A blessing of awards for Australian crime fiction

In the interests of full disclosure I should admit that the collective noun ‘blessing’ apparently applies to unicorns but since I’m not convinced fictional creatures should get a noun all of their own I thought I’d borrow it for my purpose. Due to life…and death…getting in the way I have been remiss in discussing all the recent awards that have come the way of Australian crime writers lately but I’m hoping the old adage “better late than never” still applies to most of life’s awkwardnesses.

LifeOrDeathRobothamAudioIn reverse order, timeline wise, we’ll start with congratulating Michael Robotham whose LIFE OR DEATH won the prestigious British Crime Writer’s Association Gold Dagger Award this week. It’s a standalone novel that starts with the premise of a young man escaping from a Texas prison on the day before he is due to be released. Driven equally by in-depth character development and a heart-stopping plot it’s easy to see why the judges were taken with this novel, even with its impressive competition. Kerrie reviewed the novel here at Fair Dinkum Crime (and though I didn’t review the novel I concur with her sentiments and can also recommend the audio version of the book beautifully narrated by John Chancer). An article in Today’s Sydney Morning Herald provides some background information on the novel and Michael’s history as a writer, including a heartfelt admission on the downside of being a ghost writer.

BigLittleLiesMoriartyNext we move to the 2015 Davitt awards for crime writing by Australian women which were announced on August 29. Best Adult Crime Novel went to Liane Moriarty for the surprise crime novel BIG LITTLE LIES. As this book is set to be a film starring ‘our’ Nicole I suspect this is not the last we’ve heard of this particular title. Other winners on the night included Ellie Marney for Best Young Adult Novel with EVERY WORD and Caroline Overington for LAST WOMAN HANGED which took out the Best Non-Fiction category. The Reader’s Choice Award (voted by members of Sisters in Crime) went to Sandi Wallace’s TELL ME WHY. And because she is one of my favourite authors ever I can’t let this occasion pass without noting the Highly Commended certificate judges gave to Sulari Gentill’s A MURDER UNMENTIONED in the Best Adult Novel category.

EdenCandiceFoxFinally we must mention this year’s Ned Kelly Awards, winners of which were announced earlier in August. Candice Fox’s second novel EDEN took out the Best Crime Novel Award while Helen Garner’s THIS HOUSE OF GRIEF won in the Best True Crime category and QUOTA by Jock Serong was voted Best First Crime novel. We’ve been a bit remiss here at FDC in not reviewing any of these but at least two of these are buried in my mountain of unread books so I will get to them. One day.

I think that’s it for all the missed news, our belated congratulations to all.

 

 

More awards news in Aussie crime writing

InTheMorningIllBeGoneMcKintyAdrian McKinty’s IN THE MORNING I’LL BE GONE was announced last night as the winner of this year’s Ned Kelly Award for best Australian crime novel. It is a brilliant novel about which I have previously banged on at some length so all I will say at this point is congratulations to Adrian. While I am sure it is enjoyable to win any award, I imagine it is all the sweeter when you know you have triumphed in a seriously strong field.

Head over to the Australian Crime Writers Association site to read the judges’ comments and see who won in the other categories last night, then read Adrian’s thoughts about his win. After you’ve done that make your way to your favourite purveyor of literature and snag copies of IN THE MORNING and all the other shortlisted titles to your shopping basket. It’s an excellent collection of contemporary Australian crime writing.

  • Garry Disher, BITTER WASH ROAD (a whistleblower cop’s punishment is duty in rural South Australia where corruption looks like allowing the murderer(s) of a young girl to walk free)
  • Kathryn Fox, FATAL IMPACT (a local forensic procedural that outshines many of its international competition)
  • PM Newton, BEAMS FALLING (if The Wire were a book and set in Australia it would be this one; a more harrowing depiction of modern policing you are unlikely to read)
  • Stephen Orr, ONE BOY MISSING (a missing child in small-town South Australia fails to generate the usual media frenzy but does attract the attention of one jaded but doggedly determined cop)
  • Angela Savage, THE DYING BEACH (as above…a PI tale without alcoholics set in exotic Thailand’s recent past which is fast, funny and thought-provoking)

Awards news in Aussie crime writing

While I was busy being knocked flat by a killer virus (OK it didn’t actually kill me, I just wished it would for a while) in the past few weeks both our major awards for crime writing announced their shortlists and one of them has even announced its winner. So, a belated congratulations to all the nominees.

