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Sisters in Crime in the Library: Science Week

August 18, 2022 @ 6:00 pm

In partnership with Sisters in Crime Australia and Port Phillip Libraries, aspiring author and trained forensic scientist Maggie Baron speaks with authors Kimberley Starr and Sue Williams about how science provides such fertile raw material for crime and mystery novels.

In Kimberley Starr’s The Map of Night (Pantera Press, July 2022), astronomer Lucy Rutherford is celebrating the refurbishment of the 100-year-old telescope in the Yarra Valley. Her husband, Justin, is running for parliament, but Lucy isn’t interested in being a politician’s wife. A week before polling day Lucy takes the family dog for a walk and doesn’t return … Is it because, as Lucy says, “Dark Matter pulls light waves into curves, and conceals the true location of everything. It distorts reality?” Kimberley Starr is a teacher whose previous three novels The Kingdom Where Nobody Dies, The Book of Whispers and Torched have won and been shortlisted for multiple literary awards, including the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award and the Text Publishing YA Prize. She is currently completing a PhD in Creative Writing.

Sue Williams’ latest novel, Death at the Belvedere (Text Publishing, May 2022), is the fourth to feature Cass Tuplin, owner of the takeaway in Rusty Bore, population 147, in the Mallee. Cass remains an unlicensed investigator and this time round she has to travel to Melbourne to investigate the death of her sister’s boyfriend who has been pushed off the rooftop terrace of his Fitzroy apartment. Unexpectedly, it involves sleuthing at the Phillipson Centre, an antibiotic research institute in Melbourne where there seems to be a lot of skulduggery going on …

Sue is a science and travel writer and a chartered accountant who also holds a PhD in marine biology. Her previous novels include Murder with the Lot, Dead Men Don’t Order Flake (which might just win the prize for the best Australian crime novel title ever), and Live and Let Fry.

Maggie Baron headshot

Maggie Baron is a former convener and inaugural President of Sisters in Crime. She has judged both the Scarlet Stiletto and the Davitt awards. Maggie was a state forensic scientist for six years and has since worked in a number of roles which have taken her to the bottom of the ocean floor as a shipwreck conservator; to archaeology sites in North-East Syria; between the stacks at the State Library and down a deep tunnel, delivering Melbourne’s next underground railway.

She now seeks a publisher for her debut crime novel … 

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