australian traveller Jock Palfreeman who has been imprisoned in Bulgaria since 2009. He claimed he was defending a Gypsy being attacked by soccer hooligans but the prosecutor claimed it was an act of cold-blooded murder.

“When I took a call in mid-2008 from a young woman claiming a man I knew to a former Army Intelligence officer had suggested she call me about a friend charged with murder in Bulgaria, I was intrigued. When the accused's dad refused to take my call, I was hooked. Anyone who won’t talk to you is irresistible. Six years, two documentaries as an ABC reporter and a book later, I am still following the case of Jock Palfreeman”, Hawkins said.

“When Allen & Unwin asked me to write about the case, I jumped at the chance and made some eight trips to Bulgaria, hunting down documents, witnesses, judges, CCTV footage. I uncovered a web of corruption that was playing out among the supporting characters.

“A long career in journalism meant researching my book came naturally to me. But the act of writing and rewriting, burrowing into the mind of each character, while all the while swinging from one side to the other in my own take on the crime, was both exhilarating and exhausting.”

Actor-turned-barrister-turned-broadcaster-turned crime writer, Susanna Lobez ,was an ABC specialist legal broadcaster on RN’s Law Report and Law Matters (ABCTV). Lobez has written seven crime books with James Morton.

In Bent: Australia's Crooked Cops, just out with Melbourne University Press, Lobez and Morton present a gripping accountof police corruption in Australia. As they have illustrated, in several Gangland books Australia has almost certainly out-ganged other countries. Now their spotlight is turned on corruption within the police services and identifying which state wins the bent cop handicap.

Lobez turned to true crime after a depressing time when she had to leave an award-winning career at the ABC because it didn’t offer adoption leave.”

In Love You to Death: A Story of Sex, Betrayal and Murder Gone Wrong (The Five Mile Press), investigative journalist and author Meg Norris, author of the bestselling On Father’s Day, unearths the sobering tale of a man whose only mistake was giving his heart to the wrong woman.

Norris’s 30-odd year background in crime reporting and police rounds sparked a passion for crime which has seen her covering some of the biggest crime stories in Australia for both national and overseas media. Her stories have appeared in National Inquirer, The Mail on Sunday and US Weekly and have been syndicated in various publications around the world.

“The transition from journalism to crime writing wasn’t a particularly big leap for me – but rather a progression of the work I had already done for many years as a crime reporter for print and TV media. As a daily court reporter in both England and Australia, I was an observer writing daily updates on some of the country’s biggest crimes,” Norris said.

“Covering high profile trials, I spent just as much time observing the harrowing journey’s of the victims of crime, and their families who are the secondary victims who live with the horror of terrible criminal acts. As a result, I progressed naturally to writing their heartbreaking and often inspirational stories from court which is a theatre that showcases the absolute worst and the best of human nature for the national media.”

Lindy Cameron is a founding member and National Co-Convenor of Sisters in Crime Australia, and the publisher of Clan Destine Press. A former journalist, she writes both true crime and fiction.

Info: www.clandestinepress.com.au

Followed by brief Annual General Meeting. Open to all financial members world-wide. Nomination forms for positions of national co-convenors will be accepted on the night of 24 October 2014. National co-convenors are located in Melbourne and environs.

The Rising Sun Hotel, cnr Raglan St & Eastern Rd, South Melbourne Mel Ref: 57, H2.Try 1, 55, 112 or St Kilda Road trams. Free on-street parking after 6pm.

$10 (Sisters in Crime & Writers’ Victoria members/concession)/$15 (non-members). Dinnerupstairs from 6.30pm (no lift). Men or ‘brothers-in-law’ welcome. 10% discount for members from Sun Bookshop stall.

Info: Carmel Shute, National Co-convenor, Sisters in Crime Australia: 0412 569 356 carmel@shute-the-messenger.com

 

18/09/2014 - 3:59pm

Sisters in Crime Australia and the Port Phillip Library Services have joined forces to present Double Trouble, a free ‘event launch’ with crime writers Sandy Curtis and Sandi Wallace about their books Grievous Harm and Tell Me Why, both published by Clan Destine Press.

