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High stakes, low morals

July 26 @ 8:00 pm 10:00 pm

Friday 26 July. From 6.30 pm dinner; 8 pm show

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.

Sherryl Clark, Jane Sullivan, and Jess Kitching will talk with host Janice Simpson about their gutsy characters and how women can fight back – even in the nineteenth century.

In Woman, Missing (HQ Fiction) by Sherryl Clark, gutsy new P.I. Lou Alcott draws two cases with at-risk women on her very first day. One woman has apparently left her husband without a word. The other is convinced her abusive ex is stalking her again, but when she fails to show up for their meeting   Lou keeps digging until she unearths chilling evidence that puts her in the hot seat. Will Lou’s first case be her last?

Sherryl’s crime writing began with short stories published in the Artemis anthologies back in the nineties. There is only one murder in all her children’s books (so far), but her first adult crime novel, Trust Me, I’m Dead, was shortlisted for the UK Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger. It was subsequently published by Verve Books UK, along with two more in the Judi Westerholme series – Dead and Gone and Mad, Bad and Dead. Lou Alcott, her newly-minted private eye, first appeared in a short story written for the Scarlet Stiletto Awards, and then demanded a novel!

Murder in Punch Lane (Echo Publishing), Jane Sullivan’s first crime novel, is set in 1868 and was inspired by real events and people. It follows the quest of two unlikely detectives as they become entangled in the sins and secrets of the brash goldfields’ city.

When dazzling theatre star Marie St Denis dies in the arms of her best friend, fellow actress Lola Sanchez, everyone believes it was suicide by laudanum overdose. Everyone except Lola. On the brink of stardom herself, she risks everything by embarking on a quest to find Marie’s killer, joining forces with journalist Magnus Scott along the way.

Lola traverses the corrupt underbelly of the brash young metropolis disguised as a boy, entering dangerous, forbidden spaces where the lives of the rich and privileged intersect with the city’s underclass and outsiders: bohemians, theatre folk, prostitutes, down-and-outs, and opium addicts. They must race to find the murderer before the city destroys them both.

Jane, an author and literary journalist, writes the Saturday Turning Pages column about books and writing for the Age and the online Sydney Morning Herald. Her previous novel Little People, set in 1870s’ Australia, was shortlisted for the Scribe-CAL fiction prize and for the UK Encore award for a second novel. Her other books are a novel, The White Star, and a memoir, Storytime, about growing up with books. She has had a long association with Sisters in Crime, including being a judge of the Davitt Awards.

Jess Kitching’s, Lucky Number 11 (Kingsley Publications) focuses on Hannah Allen who was abducted by an elusive serial killer when she was fourteen years old. Intended to be his eleventh victim, she was his only survivor. Ten years later, a body is found, bearing eerily similar injuries to his victims, complete with the numerical brand he forced upon his captives. Can she survive a serial killer twice, or has her luck finally run out?

Jess is a thriller author, originally from Bradford, England. Since moving to Australia in 2019 she has written three bestselling, internationally published novels – The Girl She Was Before, How to Destroy Your Husband, and Lucky Number 11. Her writing touches on a range of themes, from the trauma legacy of bullying to surviving sexual assault.

Host Janice Simpson lives and works in regional Victoria, where she fits writing crime novels, mostly, and reading anything that’s worth reading, into a calendar of building bike trails and organising local word festivals, such as Words in Winter. Her debut crime novel, Murder in Mt Martha, came out in 2016, followed by A Body of Work, and she finished her PhD in creative practice. She is a former convenor of Sisters in Crime.

Men or ‘brothers-in-law’ welcome.

Sun Bookshop stall: members receive a 10% discount.

Free on-street parking after 6 pm.

Additional information: Carmel Shute 0412 569 356 admin@sistersincrime.org.au; www.sistersincrime.org.au

$12 – $62 Entry and dinner combined charge: $60 non-members; $55 concession; $52 Sisters in Crime and Writers Victoria members, $50 under 19. Please book by 12 pm Thursday 25 July. Dinner upstairs from 6.30-pm. A limited number of tickets are available at the door from 7.30 pm for $12-22.

The Rising Sun Hotel

cnr Raglan Street and Eastern Road
South Melbourne, Victoria 3205 Australia
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(03) 9696 2411
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