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Killing time: Mysteries with history  

October 13, 2023 @ 6:00 pm 10:00 pm

The Rising Sun Hotel, cnr Raglan Street and Eastern Road, South Melbourne.

Many mysteries have history at their core but some more so than others. Authors Alison Goodman, Nilima Rao, and Margaret Hickey will dissect their mysteries with host Dr Kelly Gardiner and detail what light they shed on contemporary concerns as well as those of earlier times, from the Regency era in England to Fiji in 1914, and to more recent skullduggery on South Australia’s limestone coast.

In Alison Goodman’s The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies (HarperCollins Publishers), a high society amateur detective at the heart of Regency London uses her wits and invisibility as an ‘old maid’ to protect other women in a new and fiercely feminist historical mystery series.

Alison Goodman is a Melbourne-based author of fantasy and historical fiction. She is the author of eight novels including the award-winning Lady Helen trilogy, and EON and EONA, a New York Times bestselling fantasy duology.

Alison has recently completed her PhD focusing on creative writing, historical research, and the Regency era. She is fuelled by coffee and will travel a long way for a good scone.

A Disappearance in Fiji, Nilima Rao’s charming and atmospheric debut mystery, features a 25-year-old Indian police sergeant investigating a missing persons case on a cane plantation in colonial Fiji in 1914. The book offers an unflinching look at the evils of colonialism, even as it brims with wit, vibrant characters, and fascinating historical detail.

Nilima Rao is a Fijian Indian Australian who has always referred to herself as ‘culturally confused’. She has since learned that we are all confused in some way, and has been published on the topic by Australia’s SBS as part of the SBS Emerging Writers Competition, so now feels better about the whole thing. When she isn’t writing, Nilima can be found wrangling data (the dreaded day job) or wandering around Melbourne laneways in search of the next new wine bar. A Disappearance in Fiji is her first novel, and she is currently working on the second in the series.

In Broken Bay, the latest novel in Margaret Hickey’s series, Detective Mark Ariti has to break his holiday to investigate two deaths in a sinkhole on South Australia’s limestone coast – firstly, the drowning of a cave diver and then the demise of a young local woman who disappeared twenty years before . . . Suddenly Mark is diving deep into the town’s history – and in particular the simmering rivalry between its two most prominent families.

Margaret Hickey is an award-winning author and playwright from North East Victoria. She has a PhD in Creative Writing and is deeply interested in rural lives and communities. She is the author of three best-selling crime novels, Cutters End, Stone Town (shortlisted for the 2023 Davitts), and now Broken Bay, and a collection of short stories, Rural Dreams.

The host, Kelly Gardiner writes historical fiction for all ages. Her latest series is The Firewatcher Chronicles and her other books include 1917, shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Young People’s History Prize; Act of Faith and The Sultan’s Eyes, both shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards; and the Swashbuckler pirate trilogy. Goddess, a novel based on the life of the queer, sword-fighting cross-dressing opera star, Mademoiselle de Maupin, is being adapted for the screen.

A short Annual General Meeting will follow the event.

Sun Bookshop stall: Members receive a 10% discount

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

$50 – $60 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 12 October. Tickets not sold prior to the event will be available at the door for $62/$57/$55/$52. Dinner upstairs from 6.00-7.30 pm. Some limited show only tickets are available for non-members $20; concession $15; members $12; under 19 $10. Note: the show starts at 7.30 pm.

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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