2020 Davitt Awards Shortlist

Twenty-four books crime and mystery books by Australian women are battling it out for Sisters in Crime’s 20th Davitt Awards.

The Davitts are named after Ellen Davitt, the author of Australia’s first mystery novel, Force and Fraud, in 1865.

2020 Davitt Shortlist

Adult crime novels

  • Bruny, Heather Rose (Allen & Unwin)
  • Eight Lives, Susan Hurley (Affirm Press) 
  • Life Before, Carmel Reilly (Allen & Unwin) 
  • Present Tense, Natalie Conyer (Clan Destine Press) 
  • The Scholar, Dervla McTiernan (HarperCollins Australia)
  • Six Minutes, Petronella McGovern (Allen & Unwin) 
  • The Trespassers, Meg Mundell (University of Queensland Press) 

Young Adult crime novels

  • All That Impossible Space, Anna Morgan (Lothian Children’s Books, a Hachette Australia imprint) 
  • Four Dead Queens, Astrid Scholte (Allen & Unwin) 
  • When the Ground is Hard, Malla Nunn (Allen & Unwin)

Children’s crime novels

  • The Girl in the Mirror, Jenny Blackford (Eagle Books, an imprint of Christmas Press) 
  • The Girl, the Dog and the Writer in Lucerne, Katrina Nannestad (The Girl, the Dog and the Writer #3, ABC Books, a HarperCollins Australia imprint)
  • Jinxed!: The curious curse of Cora Bell, Rebecca McRitchie (Jinxed #1, HarperCollins Australia)
  • Sherlock Bones and the Natural History Mystery, Renée Treml (Allen & Unwin) 

Non-fiction crime books

  • Banking Bad: Whistleblowers. Corporate cover-ups. One journalist’s fight for the truth, Adele Ferguson (ABC Books, ABC Books, a HarperCollins Australia imprint) 
  • Fallen: The inside story of the secret trial and conviction of Cardinal George Pell, Lucie Morris-Marr (Allen & Unwin) 
  • Fixed It: Violence and the representation of women in the media, Jane Gilmore (Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House Australia)
  • See What You Made Me Do: Power, control and domestic abuse, Jess Hill (Black Inc.) 
  • Troll Hunting: Inside the world of online hate and its human fallout, Ginger Gorman (Hardie Grant Books) 

Debut crime books

  • Banking Bad: Whistleblowers. Corporate cover-ups. One journalist’s fight for the truth, Adele Ferguson (ABC Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Australia)
  • Bee and the Orange Tree, The, Melissa Ashley (Affirm Press)
  • Drover’s Wife, The, Leah Purcell (Hamish Hamilton, an imprint of Penguin Random House Australia)
  • Eight Lives, Susan Hurley (Affirm Press)
  • Four Dead Queens, Astrid Scholte (Allen & Unwin)
  • Life Before, Carmel Reilly (Allen & Unwin)
  • Present Tense, Natalie Conyer (Clan Destine Press)
  • Six Minutes, Petronella McGovern (Allen & Unwin)
  • Troll Hunting: Inside the world of online hate and its human fallout, Ginger Gorman (Hardie Grant Books)

The judging panel for 2020 comprises Philomena Horsley, winner of the 2018 Scarlet Stiletto Award winner and medical autopsy expert; Bec Kavanagh, YA expert; Debbie Stephen, forensic specialist; and Sisters in Crime national co-convenors Karina Kilmore (author and former Herald Sun book editor), Moraig Kisler and Pauline Meaney.

Sisters in Crime Australia was set up 29 years ago and has chapters in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

[Thanks to Cora Buhlert for the story.]

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