A fair dinkum month – September 2011

Australian crime fiction in the news and on the web

It’s so rare to see Australian crime fiction being discussed in any depth that I was quite pleased to see The Atlantic Monthly devote a whole article to the subject entitled Down Underworld. Sadly the article is very narrow in its focus, featuring books by only a handful of writers all of whom are male, and comes at the subject of the Australian culture from a fairly simplistic standpoint. I’m not sure whether or not it was intended but the article’s author gives the impression he thinks crime fiction a bit beneath him really with comments like “Crime fiction being largely a matter of people answering doorbells…”. But is it a case of all publicity is good publicity?

Adrian Hyland appears in this short video interview with the First Tuesday Bookclub. The interview is mostly concerning his recent non-crime book KINGLAKE-350 about the devestating bushfires that swept through the part of the world he lives in a couple of years ago but as Adrian is one of our favourite authors we thought we’d share it anyway. You can see my thoughts on the book at my other blog.

Arthur Upfield‘s DEATH OF A LAKE was reviewed at Tas Book Lover

Chris Womersley‘s BEREFT was reviewed at Tas Book Lover

David Owen‘s  X AND Y was reviewed at Tas Book Lover while HOW THE DEAD SEE was reviewed at Aust Crime Fiction and Tas Book Lover

Garry Disher‘s DRAGON MAN, the first novel in the Challis & Destry series, was reviewed at Tas Book Lover as was KITTYHAWK DOWN, the second novel in the series.

Geoffrey McGeachin‘s Ned Kelly Award-winning  THE DIGGERS REST HOTEL was reviewed by fellow crime novelist Angela Savage while his spy spoof D.E.D Dead! was reviewed at Tas Book Lover

John Conway‘s HELL IS MY DESTINATION was the first book to be featured in a new column called Pulp Friday over at Andrew Nette’s Pulp Curry site. Andrew is sharing his love of 60′s and 70′s pulp fiction by highlighting these largely forgotten books and if pulp is your thing then you should be subscribed to Andrew’s blog.

Katherine Howell‘s novels were the subject of a thoughtful and insightful treatment at Petrona as part of Maxine’s contribution to the #SinC25 challenge celebrating women crime writers. Howell’s debut novel FRANTIC was reviewed at Tas Book Lover

Kathryn Fox‘s BLOOD BORN was reviewed at Tas Book Lover

Kel Robertson‘s RIP OFF was reviewed at Aust Crime Fiction

Kerry Greenwood, whose sixth Corinna Chapman mystery, COOKING THE BOOKS, is released officially today, answered Booktopia Bookshop’s 10 Terrifying Questions. You learn such surprising things in these interviews, like the fact that Kerry wrote her first book while sitting in an apricot tree!

Lenny Bartulin, whose third Jack Susko novel DE LUXE was released in August, was interviewed at Crime City After Dark.

Michael Robotham‘s THE WRECKAGE was reviewed at Blogging for a Good Book and Choose and Book while his earlier novel THE NIGHT FERRY was reviewed at Tas Book Lover

P.M. Newton shared her experiences of entering (and ultimately becoming joint winner) of a literary award for works written by women which feature an anti-war theme. The novel which won Pam the award was reviewed at Tas Book Lover

Peter Temple‘s IN THE EVIL DAY was reviewed at Tas Book Lover (I’m actually listening to this on audio at the moment so expect a review here shortly)

Philip Gwynne‘s marvellous novel THE BUILD UP was due to be adapted for television but the SBS network announced this month that it would not be going ahead with production due to its ever-shrinking commissioning budget. This is such a shame but I suppose it’s better not to do it at all than to do it badly without the required resources.

Sylvia Johnson‘s WATCH OUT FOR ME was reviewed at Aust Crime Fiction

Y.A. Erskine, whose debut novel THE BROTHERHOOD about the investigation into the shooting of a Tasmanian policeman while he was on duty was released in August (and reviewed at Aust Crime Fiction) answered Booktopia Bookshop’s 10 Terrifying Questions. Here I learned that I shared the same teenage dream as  the author (being a diplomat not an actress on The Bill) and was denied for roughly the same reasons.

Here at Fair Dinkum HQ

3 Sep – we reported on P M Newton’s shared win of this year’s Asher Award (for a literary work that carries an anti war theme). Well done to Pam

6 Sep – I reviewed Christopher Currie’s debut novel THE OTTOMAN MOTEL – a deliciously creepy mix of small town scares as a young boy loses his parents

10 Sep – We posted details of She Kilda Again, a convention celebrating women’s crime writing (to be held in a few days’ in Melbourne so you still have time to book)

19 Sep – Kerrie reviewed Katherine Howell’s VIOLENT EXPOSURE - further affirmation that Katherine Howell’s novels are both unique and of world-class.

24 Sep – we posted a quiz & giveaway (which you still have 2 days to enter)

25 Sep – I reviewed Helen Fitzgerald’s THE DONOR – a novel generating its own unique sub-genre of comic/noir/suspense which I utterly adored

30 Sep – I reviewed Garry Disher’s latest Challis & Destry novel WHISPERING DEATH – a brilliantly complex novel, surely the best of the series so far (don’t you love it when authors keep getting better?)

Hopefully you can all find something full of Aussie goodness amongst all of that. If I missed your review of an Aussie crime fiction novel drop us a line at fairdinkum crime [at] gmail [dot] com, I use google alerts and RSS feeds to supply me with news but I have been known to hit mark all as read a bit too quickly some days :)