Ned Kelly Awards for crime writing 2015.

The Ned Kelly Awards for crime writing 2015 have been announced. It is the 20th Anniversary of the prestigious Ned Kelly Awards for Crime Writing, with the winners being announced at the Bella Union on Saturday August 22, as part of Melbourne Writers Festival.

Congratulations to all the winners.

Best Crime
Eden by Candice Fox
Most police duos run on trust, loyalty, and the desire to see killers in court. But Detective Frank Bennett's partner, the enigmatic Eden Archer, has nothing to offer him but darkness and danger. She doesn't mind catching killers – but it's not the courthouse where her justice is served.

And now Eden is about to head undercover to find three missing girls. The only link between the victims is a remote farm where the desperate go to hide and blood falls more often than rain. For Frank, the priority is to keep his partner monitored 24/7 while she's there – but is it for Eden's protection, or to protect their suspects from her?

Across the city at the Utulla Tip, someone is watching Hades Archer, a man whose criminal reputation is the stuff of legend. Unmasking the stalker for him might be just what Frank needs to stay out of trouble while Eden's away.

But it's going to take a trip into Hades's past to discover the answers - and what Frank uncovers may well put everyone in danger



Best First Crime
Quota by Jock Serong

Charlie Jardim has just trashed his legal career in a spectacular courtroom meltdown, and his girlfriend has finally left him. So when a charitable colleague slings him a prosecution brief that will take him to the remote coastal town of Dauphin, Charlie reluctantly agrees that the sea air might be good for him.

The case is a murder. The victim was involved in the illegal abalone trade and the even more illegal drug trade. and the witnesses aren’t talking.

And as Dauphin closes ranks around him, Charlie is about to find his interest in the law powerfully reignited.



Best True Crime
This House of Grief by Margaret Garner
On the evening of 4 September 2005, Father’s Day, Robert Farquharson, a separated husband, was driving his three sons home to their mother, Cindy, when his car left the road and plunged into a dam. The boys, aged ten, seven and two, drowned. Was this an act of revenge or a tragic accident? The court case became Helen Garner’s obsession. She followed it on its protracted course until the final verdict.

In this utterly compelling book, Helen Garner tells the story of a man and his broken life. She presents the theatre of the courtroom with its actors and audience, all gathered for the purpose of bearing witness to the truth, players in the extraordinary and unpredictable drama of the quest for justice.

The shortlisted works in each category are:

Best Crime

Sweet One by Peter Docker
Eden by Candice Fox
A Murder Unmentioned by Sulari Gentill
Gun Street Girl by Adrian McKinty
Crucifixion Creek by Barry Maitland
Present Darkness by Malla Nunn

Best First Crime

King of the Road by Nigel Bartlett
What Came Before by Anna George
Chasing the Ace by Nicholas J Johnson
Quota by Jock Serong

Best True Crime

This House of Grief by Helen Garner
He Who Must Be Obeid by Kate McClymont and Linton Besser
The Feel-Good Hit of the Year by Liam Pieper
The Fall by Amy Dale
The Family Court Murders by Debi Marshall
The Murder of Allison Baden-Clay by David Murray

Books in the News...

Check out these new fiction and non -fiction titles from 22-23 August Spectrum, you can request them from the Library.




Death is a welcome guest by Louise Welsh
The second instalment in the thrilling new Plague Times trilogy from the author of A Lovely Way to Burn.

Magnus McFall was a comic on the brink of his big break when the world came to an end. Now, he is a man on the run and there is nothing to laugh about.

Thrown into unwilling partnership with an escaped convict, Magnus flees the desolation of London to make the long journey north, clinging to his hope that the sickness has not reached his family on their remote Scottish island.

He finds himself in a landscape fraught with danger, fighting for his place in a world ruled by men, like his fellow traveller Jeb - practical men who do not let pain or emotions interfere with getting the job done.

This is a world with its own justice, and new rules.
Where people, guns and food are currency.
Where survival is everything.


Footy Dreaming by Michael Hyde
Ben and Noah play on opposing teams in a footy-obsessed town. They each dream of playing on the G – and this is their make or break season. Tensions rise as sledging goes too far. Will Noah lose his cool, and his chance, in the face of prejudice? Will Ben reject racism and forge his own path? Noah and Ben have the potential to play in the AFL. It’s up to each of them whether they make it.





