Davitt Awards Longlist Announced
9 May 2022
Sisters in Crime Australia launched the Davitt Awards for best crime books by Australian women at its 10th anniversary convention, SheKilda 2001 to provide some much needed recognition for Australian women crime writers. We're pleased to see the below title featured on the longlist.
Non-Fiction Crime Books
The Husband Poisoner by Tanya Bretherton
Published in large print in December 2022 and published in CD and MP3 CD audiobook and uLibrary eAudiobook in May 2022.
After World War II, Sydney experienced a chillingly calculated crime wave thanks to discontent mixed with despair, greed with callous disregard. Women who had lost their wartime freedoms headed back into the kitchen with sinister intent, and the household poison thallium - normally used against rats - was repurposed to kill husbands and other inconvenient family members.
Yvonne Fletcher disposed of two husbands. Caroline Grills cheerfully poisoned her stepmother, a family friend, her brother and his wife. And once one death was attributed to natural causes, it was all too easy for an aggrieved woman to kill again...
This is the story of a series of murders that struck at the very heart of domestic life. It's the tale of women who looked for deadly solutions to what they saw as impossible situations. The Husband Poisoner documents the reasons behind the choices these women made - and their terrible outcomes.
Daughter Of The River Country by Dianne O’Brien with Sue Williams
Published in large print in November 2021.
Born in rural New South Wales in the 1940s, baby Dianne is immediately taken from her Indigenous parents and adopted by an Irish couple. Raised in the era of the 'White Australia' policy and widespread racism, she grows up believing Val is her birth mother. Val promises Dianne that when she turns fifteen, she will tell her a story. Then, just months before Dianne's fifteenth birthday, Val dies. Abandoned by her stepfather, Dianne goes on to endure years of horrific violence at the hands of different partners, drug and alcohol addiction, and cruel betrayal by those closest to her.
But, miraculously, her fighting spirit is not extinguished. And when, at the age of twenty-nine, Dianne learns the truth of her Aboriginal heritage, she finds her place in the world...
Adult Crime Novels
The Painting by Alison Booth
Published in large print, CD and MP3 CD audiobook and uLibrary eAudiobook in August 2021.
When Anika Molnar flees her home country of Hungary not long before the break-up of the Soviet Union, she carries only a small suitcase - and a beautiful and much-loved painting of an auburn-haired woman in a cobalt blue dress from her family's hidden collection.
Arriving in Australia, Anika moves in with her aunt in Sydney, and the painting hangs in pride of place in her bedroom. But one day it is stolen in what seems to be a carefully planned theft, and Anika's carefree life takes a more ominous turn.
Sinister secrets from her family's past and Hungary's fraught history cast suspicion over the painting's provenance, and she embarks on a gripping quest to uncover the truth.
Before You Knew My Name by Jacqueline Bublitz
Published in large print in August 2021.
When she arrived in New York on her 18th birthday carrying nothing but $600 cash and a stolen camera, Alice was looking for a fresh start. Now, just one month later, she is the city's latest Jane Doe, an unidentified murder victim. Ruby Jones is also trying to start over; she travelled halfway around the world only to find herself lonelier than ever. Until she finds Alice Lee's body by the Hudson River. From this first, devastating encounter, the two women form an unbreakable bond. Alice is sure that Ruby is the key to solving the mystery of her life - and death. And Ruby - struggling to forget what she saw that morning - finds herself unable to let Alice go. Not until she is given the ending she deserves.
You Had It Coming by B. M. Carroll
Published in large print, CD and MP3 CD audiobook and uLibrary eAudiobook in December 2021.
When paramedic Megan Lowe is called to the scene of an attempted murder, all she can do is try to save the victim. But as the man is lifted onto a stretcher, she realises she knows him. She despises him. Why should she save his life when he destroyed hers?
Jess Foster is on her way home when she receives a text from Megan. Once best friends, the two women haven't been close for years, not since the night when they were just the teenage girls whom no-one believed; whose reputations were ruined. All Jess can think is, you had it coming.
