A sea of scarlet and pearls: Celebrating 30 years of mystery, murder, and malice with Sisters in Crime’s Scarlet Stiletto Awards

South Melbourne’s Rising Sun Hotel was awash with scarlet and pearls on Saturday night (25 November) as crime writers and fans gathered to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Sisters in Crime’s Scarlet Stiletto Awards for best short stories. This year, a record 250 short stories competed for a record $12,720 in prize money. Over the…

Unmasking the truth

So many crimes, so many lies, so much deception. The new novels by Louise Milligan, Sarah Bailey, and Abby Corson expose the perfidy, duplicity, and brutality that define some people, and far too many institutions. They will tell all to journalist and Sisters in Crime convenor, Leslie Falkiner-Rose.

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Murder Monday: Jo Dixon

For the February Murder Monday, Sisters in Crime’s Jacq Ellem spoke to Tasmanian author Jo Dixon who has two crime novels under her belt – The House of Now and Then and, now, A Shadow at the Door, both with HarperCollins Australia. Like many writers, Jo has had a varied career. She has been a dental assistant, an event co-ordinator, a travel agent, and has run an online shop-never really believing her passion for writing could lead to anything.

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24th Davitt Awards for women’s crime books now open

Sisters in Crime Australia’s 24th Davitt Awards for the best crime and mystery books by Australian women from 2023 are now open. The competition is open to books by all women, whether cisgender, transgender or intersex, who are citizens/residents of Australia. Self-published books are eligible. The Davitts cost publishers $25 a title to enter. Many thanks to Swinburne University of Technology for its support.

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From fact to fiction: A.M. Stuart

Terror in Topaz, A.M. Stuart’s fourth Harriet Gordon Mystery (set in Singapore in 1910), was released in October. The story behind the story – the murder of William Steward by his lover, Ethel Proudlock, in 1911 – shocked the world of colonial Malaya. It became a cause celebre, immortalised in William Somerset Maugham’s novel, The Letter, that later became a film.

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Hannah Richell, The Search Party

For the February Crime Stack, Simon & Schuster has kindly offered 20 copies of The Search Party by Hannah Richell, dual citizen of the UK and Australia, and author of four international bestselling novels The Crime Stack is a benefit for Sisters in Crime members. Every month there are 20 books to win in a random draw of members. Join now and be in the running for a complimentary paperback copy of The Search Party.

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Times of change: Lily Malone

Lily Malone’s book, The Waterhole was shortlisted for the Debut award in the 2022 Davitt awards. The book opens with the discovery of skeletal remains in regional Western Australia. Marley West—small town detective—leads the investigation, which uncovers complex family secrets and the need for debts to be paid. To solve the case, Marley must unravel the murky past of three people and gain their trust: two brothers, Bill and Jack, and the then-young teacher Annette, who was posted to their town during the Vietnam War.

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Best holiday reads, 2023-2024

Sisters in Crime invited convenors, author members, Davitt Award judges and winners, and others to nominate their best holiday reads for 2023-2024. As you’ll note, they traverse an extraordinarily wide range of themes, locations, and interests. There is even a bit of magic – not to mention reindeer (not Santa’s helpers!) Some nominations are up-to-the-minute. Others are golden oldies. What they all offer, of course, are hours of reading pleasure and diversion. Let us know what you think.

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Improving literacy, mentoring writers, and boosting reading pleasure!

Murder You Wrote: An Interactive Mystery, curated by L.J.M. Owen, Sisters in Crime’s Tasmanian Convenor and director of the recent Terror Australis Readers and Writers Festival (TARWF), is no ordinary book. It has big ambitions – to improve literacy, to mentor aspiring writers in Tasmania, and to offer untold reading pleasure – and involved a sleuth of Sisters in Crime writers. It is a classic country manor murder mystery but it’s with a twist – you become the detective.

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Celebrating 30 Years of Mystery, Murder and Malice

To mark the Scarlet Stiletto Awards big anniversary, Sisters in Crime published The Scarlet Stiletto: 30 Years of Mystery, Murder and Malice, edited by Vice-President Lindy Cameron, courtesy of Clan Destine Press. Sue Turnbull says that this precious volume contains all 30 of the winning stories that are so different in their approach that it is evident that there is no ‘right’ way to write a winning Scarlet Stiletto story. Indeed, what the unpredictability of these stories suggest is that the more unconventional and original your take on the genre might be, the more likely you are to succeed.

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New Reviews

Every month Sisters in Crime brings you new reviews from women who write criminally good books.

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