Surveillance by Bernard Keane
The government is spying on everyone. But who is spying on the government?

A ruthless online activist group called Kittehsaurus Rox has hacked into top-secret Cabinet information and gone public with it, creating widespread panic and embarrassing a government that will stop at nothing to hunt down 'KSR'.

Journalist and cyber-expert Kat Sharpe is chosen by KSR to break news of their operations, and overnight she becomes the media sensation she has always longed to be. But as she gets closer to KSR and its circle of supporters, she can't shake the feeling that something doesn't add up.

Cybersecurity company Veldtech Industries is in line to make a fortune out of the carnage created by the hackers. But they have their own desperate secrets to protect - from the government and from each other.

The Water Book by Alok Jha
Water is the most every day of substances. It pours from our taps and falls from the sky. We drink it, wash with it, and couldn't live without it. Yet, on closer examination it is also a very strange substance (it is one of only a very small number of molecules which expand when cooled). Look closer again and water reveals itself as a key to a scientific story on the biggest of canvases. Water is crucial to our survival - life depends on it - but it was also fundamental in the origins of life on Earth. The millions of gallons of water which make up our rivers, lakes and oceans, originated in outer space. How it arrived here and how those molecules of water were formed, is a story which takes us back to the beginning of the universe. Indeed, we know more about the depths of space than we do about the furthest reaches of the oceans. Water has also shaped the world we live in. Whether it is by gently carving the Grand Canyon over millennia, or in shaping how civilisations were built; we have settled our cities along rivers and coasts. Scientific studies show how we feel calmer and more relaxed when next to water. We holiday by the seas and lakes. Yet one day soon wars may be fought over access to water. The Water Book will change the way you look at water. After reading it you will be able to hold a glass of water up to the light and see within it a strange molecule that connects you to the origins of life, the birth (and death) of the universe, and to everyone who ever lived.

My life in ruins : from Petra to Glenrowan my adventures and misadventures in archaeology by Adam Ford
Adam Ford is an archaeologist. Not only has be been on expeditions to unlock the mysteries of the past in the Caribbean, British Isles, Jordan, Syria, Israel, United Arab Emirates and Australia. He's also had heat stroke, hypothermia, and dysentery; been chased by camel spiders, walked on by scorpions and pestered by bugs big enough to ride. In more than 20 years roaming the globe, he's lived in some of the most remote locations in the world and suffered the back-breaking and soul-destroying monotony of shifting tonnes of dirt with a shovel. From Cold War bunkers in England to Bronze Age cities on the Euphrates, remotes caves in the Jordan Valley, shipwrecks in Western Australia and burials in Barbados, Adam has dug, dived, abseiled and trekked his way into history. Part memoir, part potted history of civilisation, My Life in Ruins is the story of a life lived in uncovering the past.

The sex myth : the gap between our fantasies and reality by Rachel Hills
Fifty years after the sexual revolution, we are told that we live in a time of unprecedented sexual freedom; that, if anything, we are too free now. But beneath the veneer of glossy hedonism, millennial journalist Rachel Hills argues that we are controlled by a new brand of sexual convention: one which influences all of us - woman or man, straight or gay, liberal or conservative. At the root of this silent code lies the Sex Myth - the defining significance we invest in sexuality that once meant we were dirty if we did have sex, and now means we are defective if we don't do it enough.

Children's Book Council of Australia Award Winners 2015.

The Children's Book Council of Australia award winners were announced  Friday 20 August at 12noon.  These awards are presented annually for books of literary merit, for outstanding contribution to Australian children's literature, and for new talent. Congratulations to all the winners.

Book of the Year: Older Readers
 The Protected by Claire Zorn
I have three months left to call Katie my older sister. Then the gap will close and I will pass her. I will get older. But Katie will always be fifteen, eleven months and twenty-one days old.

Hannah's world is in pieces and she doesn't need the school counsellor to tell her she has deep-seated psychological issues. With a seriously depressed mum, an injured dad and a dead sister, who wouldn't have problems?

Hannah should feel terrible but for the first time in ages, she feels a glimmer of hope and isn't afraid anymore. Is it because the elusive Josh is taking an interest in her? Or does it run deeper than that?