Davitt Award for best crime novel by an Australian woman

◾Honey Brown, DARK HORSE (a compelling suspense novel with a genuinely surprise ending)
◾Ilsa Evans, NEFARIOUS DOINGS (a funny light-hearted tale about the mysteries beneath the surface of small-town Australia)
◾Annie Hauxwell, A BITTER TASTE (a dark tale of desperation set amidst modern London’s underclass)
◾Katherine Howell, WEB OF DECEIT (a classic procedural which keeps a frenetic pace while managing to depict the real impact of crime on all who are touched by it)
◾Hannah Kent, BURIAL RITES (a haunting work which the author calls speculative historical biography about the last woman hanged in Iceland)
◾Angela Savage, THE DYING BEACH (a PI tale without alcoholics set in exotic Thailand’s recent past which is fast, funny and thought-provoking)

DarkHorseBrownHoney21306_fThough I’m not quite convinced Burial Rights really belongs in the crime genre, this is an exceptionally strong field showing the depth and diversity of Aussie women’s crime writing. The winner of this award (announced last weekend) was Honey Brown’s DARK HORSE and it is a superb novel so congratulations to Ms Brown but I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend you rush out and procure all six novels. For pictures of the awards night and information about winners in the other categories head over to the Sisters in Crime website.

Ned Kelly Award for best crime novel by an Australian writer

The winners of the 2014 awards will be announced this coming Saturday as part of the Brisbane Writers’ Festival. The shortlisted books in the best novel category are

  • Garry Disher, BITTER WASH ROAD (a whistleblower cop’s punishment is duty in rural South Australia where corruption looks like allowing the murderer(s) of a young girl to walk free)
  • Kathryn Fox, FATAL IMPACT (a local forensic procedural that outshines many of its international competition)
  • Adrian McKinty, IN THE MORNING I’LL BE GONE (a darkly funny locked-room mystery set against the backdrop of Northern Ireland’s troubles)
  • PM Newton, BEAMS FALLING (if The Wire were a book and set in Australia it would be this one; a more harrowing depiction of modern policing you are unlikely to read)
  • Stephen Orr, ONE BOY MISSING (a missing child in small-town South Australia fails to generate the usual media frenzy but does attract the attention of one jaded but doggedly determined cop)
  • Angela Savage, THE DYING BEACH (as above…a PI tale without alcoholics set in exotic Thailand’s recent past which is fast, funny and thought-provoking)

I didn’t manage to write reviews of all this list either (note to self: must try harder) but again this is a terrific lot of books and I have no hesitation in recommending them all. For judges comments about the shortlist and information on the nominees in the other Ned Kelly Awards categories head over to the Australian Crime Writers Association website

For once I have read all the books on both the ‘best novel’ shortlists for the country’s major crime writing awards and find myself able to sincerely recommend each and every book. Yay for Aussie crime writers.

The 2013 Ned Kelly Award Winners Are…

This year’s Ned Kelly Awards have been handed out this evening at a ceremony held as part of the Brisbane Writers Festival. Thanks to the #neddies13 twitter stream I can report that, In order of announcement, the winners are

TheMidnightPromiseBest First Fiction

Zane Lovitt – THE MIDNIGHT PROMISE winner

Other shortlisted titles

ThePeopleSmugglerBest True Crime

Robin De Crespigny – THE PEOPLE SMUGGLER winner

Other shortlisted titles

S.D. Harvey Short Story Award

Roger Vickery for Echoes From The Dolphin winner

Blackwattle Creek - McGeachin,15489fBest Fiction

Geoffrey McGeachin – BLACKWATTLE CREEK winner

Other shortlisted titles

Fair Dinkum Crime congratulates all the winners and shortlisted authors.

For comments from the judges visit the Australian Crime Writers Association website

The 2013 Davitt Award Winners Are

While your humble correspondent was temporarily occupied with non-bookish pursuits over the past few days the winners of this year’s Davitt Awards for crime writing by women were announced at a glittering event held as part of the Melbourne Writers Festival. The awards are given by Sisters in Crime Australia and this year’s winners are:

Best Adult Novel

Maggie Groff, MAD MEN, BAD GIRLS AND THE GEURILLA KNITTERS INSTITUTE

Best Debut Novel

Maggie Groff, MAD MEN, BAD GIRLS AND THE GEURILLA KNITTERS INSTITUTE

Best Children’s/Young Adult novel

Jennifer Walsh, THE TUNNELS OF TARCOOLA

Best True Crime

Pamela Burton, THE WATERLOW KILLINGS

Reader’s Choice

Kerry Greenwood, TAMAM SHUD: THE SOMERTON MAN

Somewhat appallingly I discover I haven’t read a single on of these winners, though I have linked above to Kerrie’s review of the Kerry Greenwood novel.

Kerry Greenwood was also the recipient of the first ever Lifetime Achievement Award.

For more information about the awards ceremony head to the Sisters in Crime website and for the judging panel reports for each category and the acceptance speech transcripts you can read this eight-page document.

Congratulations to all the winners.

