Breaking news. Scarlet Stiletto Bites: Scintillating stories by Australian women

There is another reason to celebrate the 30th Scarlet Stiletto Awards for best short stories.

As part of the Scarlet Stiletto Awards launch on Friday 2 June at the Melbourne Athenaeum Library, Susanna Lobez, actor-turned-barrister-turned-broadcaster-turned-true-crime-author, will also introduce a podcast of the winning stories, Scarlet Stiletto Bites: Scintillating stories by Australian women.

Susanna, the concept designer, is in the throes of narrating all the top winning stories from 1994 in the lead-up to the 30th-anniversary ceremony in Melbourne in late 2023.

“Our podcast is designed for busy lives. Each murder/mystery is short . . . but not always sweet. Expect twisted tales, quirky humour, imagination, and a frisson of feminism,” she said.

The podcast is free and a new episode will be available weekly from 2 June on Apple, Spotify, Amazon, Google, and other services. Catch the trailer and subscribe to

The first podcast features Christina Lee’s 1996 prize-winning story, “Thursday Night at the Opera”.

Christina says: I won the Scarlet Stiletto twice, much to my surprise, in 1992 and 1994, with an Honourable Mention or Third Place or something in between. They stopped letting me enter the competition after that, and I have been on the judging panel every year since then. A wonderful experience.

“I’ve been writing a long time. Decades ago, I co-authored two crime novels, set in a Melbourne tertiary institution (Unable by Reason of Death, 1989; Not In Single Spies, 1992; Penguin Australia). Both sold and reviewed well. The first was an ABC book reading (1990) and optioned for the screen.

After that, an all-encompassing thirty-year academic career seriously got in the way of writing for about thirty years, but I’m an Emeritus Professor now and I’m back – and, looking for a publisher for my new novel.”

Leigh Redhead, crime writer, noir scholar, and femme fatale, briefly introduces each podcast.

Also working on the production are Tim Coy and Carmel Shute, Secretary of Sisters in Crime.

Enquiries: Carmel Shute, Secretary, Sisters in Crime,; 0412 569 356