aka The Pocket Essential Guide to the Crime Fiction, Film and TV of Australia and New Zealand Kindle Edition
- Format: Kindle Edition
- paperback available for pre-order but publication delayed due to Covid-19 pandemic
- File Size: 2334 KB
- Print Length: 256 pages
- Publisher: Oldcastle Books (23 April 2020)
- Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B08166XDLZ
Australian and New Zealand crime and thriller writing – collectively referred to as Southern Cross Crime – is booming globally, with antipodean authors regularly featuring on awards and bestseller lists, such as Eleanor Catton’s Booker Prize winning The Luminaries and Jane Harper’s big commercial hit, The Dry, winner of the CWA Gold Dagger Award.
Hailing from two sparsely populated nations on the far edge of the former Empire – neighbours that are siblings in spirit, vastly different in landscape – Australian and New Zealand crime writers offer readers a blend of exotic and familiar, seasoned by distinctive senses of place, outlook, and humour, and roots that trace to the earliest days of our genre.
Southern Cross Crime is the first comprehensive guide to modern crime writing from “Down Under”. From coastal cities to the outback, leading critic Craig Sisterson showcases key titles from over 250 storytellers, plus screen dramas ranging from Mystery Road to Top of the Lake. Fascinating insights are added through in-depth interviews with some of the prime suspects who paved the way or instigated the global boom, including Michael Robotham, Paul Cleave, Emma Viskic, Paul Thomas, Candice Fox, and Garry Disher.
This is an essential purchase for crime fiction readers especially in Australia and New Zealand, but also those world-wide who enjoy “antipodean noir”.
It is an authoritative guide to what to read. Craig has focused on the ‘modern era’ choosing the establishment of the Australian Crime Writers Association and the inaugural Ned Kelly awards in 1996 as the starting point. He has attempted to survey “more than 300 Australian and New Zealand crime writers…. and endeavoured to be as inclusive and wide ranging as possible. You will find bestsellers, award winners, hidden gems, lesser known authors, and fresh voices.”
My own reading of New Zealand crime fiction has slackened in recent years, so I began with paper and pen, making note of titles to hunt down. I found that I have more or less kept up with Australian crime fiction, but also that I have missed on quite a few gems, and there was confirmation that my reading of New Zealand crime fiction hasn’t even been the tip of the iceberg. I now have a list that will keep me busy for many years.
This book is a wonderful achievement, not only giving readers tips on a wide variety of titles to look for, interviews with prominent achievers, but also, in the Appendix, arranged from most recent to first years, the Ned Kelly Award winners, the Ngaio Marsh Award winners,and the Davitt Award Winners.
My rating: 5.0
About the author
Craig Sisterson is a features writer and crime fiction expert from New Zealand who writes for newspapers and magazines in several countries. In recent years he’s interviewed hundreds of crime writers and talked about the genre on national radio, top podcasts, and onstage at festivals on three continents. He’s been a judge of the McIlvanney Prize and Ned Kelly Awards, and is founder of the Ngaio Marsh Awards and co-founder of Rotorua Noir.