Sisters in Crime Australia National Co-convenor, Maggie Baron, will talk to Curtis and Wallace about their books, their lives and their literary aspirations at 6 for 6.30pm, Wednesday 1 October – St Kilda Library, 150 Carlisle Street, St Kilda.

Grievous Harm (out October) is Curtis’s seventh novel. Curtis, who is visiting from Bundaberg (Queensland), was inspired to write the story after receiving an email with a photo of child pornography.

“I asked Taskforce Argos in the Queensland Police and then an IT friend of mine to trace it but with limited success. That photo haunted me for years. In Grievous Harm, I’ve tried to show what the police in such taskforces have to endure to rescue abused children,” Curtis said.

“Doing research for Grievous Harm was heartbreaking at times, but it did have a funny side. I needed to seehow much water a condom could hold, so my husband and I filled one with water and tied a knot in it. I was pleased with the result, but my husband thought he'd test out the sturdiness of the latex and dropped it onto the kitchen bench. The knot obviously wasn't tight enough and the contents erupted like a volcano all over the bench, the floor, and him!”

Curtis said that she has always relished the challenge of creating complex plots and characters, which is why shewrote Dance with the Devil, the first of her seven romantic thrillers. Her books have been nominated for the Ned Kelly Crime Awards and two have been finalists in the mainstream section of the Romantic Book of the Year Award.

In her spare time Curtis is organising WriteFest, the Bundaberg writers festival, and looking for a home for her women's fiction novel, Murder, Mayhem and Menopause.

Tell Me Why is Sandi Wallace’s debut crime novel, and the first in her rural crime series. The action starts when Melbourne writer Georgie Harvey heads to the mineral springs region of central Victoria to look for a missing farmer. Picturesque Daylesford has a darker side...

“I knew I wanted to write a crime series and Daylesford seemed the perfect setting – a pretty country town, popular with tourists, arty types and same-sex couples. I liked the way that romantic perception juxtaposed with a moody crime story. The inbuilt conflict of a town balancing permanent residents with regular influxes of tourists also appealed,” Wallace said.

Tell Me Why combines thriller, suspense, police procedural, adventure, mystery and a touch of romance. I angled the book as mainly a Why-Dunnit because many crime readers – including me – are enthralled by why crimes happen, the repercussions and outcomes. I had fun exploring human relationships, how far we’d go, and what we’d risk, to find the truth.”

Wallace has wanted to write crime for as long as she can remember.

“Since I was a little girl, I dreamed of a row of books with my name on the spine – a crime fiction series written by me, with some standalone books, too. I hope this is the start of that dream coming true!” she said.

Wallace, a personal trainer, journalist and writer, won the Best Investigative Prize in the 2013 Scarlet Stiletto Awards; was longlisted in the 2013 Ned Kelly Awards Sandra Harvey Short Story Award; and was a finalist in the 2012 Cutthroat Journal Rick DeMarinis Short Story Contest.

St Kilda Library, 150 Carlisle Street, St Kilda. All welcome. Free but please RSVP: or ring 03 9209 6655. Books on sale courtesy of Clan Destine Press.

More info: Carmel Shute on 0412 569 356 or email

06/09/2014 - 5:46pm

Tartan Noir Queen Val McDermid will be in wild and wonderful conversation with Australian crime author, Angela Savage, about her latest psychological thriller, The Skeleton Road, at  Melbourne’s Comedy Club, 6 for 6.30 pm Wednesday 24 September.

In The Skeleton Road, McDermid, the creator of ITV's Wire in the Blood, turns her hand to a cold case involving detective Karen Pirie who has the task of identifying decades – old bones discovered hidden at the top of a Victorian Gothic building in Edinburgh scheduled for renovation.

"I'm thrilled to be in conversation with the Scottish Queen of Crime when she visits promote her new standalone novel, The Skeleton Road," Savage said.

"I'd be terrified if it weren't for the fact I met Val briefly on a previous visit to Australia and know her to be a warm and witty person, and a strong supporter of Sisters in Crime and women crime writers."