In a family torn apart by grief and guilt, one girl's struggle to come to terms with years of torment shows just how long old wounds can take to heal.
Book of the Year: Younger Readers


The Cleo Stories: The Necklace and the Present by Libby Gleeson, ill. Freya Blackwood
Cleo desperately wants a necklace. Her parents say special presents are only for birthdays.but Cleo doesn't want to wait. In the second story, it's her mum's birthday and Cleo doesn't know what to give her - until she has the best idea of all.

Delightful, warm and irresistible, these stories show how a little girl with a big imagination can always find a way to have fun.





Book of the Year: Early Childhood

Go to Sleep, Jessie! by Libby Gleeson,  ill. Freya Blackwood.
A beautiful tale that encapsulates the love of siblings. The story takes the reader on a journey of two sisters who share a bedroom. The baby, Jessie, will not stop crying when it’s time to go to bed. Jo finds this very
frustrating and tries absolutely everything to get Jessie to sleep, like asking her parents to take Jessie for a drive to calm her down. But when Jessie has gone, all of a sudden, Jo is lonely without her sister in her bed
next to her. In the end, Jo realises that Jessie is simply longing for human interaction and climbs into her cot to cuddle her little sister to sleep.





Picture Book of the Year
Book cover sourced from
Little Hare, Hardie Grant Egmont
 My Two Blankets ill. by Freya Blackwood. Text:  Irena Kobald
My Two Blankets is the story of a young girl called Cartwheel who leaves her own war torn country for somewhere safe. But the new place is so foreign to her she no longer feels like herself. Cartwheel seeks comfort in a metaphorical blanket of her own words and sounds. When a young girl shows her friendship and begins to teach her new words, Cartwheel begins to create a new blanket from these words and sounds she learns.(sourced from freyablackwood.blogspot.com.au). 





Eve Pownall Award for Information Books
 A-Z of Convicts in Van  Diemen’s Land by Simon Barnard

Seventy-three thousand convicts were transported to the British penal colony of Van Diemen’s Land in the first half of the nineteenth century. They played a vital role in the building of the settlements, as well as the runningof the newly established colony.

Simon Barnard’s A–Z of Convicts in Van Diemen’s Land is a rich and compelling account of the lives of the men, women and children who were transported to Tasmania for crimes ranging from stealing bread to poisoning family members. Their sentences, punishments, achievements and suffering make for fascinating reading.

And the spectacular illustrations, each one carefully drawn in meticulous detail from contemporary records, bring this extraordinary history to life.


THE 2015 SHORT LIST

Book of the Year: Older Readers
NB: These books are for mature readers

 Nona & Me  by Clare Atkins (Honour book)

Intruder by Christine Bongers

 Are You Seeing Me? by Darren Groth

The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl  by Melissa Keil

 The Minnow by  Diana Sweeney (Honour book)

 The Protected by Claire Zorn

Book of the Year: Younger Readers

Two Wolves by Tristan Bancks (Honour book)

 The Simple Things by Bill Condon ill. Beth Norling

 The Cleo Stories: The Necklace and the Present by Libby Gleeson, ill. Freya Blackwood

 Bleakboy and Hunter Stand out in the Rain by  Stephen Herrick

 Figgy in the World by Tamsin Janu

 Withering-by-Sea: a Stella Montgomery Intrigue by Judith Rossell (Honour book)


Book of the Year: Early Childhood

 Pig the Pug by Aaron Blabey.

 Scary Night by Lesley Gibbes  ill. Stephen Michael King (Honour book)

 Go to Sleep, Jessie! by Libby Gleeson,  ill. Freya Blackwood.

 A House of Her Own by Jenny Hughes ill. Jonathan Bentley

 Snail and Turtle are Friends by Stephen Michael King

 Noni the Pony goes to  the Beach by Alison Lester (Honour book)

Picture Book of the Year
Some of these books may be for mature readers
Arranged by illustrator

 Rivertime by Trace Balla

 My Two Blankets ill. by Freya Blackwood. Text:  Irena Kobald

 One Minute's Silence ill. by Michael Camilleri. Text:  David Metzenthen (Honour book)

 The Duck and the Darklings ill. by Stephen Michael King. Text: Glenda Millard

 The Stone Lion ill. by Ritva Voutila. Text: Margaret Wild (Honour book)

 Fire ill. by Bruce Whatley. Text: Jackie French

Eve Pownall Award for Information Books
NB: These books are intended for an audience birth to 18 years.

