Our Australia Day quiz focused on historical crime fiction or the history of crime fiction in Australia.
Q. Which author is the current holder of the Ned Kelly Award for best novel and what time period does the winning novel take place in? (2 points)
A. Geoffrey McGeachin won the 2011 Ned Kelly Award for The Diggers Rest Hotel. The novel is set in 1947. Here at Fair Dinkum HQ we loved this book, here’s Kerrie’s review and mine.
Q. Who won the first Ned Kelly Award and in what year was it awarded? (2 points)
A. The first Ned Kelly Awards were in 1996 and there was a tie between Barry Maitland for The Malcontenta and Paul Thomas for Inside Dope.
Q. An Australian author who published 34 detective novels between 1926-66 gave his part-aboriginal detective the name of a famous figure from history. Who was the author and what was his detective’s full name? (2 points)
A. Arthur Upfield created the character whom he named Napoleon Bonaparte after the French Emperor and well known short bloke.
Q.Australia’s first crime novel was published in 1865. Who wrote it and what was it called? (2 points)
A. Ellen Davitt published a book called Force and Fraud: A Tale of the Bush (But we accepted Force and Fraud on its own too as this is its better known title).
Q. In what way is that author acknowledged by the modern crime fiction community? (1 point)
A. The Australian arm of Sisters in Crime awards the Davitt awards each year to the best crime writing by Australian women. Check out last year’s list of winners.
Q. Which novel by Charles Dickens (published before 1865) featured the first Australian criminal in a novel? (1 point)
A. Great Expectations published in 1861 featured a character called Abel Magwitch, a totally unsavoury chap who was an unwilling Aussie, being sentenced to life as a convict and sent here from England (though he eventually becomes a rich businessman). This question proved a contentious one with some respondents suggesting 1838’s Oliver Twist because the Artful Dodger is sent to a penal colony but from what we’ve been able to glean (no I didn’t re-read the book) it is never explicitly stated in the novel that he is sent to Australia whereas Magwitch is definitely sent to New South Wales.
Q. America’s prestigious Edgar Award for best novel was first issued in 1954 to which Australian author and for what novel? (2 points)
Charlotte Jay’s Beat Not the Bones.
The winner of Sulari Gentill’s MILES OFF COURSE is Stan Lanier of somewhere in America (we’ve sent you an email asking for your snail mail address Stan). I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did and if you need any help with translations from Australian just ask.
Thanks to everyone for entering and stay tuned for another quiz some time soon.