The 2011 Davitt Award Winners Are…

The Davitt Awards are sponsored by Sisters in Crime Australia and are named in honour of Ellen Davitt (1812-1879) who wrote Australia’s first mystery novel, FORCE AND FRAUD in 1865. Awards are given annually to crime writing by women in 4 categories:

  • the best adult novel
  • the best young fiction book
  • the best true crime
  • and the Reader’s Choice award, voted by members of Sisters in Crime.

This year’s winners were announced at the Sisters in Crime conference SheKilda on Saturday night, 8 October.

Best Adult Novel went to Katherine Howell for her novel COLD JUSTICE which tells the story of the investigation into the 19 year old murder of a teenage boy in a Sydney suburb. For more about the book you can check out my review and Kerrie‘s. We both rated this one very highly.

Best Young Fiction went to Penny Matthews for A GIRL LIKE ME. I’m afraid I don’t know much about this one as YA is not really my thing but if any of our readers have read it please do leave us some comments

Best True Crime went to Colleen Egan for her book MURDERER NO MORE about the acquittal of Andrew Mallard who had been convicted and jailed for murder on the basis of a forced confession and other dodgy evidence. Mallard spent 11 years in jail. I haven’t read the book but have watched a television documentary about this case and the work that Egan (a journalist) and others did on Mallard’s behalf and that was certainly a sobering look at what can go wrong with the justice system

The Reader’s Choice Award went to P. M. Newton for her debut novel THE OLD SCHOOL. You might remember I put a fair amount of thought into my vote (as a member of Sisters in Crime I was eligible to vote in this category) and while I didn’t select this book I am very happy that it won as it too is an excellent read. You can see my review here and take a look at Kerrie’s too. I just hope this doesn’t go to Pam’s head too much and take her focus away from the second book which some of us are waiting very impatiently for 🙂

Congratulations to all the winners. I haven’t read all the books in all the categories but from those I’ve read I can say that women’s crime writing in Australia is in fine shape and I look forward to another great year ahead.

If you’re looking for something to read here’s the full list of adult novels eligible for the Davitt award this year with links to reviews here at Fair Dinkum where available

  • Sydney Bauer, Matter of Trust (PanMacmillan Australia)
  • A A Bell, Diamond Eyes (HarperCollins)
  • Honey Brown, The Good Daughter (Penguin Books Australia)
  • Miranda Darling, Troika Dolls (Allen & Unwin)
  • Marianne Delacourt, Sharp Turn (Allen & Unwin)
  • Ilsa Evans, Sticks and Stones (PanMacmillan Australia)
  • Kathryn Fox, Death Mask (PanMacmillan Australia)
  • Sulari Gentill, A Few Right Thinking Men (Pantera Press)
  • Leah Giarrantano, Watch the World Burn (Random House Australia)
  • H M Goltz, Mastermind (Atlas Productions)
  • Kerry Greenwood, Dead Man’s Chest (Allen & Unwin)
  • Anna Haebich, Murdering Stepmothers: The Execution of Martha Rendell (University of Western Australia Press)
  • Katherine Howell, Cold Justice (PanMacmillan Australia)
  • Katherine Howell, Violent Exposure (PanMacmillan Australia)
  • Wendy James, Where Have You Been? (University of Western Australia Press)
  • Maggie Joel, The Second Last Woman in England (Murdoch Books)
  • Louisa Larkin, The Genesis Flaw (Murdoch Books)
  • P D Martin, Kiss of Death (PanMacmillan Australia)
  • Colleen McCullough, Naked Cruelty (HarperCollins) (well I’m half way through it)
  • P M Newton, The Old School (Penguin Books Australia)
  • Malla Nunn, Let the Dead Lie (PanMacmillan Australia)
  • Leigh Redhead, Thrill City (Allen & Unwin)
  • Angela Savage, The Half-Child (Text)
  • Felicity Young, Take Out (Fremantle Press)
  • Helene Young, Border Watch (Hachette Australia)

12 thoughts on “The 2011 Davitt Award Winners Are…

  1. Congratulations to Katherine Howell for her award for the excellent book Cold Justice.
    I look forward to read her other books and many of those listed here.

    And congratulations to the many other terrific women writers in Australia. I have not yet read a book of theirs that wasn’t a good read.

    By the way, Text Publishers is offering The Half-Child by Angela Savage for a lower price to readers in the U.S. with free shipping, thanks to intervention by the writer.

    Hopefully, more books from Oz will become available over here.


  2. That’s good news about the Angela Savage book Kathy, hopefully it will give Text a taste for speedy overseas publishing as they are one of the bigger publishers of Aussie crime fiction (also publish Peter Temple, Garry Disher, Adrian Hyland….among others) and it would be good to see them routinely pushing their books into America


    • They had a stand at the London book fair a couple of years ago (the Icelandic volcano year). Hope they do make inroads into the market here on their own account – so far best known over here for selling rights to other publishers eg Hyland to Quercus.


      • Sorry, may not mean “selling” directly – “originating books whose rights are then sold….” is a better way to put it.


  3. Good news for Katherine Howell – I read and enjoyed Cold Justice, too. Am waiting for the P M Newton to become available in UK.


  4. Thanks Fair Dinkum crime for fanning the flames of crime fiction. Aussie crime writers appreciate your enthusiasm and dedication, believe me.

    SheKilda was a fabulous event. 25 years after the founding of Sisters in Crime in the USA by Sara Paretsky, 20 years after the founding in Australia – and the place was packed with published female crime writers.

    Maxine – arrgggh! I wish it was available in the UK, or that I could tell you when it is likely to be available, but there are no signs of that happening in the near future. 😦 At this stage the only option “abroad” is ebook via Kobo, or an import via Leading Edge books (that’s the online Indie books supplier).


  5. Frankly, I was pro-active about the Angela Savage book. I wrote a note to her on her website, saying that I wanted to read The Half-Child, and that my library didn’t have it and that I couldn’t afford to pay for the high price and then shipping to the States.
    So she contacted Text, and then emailed me a message saying she had contacted Text with my request, and they agreed to make the book available to the States for a lower price and free shipping.
    So it helps to take some action.
    I wish this would happen with P.M. Newton’s books, too. I keep looking around for it on various bookseller blogs, but to no avail.
    Kathryn Fox’s books are somewhat more available. A few are at my library, and Death Mask can be ordered from here, I think on Alibris.
    Some other books listed above are available here, but it is frustrating when they are not.
    I’m going to try to do what I can about at least asking book distributors. The territorial rights issue is ridiculous. I couldn’t buy Outrage from Book Depository because of that restriction and the publisher is in Canada! And I live 8 hours from the border!


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