Davitt Awards 2014 shortlist

Sisters in Crime Australia yesterday announced its shortlist for its 14th Davitt Awards for the best crime books by Australian women, and I was thrilled to learn that The Dying Beach made this year’s shortlist for Best Adult Novel.

It’s the first time a novel of mine has made the Davitts shortlist and, coming on the back of the Ned Kelly Awards shortlisting, I couldn’t be more excited.

According to Sisters in Crime Australia’s announcement, this year a record 76 books published in 2013 compete for six Davitts: Best Adult Novel; Best Novel Young Adult; Best True Crime Book; Best Debut Book (any category); Readers’ Choice (as voted by the 660 members of Sisters in Crime Australia) and, for the very first time, Best Children’s Novel.

Shortlisted are:

Best Adult Novel

  • Honey Brown, Dark Horse (Penguin Books Australia)
  • Ilsa Evans, Nefarious Doings: A Nell Forrest Mystery (Momentum Press)
  • Annie Hauxwell, A Bitter Taste (Penguin Books Australia)
  • Katherine Howell, Web of Deceit (Pan Macmillan Australia)
  • Hannah Kent, Burial Rites (Picador Books)
  • Angela Savage, The Dying Beach (Text)

Best Young Adult Novel

  • Karen Foxlee, The Midnight Dress (UQP)
  • Simmone Howell, Girl Defective (Pan Macmillan Australia)
  • Kim Kane and Marion Roberts, Cry Blue Murder (UQP)
  • Ellie Marney, Every Breath (Allen & Unwin)
  • Felicity Pulman, A Ring Through Time (Harper Collins)

Best Children’s Novel

  • Ursula Dubosarsky, The Perplexing Pineapple: The Cryptic Casebook of Coco Carlomagno (and Alberta) Book 1 (Allen & Unwin)
  • Ursula Dubosarsky, The Looming Lamplight: The Cryptic Casebook of Coco Carlomagno (and Alberta) Book 2 (Allen & Unwin)
  • Susan Green, Verity Sparks: Lost and Found (Walker Books)
  • Jen Storer, Truly Tan: Jinxed! (Harper Collins)
  • Jen Storer, Truly Tan: Spooked! (Harper Collins)

Best True Crime Book

  • Anna Krien, Night Games: Sex, Power and Sport (Black Inc)
  • Kay Saunders, Deadly Australian Women (ABC Books)

Best Debut Book (Any category)

  • Livia Day, A Trifle Dead (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Karen Foxlee, The Midnight Dress (UQP)
  • Simmone Howell, Girl Defective (Pan Macmillan Australia)
  • Hannah Kent, Burial Rites (Picador Books)
  • Ellie Marney, Every Breath (Allen & Unwin)

Davitt judges’ wrangler, Tanya King-Carmichael, said that the five judges had been stunned by the number of entries in this year’s annual Davitt Awards.

“Australian women crime writers have their gumshoes (or stilettos) on and they’re marching across the literary landscape. This year, the five judges were confronted by an astonishing 76 books to get their blood pumping, including 40 adult novels with characters ranging from the psychic to the psychotic.

“Fourteen years ago, when the Davitts were established, only seven adult crime novels by Australian women were in contention. There’s been a great leap forward,” King-Carmichael said.

Kudos to the Sisters, too, for shortlisting an e-book for the first time: Ilsa Evans, Nefarious Doings: A Nell Forrest Mystery, published by Momentum Press, Pan Macmillan Australia’s new digital-only imprint.

The Davitts are named after Ellen Davitt, the author of Australia’s first mystery novel, Force and Fraud, in 1865. The awards will be presented at a gala dinner on Sat 30 August 2014 by South African crime writer Lauren Beukes.

As it happens, I will be interviewing Beukes, together with Australian author Terry Hayes, on the panel Licence to Thrill earlier that day as part of the Melbourne Writers Festival.

Congratulations to all those authors shortlisted for this year’s Davitt’s — lists that include some of my favourite reads for 2013. Again, I found myself not envying the judges…

About Angela Savage

Angela Savage is a Melbourne writer, who has lived and travelled extensively in Asia. She won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript, and the Scarlet Stiletto Award short story award. Her latest novel is, Mother of Pearl, published by Transit Lounge. Angela holds a PhD in Creative Writing, is former CEO of Writers Victoria, and currently works as CEO of Public Libraries Victoria.
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9 Responses to Davitt Awards 2014 shortlist

  1. Margot Kinberg says:

    Oh, Angela, that’s wonderful!!!! And well-deserved! Wow! First the Neddies and now this? Will you still speak to us peons?


  2. John Marlton says:

    Congratulations on nomination for Davitt Awards,

    John Marlt


  3. Lea Johnson says:

    Congratulations Angela – fantastic news – what number do I ring to register my vote???

    Liked by 1 person

  4. kathy d. says:

    Congratulations on the nomination for the Davitt Awards shortlist. It’s about time Jayne Keeney got that recognition.
    But also, it’s great news that 76 books competed for the nominations, up tenfold from 14 years ago. That is a real boost for women crime fiction writers — and readers.
    I am surprised about one omission: Malla Nunn’s latest book “Present Darkness.” It is one of the best in her Emmanuel Cooper series.
    At any rate, good for Jayne! May she investigate in Thailand for many more years — or even travel, if that’s what she wants to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • angelasavage says:

      Thanks for your good wishes, Kathy. And yes, the rise and rise of Australian women’s crime fiction is to be applauded. The Sisters in Crime can take a lot of credit for this, too.

      Rest assured, Malla Nunn’s latest book will be eligible for the Davitt Awards in 2015; the 2014 awards apply to books published in 2013.


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