Now Megan and Jess are at the centre of a murder investigation. But what secrets are they hiding? Can they trust one another? And who really is the victim?
The Night Village by Zoe Deleuil
Published in large print, CD and MP3 CD audiobook and uLibrary eAudiobook in August 2021.
When Australian expat Simone moves to London to start a career, getting pregnant is not on her agenda. But she's excited to start a new life with her baby and determined to be a good mother. Even though her boyfriend Paul's cold and grey apartment in the Barbican Estate seems completely ill-suited for a baby. Even though Simone and Paul have only known each other for a year. Even though she feels utterly unprepared for motherhood. The arrival of Paul's cousin Rachel in the flat should be a godsend. But there is something about Rachel that Simone doesn't trust. Fighting sleep deprivation and a rising sense of unease, she begins to question Rachel's motives, and to wonder what secrets the cousins share.
Who Do You Trust? by Kirsty Ferguson
Published in large print, CD and MP3 CD audiobook and uLibrary eAudiobook in March 2021.
A perfect sunny day, a family celebration, a heart-stopping hour that changes everything...
Dana has all she ever wanted - a husband she loves, her four-year-old daughter Kelsey who is the apple of her eye, and another baby on the way to complete her perfect family.
But then the worst fear that Dana has, comes true, and everything she thought she knew, she now starts to doubt. As her world comes crashing around her, who can Dana trust?
Her husband Logan who seems to be getting worryingly close to Dana's best friend Pippa?
Her new friend Melanie who has a sinister habit of turning up in the strangest places?
Her parents and her sister, who Dana knows are keeping a terrible secret from her?
Matt, who says he's Dana's friend, but sometimes she's not so sure?
Or will Dana discover that it's a dangerous mistake to trust anyone...
Shadow Over Edmund Street by Suzanne Frankham
Published in large print in December 2022 and published in CD and MP3 CD audiobook and uLibrary eAudiobook in June 2022.
Edwina is an old-school battler. Her life revolves around the church and her job unpacking vegetables early in the morning, while around her a new generation turns Ponsonby into a trendy, uber-chic suburb. It is a chance win in a church raffle - a gym membership - that changes her life. She meets different people; makes a new young friend named Rose, and transforms herself: a metamorphosis, Rose calls it.
And then Edwina is murdered.
Detective Alex Cameron and his team, Jerry and Marion, investigate. It's a casual comment from Rose which sends them trawling through Edwina's childhood - a time when Ponsonby was tougher, poverty carved a deep scar, and some people would do anything to escape...
The River Mouth by Karen Herbert
Published in large print ,CD and MP3 CD audiobook and uLibrary eAudiobook in February 2022.
Ten years ago, fifteen-year-old Darren Davies was shot dead at the river mouth. The killer was never found.
Now, Darren's mother Sandra receives a visit from the police. Her best friend Barbara Russell has also been found dead, out in the bush. And Barbara's DNA matches the DNA found under Darren's fingernails.
When the investigation into Darren's murder is reopened, Sandra begins to question what she knew about her best friend. As she digs, she discovers that there are many secrets in her small town - and that her late son had his own, too...
The Safe Place by L. A. Larkin
Published in CD and MP3 CD audiobook and uLibrary eAudiobook in February 2022.
Eagle Falls is a sleepy town in Washington State. Surrounded by forests and a national park, it's threatened by huge wildfires. But when a family dies in a house blaze, it's suspected to be the work of an arsonist...
Jessie Lewis, a former firefighter and survivor of domestic abuse, sleeps with a gun on her bedside table. Ruth Sullivan has retired from the FBI in Seattle after a terrorist attack killed her partner. Both women find themselves on the trail of the arsonist - and tangled up in the web of lies that runs through Eagle Falls.
Widow’s Island by L. A. Larkin
Published in CD and MP3 CD audiobook and uLibrary eAudiobook in June 2021.
