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Twist of fate: Australian rural noir 

June 23, 2023 @ 6:30 pm 10:00 pm

Crime has left the mean streets to stalk the dusty backroads of the Australian bush and thrills abound.

In Michelle Prak’s debut novel, The Rush (Simon & Schuster), two friendly young couples on a sunny outback road trip strike a sudden flood, cut-off roads, and unexpected danger. And a predator is out there . . .

In Blackwater (Affirm Press), the first crime novel by Jacqueline Ross, events take a Gothic turn when the heavily pregnant Grace accompanies her new husband King to Blackwater in remote Tasmania where his father lies dying. When Grace learns about Blackwater’s dark history (“no child will be born here”), she begins to fear that it is the house itself exerting an evil influence on her husband. . .

In Maryrose Cuskelly’s debut crime novel, The Cane (Allen & Unwin), a teenage girl is missing in the cane fields of North Queensland in the early seventies. There are no suspects, the sugar crush is underway, the cane must be burned, and the town is about to ignite. . .

The three authors will explore their thrillers with Catie Maher, Programs Lead at Bayside Library Service and a member of Sisters in Crime. Catie is a total library nerd and is passionate about social inclusion. She has presented on a range of topics at several conferences and seminars, from the importance of library staff to the social literacy skills gained in Lego Club.

Michelle Prak is a professional communicator with a thirty-year career in corporate communication, social media, politics, and journalism. Writing has been the backbone of much of her work and she has written several short stories and self-published commercial women’s fiction titles. She lives in Adelaide and lectures in public relations and social media at the University of South Australia.

Dr Jacqueline Ross is the author of The Third RoomMessy Business, and now Blackwater. She also writes non-fiction books and feature articles.

For the last fifteen years, she’s taught writing to undergraduate and postgraduate students. Jacqueline has a PhD in writing from Swinburne University. She lives and writes in Melbourne.

Maryrose Cuskelly is a writer of fiction and non-fiction. She was born in North Queensland, where, in the early 1970s, there were several high-profile child abductions and murders. In 2016, Maryrose was awarded the New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing (non-fiction) for her essay ‘Well Before Dark’ about Marilyn’s disappearance and the way it percolated through her own childhood and later life. The Cane returns to some of the themes and preoccupations of that essay.

Maryrose’s other books include Wedderburn: A true tale of blood and dust (Allen & Unwin, 2018); Original Skin: Exploring the Marvels of the human hide (Scribe, 2010); and The End of Charity: Time for social enterprise (with Nic Frances, Allen & Unwin, 2008), which was the winner of the Iremonger Award.

Venue: The Rising Sun Hotel (upstairs – no lift), cnr Raglan Street and Eastern Road, South Melbourne. Free on-street parking after 6 pm.

Tickets: Entry and dinner combined charge: $60 non-members; $55 concession; $52 Sisters in Crime and Writers Victoria members, $50 under 19. Please book by 5 pm Thursday 22 June. Tickets not sold prior to the event will be available at the door for $62/$58/$55/$50. Dinner upstairs from 6.30-7.30 pm. Orders need to be in by 7 pm.

Men or ‘brothers-in-law’ welcome.

Bookings: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/twist-of-fate-australian-rural-noir-tickets-631958503897

Sun Bookshop stall: members receive a 10% discount

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