2013 Davitt Awards Shortlist

Bookseller+Publisher reports that the shortlists for this year’s Davitt Awards, presented by Sisters in Crime Australia for the best crime writing by women, have been announced. In each category the shortlisted titles are:

Adult fiction (links are to reviews here at Fair Dinkum)
Cold Grave (Kathryn Fox, Pan)
Paving the New Road (Sulari Gentill, Pantera Press)
Mad Men, Bad Girls and the Guerilla Knitters Institute (Maggie Groff, Pan)
Walking Shadows (Narrelle M Harris, Clan Destine Press)
Silent Fear (Katherine Howell, Pan)
Silent Valley (Malla Nunn, Macmillan)
Sisters of Mercy (Caroline Overington, Bantam)
The Poet’s Cottage (Josephine Pennicott, Macmillan)

Children’s/YA
The Children of the King (Sonya Hartnett, Viking)
Moonlight and Ashes (Sophie Masson, Random House)
Truly Tan (Jen Storer, ABC Books)
The Tunnels of Tarcoola (Jennifer Walsh, A&U)

True crime
The Waterlow Killings (Pamela Burton, Victory)
Missing You (Justine Ford, Five Mile Press).

The winners of these awards plus a Reader’s Choice category and the first ever Lifetime Achievement award will be announced in Melbourne on 31 August at a ceremony hosted by New Zealand crime author Vanda Symon.

2013 Ned Kelly Shortlists announced

The shortlists for the Ned Kelly Awards for excellence in Australian crime writing were announced by the Australian Crime Writers Association at the recent Byron Bay Writers Festival. The winners in each category will be announced during the Brisbane Writers Festival on 7 September 

The following links are to the reviews created on Fair Dinkum Crime except where noted. You’ve got a month to get reading so you can compare your thoughts with the judges’.

Best First Fiction

Best Fiction

The links below take you to various reviews because we’re just not into true crime here at Fair Dinkum

True Crime

Davitt Awards 2013: record 61 books on longlist

The Sisters in Crime Australia have a record 61 Books in contention for the 13th Davitt Awards (2013) for the best crime books by Australian women.

Six Davitt Awards will be presented at a gala dinner on 31 August by leading New Zealand crime writer, Vanda Symon, at the Thornbury Theatre in Melbourne: Best Novel (Adult); Best Novel (Children’s and Young Adult); Best True Crime Book; Best Debut Book (any category); Readers’ Choice (as voted by the 600 members of Sisters in Crime Australia).

See more details and the longlist here.

Ned Kelly Awards: Longlists 2013

The 2013 Ned Kelly Awards longlists are now available at the newly created Australian Crime Writers Association website.

See the guidelines for the awards here.

Check the longlists for Best Fiction, First Fiction, and True Crime here.

The short list will be announced as part of the Byron Bay Writers Festival on the 2nd August.

The winners will be announced at the Awards Night that will be part of the Brisbane Writers Festival.

The 2012 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 several categories:

This year’s winners were announced at a gala dinner tonight (1 September) in Melbourne,

The first award of the night was for Best True Crime and it went to journalist and author Liz Porter for COLD CASE FILES in which old cases from Australia, the UK and the US are re-opened in the light of new forensic techniques.

Next came the award for Best Young Fiction book which was apparently fiercely contested. Ursula Dubosarsky’s THE GOLDEN DAY was highly commended by the judges but the winner of this category was Meg McKinlay for SURFACE TENSION

The next award was for Best Adult Novel. Carolyn Morwood’s DEATH AND THE SPANISH LADY was highly commended by judges but the award went to Sulari Gentill for A DECLINE IN PROPHETS. As this particular book was also on my list of five most impressive Australian crime novels for last year I can heartily concur with the judges’ decision on this occasion. It is historical crime fiction set in 1930’s Australia (and beyond) and it is a delight to read, combining thoughtfully drawn characters, a wonderful sense of time and place and a ripper of a story.

The new category for this year of Best Debut Novel went to Jaye Ford for her novel BEYOND FEAR. Ford is yet another journalist-turned-crime-writer and penned a book with loads of strong female characters and snappy pace which I liked a lot.

The final award of the night was the Reader’s Choice Award. All the books in all the other categories are eligible for this award and all members of Sisters in Crime Australia are able to vote for it (and apparently 550 of us did). This year the award was shared by Jaye Ford’s BEYOND FEAR and Y.A. Erskine’s THE BROTHERHOOD!. Both great books and THE BROTHERHOOD was another of my five most impressive Aussie crime novels of last year.

Congratulations to all the winners and thanks to all the writers of all the eligible books. Even from my limited reading of the books in these categories I can attest to the fact that Australian women’s crime writing is in great form.

Information in this post was provided by Vim & Zest Communications and the ever-helpful twitterverse, especially @angsavage to whom I offer a particular thanks for the vicarious thrills provided via #davittawards