It's already dark when Stephanie Miller returns to her lakeside home on Whisper Island. Remote and isolated with a view over the water, it's the way Stephanie has chosen to live since her husband died. Calling out her daughter's name as she closes the door, she hears her phone buzz inside her purse. She doesn't have to look to know what it says. Someone knows her biggest secret. Someone wants to kill her for it. The messages have been coming all day, but this one is different. This one knows she's just walked through the door.
I Shot The Devil by Ruth McIver
Published in large print in April 2022 and published in CD and MP3 CD audiobook and uLibrary eAudiobook in March 2022.
Erin Sloane was sixteen when high school senior Andre Villiers was murdered by his friends. They were her friends, too, led by the intense, charismatic Ricky Hell. Five people went into West Cypress Woods the night Andre was murdered. Only three came out.
Ativan, alcohol and distance have dimmed Erin's memories of that time. But nearly twenty years later, an ageing father will bring her home. Now a journalist, she is asked to write a story about the Southport Three and the thrill-kill murder that electrified the country. Erin's investigation propels her closer and closer to a terrifying truth. And closer and closer to danger.
The Last Reunion by Kayte Nunn
Published in CD and MP3 CD audiobook in November 2021.
Burma, 1945: Bea, Plum, Bubbles, Joy and Lucy are five young women looking for adventure - fighting a forgotten war in the jungle, attached to the Fourteenth Army as they run a mobile canteen, navigating treacherous roads and dodging hostile gunfire.
Oxford, 1976: A woman slips into a museum and steals several rare Japanese netsuke, including the famed fox-girl. Despite the offer of a considerable reward, these tiny, exquisitely detailed carvings are never seen again.
London and Galway, 1999: On the eve of the new millennium, Olivia, assistant to an art dealer, meets Beatrix, an elderly widow who wishes to sell her late husband's collection of Japanese art. Concealing her own motives, Olivia travels with Beatrix to a New Year's Eve party deep in the Irish countryside, where friendships will be tested - and secrets kept for more than fifty years will be spilled. . .
The Serpent’s Skin by Erina Redden
Published in large print in April 2021.
It's a cold and wintery night in 1968 and ten-year-old JJ's mother isn't home. The cows are milked, the pigs fed, and her dad won't answer any questions. The four children survive as best they can in a cloud of their father's lies and clear misery, dealing with their mother's absence in their own ways. But it's always been JJ's job to cause trouble, and her sleuthing wreaks havoc in their tight-knit community. Fourteen years on, JJ has a new life, a loving partner and a good job, but she finds herself being pulled back into the unsolved mystery of her childhood. While pretending to have made peace with her father's dishonesty, she organises a final farewell for her mother so they can all put the past behind them. Will the tragic truth finally set them all free?
Shiver by Allie Reynolds
Published in large print, CD and MP3 CD audiobook and uLibrary eAudiobook in April 2021.
When Milla is invited to a reunion in the French Alps resort that saw the peak of her snowboarding career, she drops everything to go. While she would rather forget the events of that winter, the invitation comes from Curtis, the one person she can't seem to let go. The five friends haven't seen each other for 10 years, since the disappearance of the beautiful and enigmatic Saskia. But when an icebreaker game turns menacing, they realise they don't know who has really gathered them there and how far they will go to find the truth. In a deserted lodge high up a mountain, the secrets of the past are about to come to light.
Hidden Valley by Annie Seaton
Published in CD and MP3 CD audiobook and uLibrary eAudiobook in April 2021.
Happily working on her family’s macadamia farm in the rolling hills of northern New South Wales, Dee Peters receives an enigmatic letter hinting of family secrets, and the prospect of her inheriting a cattle station in the Northern Territory outback. Intrigued, Dee decides to stay on the station for six months while she attempts to make sense of the past. Ryan Carey has managed Wilderness Springs cattle station since his father died suddenly, the last thing Ryan expects is the arrival of a woman, and one who is keen to take over the running of the property. With reluctance, he agrees to work with Dee, but as she tries to make sense of why the property was left to her, a chilling secret from the past will shock them both. As Dee and Ryan attempt to uncover the secrets of Wilderness Springs, it soon becomes very clear that someone will do anything to stop them discovering the truth.