The 2011 Davitt Award Winners Are…

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.

This year’s winners were announced at the Sisters in Crime conference SheKilda on Saturday night, 8 October.

Best Adult Novel went to Katherine Howell for her novel COLD JUSTICE which tells the story of the investigation into the 19 year old murder of a teenage boy in a Sydney suburb. For more about the book you can check out my review and Kerrie‘s. We both rated this one very highly.

Best Young Fiction went to Penny Matthews for A GIRL LIKE ME. I’m afraid I don’t know much about this one as YA is not really my thing but if any of our readers have read it please do leave us some comments

Best True Crime went to Colleen Egan for her book MURDERER NO MORE about the acquittal of Andrew Mallard who had been convicted and jailed for murder on the basis of a forced confession and other dodgy evidence. Mallard spent 11 years in jail. I haven’t read the book but have watched a television documentary about this case and the work that Egan (a journalist) and others did on Mallard’s behalf and that was certainly a sobering look at what can go wrong with the justice system

The Reader’s Choice Award went to P. M. Newton for her debut novel THE OLD SCHOOL. You might remember I put a fair amount of thought into my vote (as a member of Sisters in Crime I was eligible to vote in this category) and while I didn’t select this book I am very happy that it won as it too is an excellent read. You can see my review here and take a look at Kerrie’s too. I just hope this doesn’t go to Pam’s head too much and take her focus away from the second book which some of us are waiting very impatiently for 🙂

Congratulations to all the winners. I haven’t read all the books in all the categories but from those I’ve read I can say that women’s crime writing in Australia is in fine shape and I look forward to another great year ahead.

If you’re looking for something to read here’s the full list of adult novels eligible for the Davitt award this year with links to reviews here at Fair Dinkum where available

  • 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)