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…

Fiona Lowe, The Accident

For the April Crime Stack, HQ Fiction has kindly offered 20 copies of The Accident, by award-winning Geelong writer, Fiona Lowe. 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 Accident, a ripper read.

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Dual timelines, double the thrills: Lisa Medved

For the April Author Spotlight, Natalie Conyer, spoke to Lisa Medved about her debut novel. The Engraver’s Secret. Lisa, an Australian author, lives in the Haque but will be visiting Australia and speaking at Sisters in Crime’s Melbourne event, Reimaging the Sleuth, on Friday 19 April, 8pm. Natalie says that you’d hardly know that The Engraver’s Secret is Lisa Medved’s debut novel: it’s a complex mix of art and crime, a novel about families, and an exciting what-if mystery.

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From the mountains to the sea: Lee Christine

The scene of the crime is all important for Lee Christine. Her three novels in her Snowy Mountains crime trilogy, Charlotte Pass, Crackenback, and Dead Horse Gap are set in and around the small towns and ski resorts of New South Wales, an area she was very familiar with. So, when it was time to pick up her pen or her next novel, Glenrock, she felt it was important to give her readers a strong sense of place once again – this time in the region around Newcastle that has changed enormously since the closure of BHP twenty-five years ago.

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18th Law Week Panel: Postmortem

Sisters in Crime Australia is again proud to join forces with the Sir Zelman Cowen Centre, Victoria University, to present its 18th Law Week event. An expert panel from the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (VIFM) – Dr Melanie Archer (forensic pathologist and forensic entomologist), Associate Professor Linda IIes (Head of Pathology forensic pathologist), Dr Samantha Rowbotham (forensic anthropologist), and Dr Lyndall Smythe (forensic odontologist) – will explore the what, when, who, and where revealed by postmortems with true crime author and novelist, Dr Liz Porter.

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Reimagining the sleuth

The sleuth in crime fiction is no longer a cop or PI. Three authors explore some of the new-style investigators now at work. For Haque-based author, Lisa Medved (The Engraver’s Secret), it’s a contemporary art historian exploring a mystery in the 17th century world of Reubens. For Sulari Gentill from Batlow, NSW (The Mystery Writer), it’s the aspiring author herself who finds something sinister going on in the world of publishing and has to unravel the mystery before she becomes the next victim. For Melbourne-based author, Aoife Clifford, the title says it all: It takes a town. . . to solve a murder. Interrogating the authors is multi-award-winning author, Emma Viskic.

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Murder Monday: Ovidia Yu

For the March Murder Monday, Sisters in Crime’s Jacq Ellem spoke to Ovidia Yu, one of Singapore’s best-known and most acclaimed writers. Ovidia has had over thirty plays produced and is the author of the Aunty Lee Singaporean Murder Mysteries series and the Crown Colony Crime series, which has been optioned for TV by Poisson Rouge Pictures.

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Vale Brenda Richards

Sisters in Crime and the St Kilda community are mourning the death of Brenda Richards at the age of 85. She was a member of Sisters in Crime for over 30 years and wrote two crime novels. Brenda was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in 2011. primarily for her role in founding the Council of Single Mothers and their Children. A few years later she was made an Ambassador for Women by the Labor Party, as well as the Number 1 female ticket holder for the local St. Kilda City Football Club. In 2021, Brenda received an OAM “for service to the community through social welfare organisations”.

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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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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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