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Past Imperfect: Delving into the swirl of history, murder and intrigue

April 6, 2018 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

$10 – $17
debut trio_McTiernan_Schmidt_Kovacic

Three debut authors – Dervla McTiernan, Sarah Schmidt and Katherine Kovacic – in conversation with Robyn Walton will discuss how their novels shine a light on unsolved crimes, both real and imagined.

Dervla McTiernan’s novel, The Rúin (HarperCollins Australia), is set in Ireland. Detective Cormac Reilly is assigned to re-investigate a seemingly accidental overdose that happened twenty years ago. The case draws him deep into the dark heart of Ireland where corruption, desperation and crime run rife, asking, Who will protect us when the authorities can’t – or won’t?

Dervla was born in Ireland and now lives in Perth where she works for the Mental Health Commission. Being shortlisted in the 2015 Scarlet Stiletto Awards gave her the seed of confidence to get her through five drafts of the work that eventually became The Rúin.

In See What I Have Done (Hachette Australia), Sarah Schmidt offers a unique fictional look inside the mind of Lizzie Borden, famously accused of murdering her father and stepmother in Massachusetts in 1892. According to the skipping rhyme, Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks and when she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one. Schmidt’s compelling reimagining of the murders, the lead-up and aftermath, is told in four voices.

Sarah currently works as a Reading & Literacy Coordinator at a regional public library and has a Master of Arts (Creative Writing). See What I Have Done has been published in Australia, the US, the UK, and the Netherlands and will soon be out in Germany, France, Italy, Poland and Turkey.


The Portrait of Molly Dean (Echo Publishing) by Katherine Kovacic begins in 1999 when art dealer Alex Clayton stumbles across a lost portrait of Molly Dean, a real artist’s muse brutally slain in Elwood in 1930. Alex buys the painting and, with the help of her close friend art conservator John Porter, sifts through the clues and deceptions that swirl around the last days of Molly Dean.

A Melbourne-based author, Katherine is a veterinarian by profession but preferred training and having fun with dogs to taking their temperature. She seized the chance to return to study and earned an MA, followed by a PhD in Art History. Katherine spends her spare time writing, dancing and teaching other people’s dogs to skateboard.


Robyn Walton, Vice-President of Sisters in Crime, has a PhD in English Literature and has taught English and cultural history at universities in both Sydney and Melbourne. Robyn reviews books for several publications and interviews authors for the Sisters in Crime website.

The Rising Sun Hotel (upstairs – no lift)
cnr Raglan Street and Eastern Road, South Melbourne
Melways map 57 H2
Free on-street parking after 6 pm
Trams 1, 12 or 55 or St Kilda Road trams

$15 non-members/$10 Sisters in Crime and Writers Victoria members/concession
Tickets not sold prior to the event will be available at the door for $12/$17.
Dinner upstairs from 6.30 pm (bookings not necessary)
Men or ‘brothers-in-law’ welcome.

Bookings: Eventbrite

Sun Bookshop stall:
Members receive a 10% discount

Additional information:
Carmel Shute 0412 569 356


Carmel Shute
0412 569 356


Rising Sun Hotel
2 Raglan St
South Melbourne, Vic 3205 Australia
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9696 2411
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