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…

High stakes, low morals

There are men who exploit women, men who beat women, men who abduct women, men who murder women . . . but there are also women – a lot of women – fighting back. Hosted by Janice Simpson, with Sherryl Clark (Woman, Missing), Jane Sullivan (Murder in Punch Lane), and Jess Kitching (Lucky Number 11).

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BOOKED OUT! 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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Murder Monday: Fleur McDonald

For the May Murder Monday, Sisters in Crime’s Jacq Ellem spoke to WA regional author, Fleur McDonald who has more than 20 novels to her credit and has sold more than 850,000 copies. All of Fleur’s novels are set in regional Australia and she’s often called the “Voice of the Outback”. She was writing rural noir before it was a concept. Fleur’s storylines draw inspiration from having lived and worked on farms for much of her life and she now owns 4050ha farm east of Esperance.

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Festive Murder: Tasmanian Chapter In Conversation

Don your finest hippie gear and join Alison Alexander, Jude Alexander, and Tasmanian Chapter Convenor L.J.M. Owen to explore their motives for setting dark deeds at festivals. Alison and Jude Alexander are multi-talented Tasmanian mother and daughter co-authors of Death at a Festival: An Australian Hippie Murder Mystery (out in May 2024) featuring a devastating crime at Australia’s wildest hippie gathering.

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Pip Fioretti, Bone Lands

For the May Crime Stack, Affirm Press has kindly offered 20 copies of Bone Lands by Sydney writer, Pip Fioretti. 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 Bone Lands, an outstanding take on rural noir .

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How far do you go to protect your children? Dervla McTiernan

For the May Author Spotlight, Natalie Conyer spoke to Perth author and global publishing sensation, Dervla McTiernan, about her latest novel, What Happened to Nina? She says that Dervla McTiernan bends the conventions of crime fiction as far as they will go, and still produces a powerful, page-turning, thrilling look at murder and its consequences. We know the victim, and the killer, from the start. Our attention is, instead, focused on how the families of both these people react, and on how far parents will go to protect their children.

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Breaking into crime: Amanda Hampson

Amanda Hampson, the author of the best-selling The Tea Ladies and its sequel The Cryptic Clue, fell into crime (writing, not indulging) almost by accident. For twenty years, her work had fallen in the vague area of ‘commercial women’s fiction’ but when her 2021 release got smashed by lockdowns, she decided to change it up and do something quite different. Crime is one of the genres she enjoyed reading and she was keen for the challenge. The crossover to a specific genre instantly made her work more marketable.

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Twisted plots with a cracking pace: Breathing new life into Rural Noir

Rural Noir — crime fiction set everywhere from dry and dusty farming communities to sleepy seaside towns — has become a global publishing sensation. Breathing new life into this established, sometimes tired, genre are three Australian authors – Vikki Wakefield (To the River), Fiona Lowe (The Accident), and Christine Gregory (The Community). They’ll be thrashing through the issues with award-winning author, Margaret Hickey.

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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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