"As well as interrogating her about her new novel, The Skeleton Road, I'll be asking Val about violence in crime fiction, being a granny pirate, and whether or not she agrees with our Prime Minister on the issue of Scottish Independence."

Sisters in Crime Australia has joined forces with the Athenaeum Library to present Val Down Under.

McDermid is the author of 26 bestselling novels, which have been translated into more than 30 languages, and have sold over 11 million copies. She has won many awards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. She was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame in 2009 and was the recipient of the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger for 2010. In 2011 she received the Lambda Literary Foundation Pioneer Award. She has a son and a dog, and lives with her wife in the north of England.

This will be McDermid’s sixth event with Sisters in Crime.

Angela Savage is a Melbourne writer, who has lived and travelled extensively in Asia. Her first novel, Behind the Night Bazaar, won the 2004 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript. All three of her Jayne Keeney PI novels were shortlisted for Ned Kelly Awards, with The Dying Beach also shortlisted for a Davitt Award. She won the 2011 Scarlett Stiletto Award.

Comedy Club, 2nd Floor, 188 Collins Street, Melbourne (has lift). 10% discount for members from the Sun Bookshop bookstall.

$15/$10 (members of Sisters in Crime Australia, Writers Victoria & the Athenaeum Library/concession). Bookings http://www.trybooking.com/FAVG

Tickets may also be available at the door (check websites).

Booking info: Athenaeum Library 03 9650 3100; www.melbourneathenaeum.org.au;

Author interviews: Jaki Arthur, Campaign Manager - Hachette Australia, 02-8248 0864:

Jaki.Arthur@hachette.com.au

Carmel Shute, National Co-convenor, Sisters in Crime Australia: 0412 569 356 cshute@internode.on.net

01/09/2014 - 5:10pm

Ellie Marney, Lauren Beukes, Karen Foxlee, Felicity Pulman,

Jen Storer (l-r) & Honey Brown (front)

Burial Rites, Hannah Kent‘s multi-award winning crime novel about the last woman to be executed in Iceland, has two more prizes to its credit – the Davitts for Best Debut Novel and the Readers’ Choice Award.

Kent, who has recently shifted to Melbourne from Adelaide, was one of seven authors honoured at Sisters in Crime’s 14th Davitt Awardsfor best crime books by Australian women on Saturday (30 August) at Melbourne’s Thornbury Theatre. A total of 76 books was in contention.

A psychological thriller by regional Victorian writer Honey Brown (above,Warragul) took out the Davitt Award for Best Adult Novel.

Melbourne writer, Jen Storer (above), won the inaugural Davitt for Best Children’s Novel, for Truly Tan: Spooked! (Harper Collins). Another book in the series, for Truly Tan: Jinxed!, was also shortlisted.

Karen Foxlee (above right with Lauren Beukes), from Gympie Queensland, was awarded the Davitt (Best Young Adult Novel) for The Midnight Dress (UQP).

A book about sex and the AFL was a winning kick for Melbourne-based writer, Anna Krien, who won the Davitt (Best True Crime Book) for Night Games: Sex, Power and Sport (Black Inc). (Anna was unable to attend - was being held hostage by two miniature monsters, in particular a hungry newborn who won’t take the bottle.)

Two books were highly commended: Every Breath (Allen & Unwin) by regional Victorian writer Ellie Marney (above left; Guilford) and A Ring Through Time (Harper Collins) by Sydney author, Felicity Pulman.

Lauren Beukes (below left), the South African award-winning writer of crime and fiction with a speculative edge, presented the Davitts before an audience of crime writers and fans from all over Australia after a playful interrogation by Professor Sue Turnbull.

In an amusing twist, Beukes won the Be Immortalised in Fiction competition so her name will appear in Brown’s next novel. Beukes begged to be cast as a serial killer!

Professor Turnbull, also a national co-convenor of Sisters in Crime and crime reviewer for Fairfax Media, said that Sisters in Crime was overwhelmed that a record 76 crime books were in contention this year, a far cry from the seven in competition at the inaugural awards.

