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Shortlists for the 2020 Davitt Awards announced

Shortlists for the 2020 Davitt Awards announced

The Sisters in Crime organisation has announced the shortlists for their 2020 Davitt Awards. 

The Davitt Awards celebrate the best crime books by Australian women.

They were first presented at the SheKilda Women’s Crime Convention in 2001. They were presented by Christine Nixon, who was then the Victorian Police Commissioner.

The awards span six categories – Best Adult Novel, Best Young Adult Novel, Best Children’s Novel, Best Non-fiction Book, Best Debut Book, and Reader’s Choice, which is voted by the 600 members of Sisters in Crime Australia.

The awards are named in honour of Ellen Davitt, who wrote Australia’s first mystery novel, Force and Fraud, in 1865.

The organisation, Sisters in Crime, was launched at the Feminist Book Festival in September 1991 to share a collective passion for women’s crime writing.

It aims to bring together women crime writers, screen-writers, producers, booksellers, publishers, lawyers, judges, police, forensic specialists, librarians, academics, and critics – but mostly readers and viewers.

They also work to promote the professional development of women crime writers, especially emerging writers.

Now in its 19th year, the Davitt Awards will be announced in September. The ceremony will take place over Zoom to adhere to ongoing coronavirus restrictions, especially in Melbourne, where most of the Sisters in Crime members reside.

Check out the shortlist below!


Adult crime novel

Young Adult crime novel 

Children’s crime novel

Nonfiction crime book

Debut crime books

  • Banking Bad: Whistleblowers. Corporate cover-ups. One journalist’s fight for the truth by Adele Ferguson                                                                     Buy the book
  • The Bee and the Orange Tree by Melissa Ashley    Buy the book
  • Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte                        Buy the book
  • Life Before by Carmel Reilly                                      Buy the book
  • Present Tense by Natalie Conyer                              Buy the book
  • Six Minutes by Petronella McGovern                         Buy the book | Read the article
  • The Drover’s Wife by Leah Purcell                            Buy the book | Read the review
  • Eight Lives by Susan Hurley                                      Buy the book | Read the review
  • Troll Hunting: Inside the world of online hate and its human fallout by Ginger Gorman                Buy the book | Read the review