Criminal Sisters: the 2011 Davitt Awards

The Davitt Awards are sponsored by Sisters in Crime Australia and are named in honour of Ellen Davitt (1812-1879) who wrote Australia’s first mystery novel, FORCE AND FRAUD in 1865. Awards are given annually to crime writing by women in 4 categories:

  • the best adult novel
  • the best young fiction book
  • the best true crime
  • and the Reader’s Choice award, voted by members of Sisters in Crime.

As a member of Sisters in Crime (which anyone can be for a very reasonable annual fee) I am eligible to vote in the Reader’s Choice category which has caused me to go *eeeek*. The problem is that all books from any of the other three categories are eligible in the Reader’s Choice category. Does that mean I need to have read them all before casting my vote? I have until 1 August to vote but still it’s A LOT of books. Even if I concentrate on the adult category it’s still 25 books, of which I’ve read 7 so far (in red in the list below). Although I would have enough trouble picking which of those to vote for so do I want to make it harder by reading more of the books?

Anyway, for your interest here is the full list of books eligible in all categories. Do let me know if you have a must read of the books I haven’t yet read and I’ll see if I can get to it before the voting deadline.


  • Sydney Bauer, Matter of Trust (PanMacmillan Australia)
  • A A Bell, Diamond Eyes (HarperCollins)
  • Honey Brown, The Good Daughter (Penguin Books Australia)
  • Miranda Darling, Troika Dolls (Allen & Unwin)
  • Marianne Delacourt, Sharp Turn (Allen & Unwin)
  • Ilsa Evans, Sticks and Stones (PanMacmillan Australia)
  • Kathryn Fox, Death Mask (PanMacmillan Australia)
  • Sulari Gentill, A Few Right Thinking Men (Pantera Press)
  • Leah Giarrantano, Watch the World Burn (Random House Australia)
  • H M Goltz, Mastermind (Atlas Productions)
  • Kerry Greenwood, Dead Man’s Chest (Allen & Unwin)
  • Anna Haebich, Murdering Stepmothers: The Execution of Martha Rendell (University of Western Australia Press)
  • Katherine Howell, Cold Justice (PanMacmillan Australia)
  • Katherine Howell, Violent Exposure (PanMacmillan Australia)
  • Wendy James, Where Have You Been? (University of Western Australia Press)
  • Maggie Joel, The Second Last Woman in England (Murdoch Books)
  • Louisa Larkin, The Genesis Flaw (Murdoch Books)
  • P D Martin, Kiss of Death (PanMacmillan Australia)
  • Colleen McCullough, Naked Cruelty (HarperCollins) (well I’m half way through it)
  • P M Newton, The Old School (Penguin Books Australia)
  • Malla Nunn, Let the Dead Lie (PanMacmillan Australia)
  • Leigh Redhead, Thrill City (Allen & Unwin)
  • Angela Savage, The Half-Child (Text)
  • Felicity Young, Take Out (Fremantle Press)
  • Helene Young, Border Watch (Hachette Australia)

  • Randa Abdel-Fattah, Noah’s Law: Crime, Punishment and Paper Jams (PanMacmillan Australia)
  • Georgia Blain, Darkwater (Random House Australia)
  • Nette Hilton, The Innocents (Random House Australia)
  • Rebecca James, Beautiful Malice (Allen & Unwin)
  • Catherine Jinks, The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group (Allen & Unwin)
  • Rebecca Lim, Mercy (Harper Collins)
  • Gabrielle Lord, Conspiracy 365 – February (Scholastic Australia)
  • Gabrielle Lord, Conspiracy 365 – March (Scholastic Australia)
  • Gabrielle Lord, Conspiracy 365 – April (Scholastic Australia)
  • Gabrielle Lord, Conspiracy 365 – May (Scholastic Australia)
  • Gabrielle Lord, Conspiracy 365 – June (Scholastic Australia)
  • Gabrielle Lord, Conspiracy 365 – July (Scholastic Australia)
  • Gabrielle Lord, Conspiracy 365 – August (Scholastic Australia)
  • Gabrielle Lord, Conspiracy 365 – September (Scholastic Australia)
  • Gabrielle Lord, Conspiracy 365 – October (Scholastic Australia)
  • Gabrielle Lord, Conspiracy 365 – November (Scholastic Australia)
  • Gabrielle Lord, Conspiracy 365 – -December (Scholastic Australia)
  • Shirley Marr, Fury (Black Dog Books)
  • Sophie Masson, The Phar Lap Mystery (Scholastic Australia)
  • Penny Matthews, A Girl Like Me (Penguin Books Australia
  • Isabelle Merlin, Bright Angel (Random House Australia)
  • Chrissie Michaels, Lonnie’s Shadow (Ford Street Publishing)
  • Lara Morgan, Genesis (Walker Books)


  • Lindy Cameron & Ruth Wykes, Women Who Kill: Chilling Portraits of Australia’s Worst Female Murderers (The Five Mile Press)
  • Colleen Egan, Murderer No More (Allen & Unwin)
  • Geesche Jacobsen, Abandoned: The Sad Death of Dianne Brimble (Allen & Unwin)
  • Wendy Lewis, Gone: 25 of the world’s most chilling and bizarre kidnappings (The Five Mile Press)
  • Lindsay Simpson and Jennifer Cooke, Honeymoon Dive (PanMacmillan Australia)

9 thoughts on “Criminal Sisters: the 2011 Davitt Awards

  1. This is good and frustrating. There is nothing I like more than a great woman protagonist written by a woman author.
    However, this list is like having a gift of a great chocolate cake in my refrigerator, but being on a diet.
    It's so hard to get books from Oz in the States. A few are carried by Book Depository, but many aren't.
    Is there a way of prioritizing or rating, so that a reader knows which to purchase or to try to search for?
    Perhaps the thing to do is wait for the reviews, and then figure it out.


  2. Kathy I'll do some kind of wrap up of all the ones I've read just before voting closes on 1 August – I'm hoping to read several more of the books before then 🙂

    As for getting hold of the books in the US I can understand your frustration. We do have at least one local publisher reading the blog so hopefully they see your comments (unfortunately for you though the most likely way for the books to be made available is via Kindle or other ebook format as it is so much cheaper – getting books printed in relatively small runs which is the kind of thing they'd do for an unknown name is expensive which is, I assume, why they don't do it).


  3. If you're up for a great true-crime read Bernadette, I can highly recommend Colleen Egan's terrific 'Murderer No More' detailing her courageous part in freeing the 'fitted up' Andrew Mallard from serving life in a WA prison. While based on solid research, it reads in parts like a novel because of Colleen's use of AM's POV.


  4. Pingback: Review: Matter of Trust by Sydney Bauer « Fair Dinkum Crime

  5. Pingback: Aussie Authors Update #2 | Reactions to Reading

  6. Pingback: Books of the Month – June 2011 | Reactions to Reading

  7. Pingback: Review: THE HALF-CHILD by Angela Savage « Fair Dinkum Crime

  8. Pingback: A difficult reader’s choice « Fair Dinkum Crime

Comments are closed.