“When I reviewed Lauren Beukes first crime novel, The Shining Girls, I remarked on the ‘promiscuous hybridity’ of crime writing. This applies equally to Australian women’s crime writing and the books in contention this year.

“When the Davitt awards were inaugurated 14 years ago, the heroes of women’s crime books were often PIs. Now they’re as likely to be cafe owners, yarn-bombers, financial investigators or forensic physicians. Romance, as well as forensics, is in the mix. The scenes of the crime are wildly different, the plots multifarious,” she said.

“Many of us got our taste for crime from a childhood spent devouring Enid Blyton’s Famous Five, went through adolescence with Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers and graduated with Sara Paretsky and Marcia Muller. Meanwhile, new generation of women writers has emerged with imaginative and enthralling novels aimed at the children’s and Young Adult markets.”

Jacqui Horwood (above), who presented the judges’ report, said this year Sisters in Crime had decided to offer its first-ever Davitt for Best Children’s book

“In the past children’s books have had to compete with Young Adult books which has not been entirely equitable. And really there’s never been the number of children’s books to justify a separate award. This year was different with 13 in contention and so much quality writing in evidence.”

Burial Rights, written by Kent for a PhD in Creative Writing, already has a bevy of awards: Inaugural Writing Australia Unpublished Manuscript Award, the Indie Awards Debut Fiction of the Year Award, the 2014 ABIA Literary Fiction Book of the Year, the ABA Nielsen Bookdata Booksellers' Choice Award and the Victorian Premier's Literary Award People's Choice Award.

The Davitt judges declared Burial Rites “a beautifully crafted and well-paced book”. It was also voted best book by the 660 members of Sisters in Crime. Kent was unable to attend but accepted via video.

Brown, who is currently working her sixth crime novel, “just keeps getting better and better,” Horwood said.

Foxlee’s Young Adult novel,The Midnight Dress,was also selected as an American Library Association Best Fiction for Young Adults title earlier this year. Horwood said the judges found it, “absorbing and mesmerising”.

Horwood said Jen Storer’s Truly Tan: Spooked! possessed the “perfect mix to lure young readers into the wonderful world of mysteries”. The fourth book in the series, Truly Tan: Freaked! will be released in November.

Krien’s Night Games, Horwood reported, exemplified “just how challenging and powerful good True Crime can be”.

The Davitts, handsome carved polished wooded trophies, feature the front cover of the winning book under perspex.

The awards are named in honour of Ellen Davitt (1812-1879) who wrote Australia’s first mystery novel, Force and Fraud, in 1865.

The judges' reports and winners' acceptance speeches are attached.

Media coverage:

Click here to read the Sunday Age article (31/8/14) about the Davitts, including an interview with Honey Brown, the winner of the Best Adult Novel Davitt.

Click here to read an article in The New Daily re the Davitts and women crime writers more generally.

Click http://www.sistersincrime.org.au/content/%E2%80%9Cpromiscuous-hybridity%... Click below to read the Sunday Age article (31/8/14) about the Davitts, including an interview with Honey Brown, the winner of the Best Adult Novel Davitt: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/honey-brown-wins-best-adult-no... Click below to read a fantastic article in The New Daily re the Davitts and women crime writers more generally. http://thenewdaily.com.au/entertainment/2014/09/04/whodunnit-women-killi... Click below to read an article in the Gympie Times about Karen Foxlee who won the Davitt Young Adult for The Midnight Dress. . https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=http://www.gympietimes.com.au/news/crime-pays-for-our-karen/2376218/&ct=ga&cd=CAEYACoTODA2ODEzMDQ0OTgwMzM0MTQ1MzIaZDY0Y2YyMTNiYzliYmZiNDpjb206ZW46VVM&usg=AFQjCNGpdsR8W92JskYSKRDv5dREtSgGog">here to read an article in the Gympie Times about Karen Foxlee who won the Davitt Young Adult for The Midnight Dress.

Media comment: Professor Sue Turnbull: 0407 810 090;

Jacqui Horwood Davitt Judges’ spokesperson: 0449 703 503

Info & author interviews: Carmel Shute, National Co-convenor, Sisters in Crime Australia: 0412 569 356; cshute@internode.on.net