Tag Archives: Australia

‘Jane’ wins The Body in the Library category at the Scarlet Stiletto Awards

This year I entered the Sisters in Crime Australia Scarlet Stiletto Awards for the very first time. The awards, hosted by Sisters in Crime and a number of generous sponsors, are for crime stories written by Australian women and with female protagonists.

I am absolutely thrilled to have received the Body in the Library first place with my ghost story, ‘Jane’.

An Australian Literature research student meets a ghost in a state-of-the-art private library on a remote bush property. She tries to unravel the mystery of the ghost’s origins while the dangers of the present, both human and natural, loom.

The awards night was fabulous! Most of the 26 shortlisted authors (out of 186 entrants) were there, some coming from interstate. Jane Clifton was a marvellous MC, and did a fantastic interview with the ever-lovely Sigrid Thornton (with whom she co-starred in the iconic TV series Prisoner).

Congratulations to all my fellow short-listed authors, and category winners! Huge thanks to Sisters in Crime and the award sponsors, especially the fabulous Athenaeum Library!

A big thank you too to Lindy Cameron, who looked me in the eye when I told her I’d never written for the awards and instructed me, in no uncertain terms, that this year I had to enter.

Books and Publishing has a full list of the winning entries.

If you’d like to read ‘Jane’ and the other award-winning stories, you can pick up Scarlet Stiletto: The Ninth Cut 2017:

You can also find out more about the awards at Sisters in Crime.

New Release: Sherlock Holmes: The Australian Casebook

Today is the launch day for Sherlock Holmes: The Australian Casebook – an anthology of Sherlock Holmes stories set in different parts of Australia in 1890.

I was delighted to have an opportunity to write another Holmes story set in Colonial-era Victoria after my Holmes/Watson 1893 romance, The Adventure of the Colonial Boy, and promptly set about using my goldfields research in a more traditional Holmes+Watson tale.

Bonnier Publishing’s blurb on the fully illustrated anthology says:

It’s 1890. Holmes’s fame has spread even to the colonies, and he and his stalwart chronicler Watson are swept up in an array of mysteries Down Under. They find themselves summoned from place to place, dealing with exciting and unique mysteries in every corner of this strange island continent.

My story, “The Mystery of the Miner’s Wife”, begins with Watson in a grumpy mood in a Melbourne coffee palace , but soon Sherlock Holmes and his Boswell are catching the train to Ballarat to solve a peculiar murder. Here’s an extract:

The sergeant’s weary eye lighted first on me, and after an uninterested sniff, on Holmes. He sniffed again. “This is a London detective, is it?” asked the surly fellow. “He doesn’t look much. I’d bet we’ve got detectives twice as good even here in Ballarat, let alone Melbourne or Sydney.”

Holmes’s fine lips quirked in a swiftly suppressed grin. “A betting man, are you?” he challenged in good humour, “What about a wager, then. I’ll tell you a secret about yourself and if I’m right, you’ll fetch Detective Meredith for us. Does that sound fair, Sergeant-?”

“Clark,” smirked the sergeant, “And if you’re wrong?”

“A sovereign, and the boast that you have bested the London detective, Sherlock Holmes.”

My story has a marvellous illustration by Jan Scherpenhuizen, one of three people providing gorgeous images, a la The Strand Magazine, for the anthology. The other two artists are Philip Cornell  and Marcelo Baez.

I’m so proud to be in the company of my fellow Holmesian writers: Kerry Greenwood and Lindy Cameron, Meg Keneally, Kaaron Warren, Lucy Sussex, L.J.M. Owen, T.S.P. Sweeney, Jan Scherpenhuizen, Will Schaefer, Robert Veld, Doug Elliott, Philip Cornell, Raymond Gates, Jason Franks, Steve Cameron, and Christopher Sequeira (who also edited the book).  Baker Street Irregular Bill Barnes provides the introduction.

Sherlock Holmes: The Australian Casebook is now available:

Hardcover

Kindle

Or you can check Echo Publishing for more details.