 A-Z of Convicts in Van  Diemen’s Land by Simon Barnard

 Coming of Age: Growing up  Muslim in Australia by Demet Divaroren, & Amra Pajalic (editors).

 Mary's Australia: How Mary  Mackillop Changed Australia by Pamela Freeman

Tea and Sugar Christmas by Jane Jolly,  ill. by Robert Ingpen (Honour book)

 Emu by Claire Saxby,  ill. Graham Byrne

Audacity: Stories of Heroic Australians in Wartime by Carlie Walker,  Ill. Brett Hatherly (Honour book)


We love reading... staff picks for August

The forgotten girls by Sara Blaedel ; translated by Signe Rød Golly
This is a disturbing, disturbing novel. Louise Rick starts her new job as the head of the Missing Persons Unit in Hvalso, her home town in Denmark. Her first case is to identify a middle aged woman found dead in the forest. She thinks this will be easy because of the shocking scar down one side of the woman's face. But Louise has no success until she releases a photo of the woman to the media and a former employee of state mental institution rings to say that she cared for Lismette many years ago.

Although nobody wants to talk and people keep putting obstacles in her way, Louise eventually discovers that Lismette is actually called Lise, and that she has a twin sister, Mette. They were taken into care after doctors convinced their father that he was incapable of looking after them. Lisemette, like the other children in the institution, was branded a ''forgotten girl.The doctor at the mental institution, long since dead, had signed death certificates when the girls were 17, reporting the cause of death as pneumonia. How is it then, that 30 years later Lise's barely cold body is found in the forest?  Where has she been all this time?  And where is Mette, who appears to still be alive?  And how will Louise explain all of this to the twins' traumatised father?

At the same time Louise is trying to solve this mystery, bodies of local women keep turning up and a suspicious white van is seen in the vicinity of the forest around the time of the attacks. Translated from the Danish, this is the first Scandinavian crime novel that really disturbed me. As the author races you towards the conclusion, Louise finds more secrets buried in the forest and the horrifying conclusion left me stunned.
~Deb H

Half a King by Joe Abercrombie
Love game of thrones?you will love this great fantasy story with the flawed and ever main character of Yarvi and his powerful and cruel family.Yarvi as the younger son  has studied to become a minister but when his father and older brother are murdered he must become the new king and  swears an oath to revenge them. When he is betrayed and becones a slave his clever mind must save hinself and his new band of misfits who help him fulfill his oath. A rollercoaster of a ride that will keep you reading.
~Meagan



Dietland by Sarai Walker
Alicia aka Plum is a fat woman but this is not just a book about being fat, weight obsession or dieting. This story is about social change, acceptance and second wave feminism with a disturbing portrayal of vigilante justice that rightly or wrongly may evoke a sympathetic response from some readers. The title might get you in but the content goes a whole lot further.
~ Angela




Deceived Wisdom : Why What You Thought was Right is Wrong by David Bradley
Did your mother warn you not to swim until 30 minutes after eating? Have you ever been informed that what you need to cool down is a nice cup of tea? And are you bored with being told that you have to let that red wine breathe first to improve its taste? If so, then 'Deceived Wisdom' is the book for you. This book looks at the facts we all think we know and examines why we don't know them at all. David Bradley's clear and witty writing examines the science behind the statements to reveal the truth behind many popular myths about our lives, our health and the world around us.
~Glenn


A Descant for Gossips by Thea Astley Released in 1960
Set in the '50s in a small Queensland town, this story will touch you deeply. 
Two schoolteachers are attracted to each other. Mr Moller's wife is seriously ill, while Helen has taken one of her pupils under her wing because she detects an intelligence and sensitivity in one of her essays. She takes the child, Vinny, to Brisbane for a cultural visit, which her mother has never been able to afford, and they are driven there by Mr Moller. Vinny, pale, gingery and quiet, has always been an outsider, and for her the trip is overwhelmingly wonderful. She develops a crush on Helen. The teachers are seen together by someone from the small town and gossip is rife. The plot gains momentum - the ending will shatter you, as the forlorn child is driven over the brink by taunting and an ultimate hurt. An unforgettable story. Be prepared to be very moved.......
~Janet

Books and Bickies highlights!

Books and Bickies was at Sutherland Library last night, a chance for students in Years 3-6 to borrow the new books in the library and share what they have been reading. Here are some featured books you may like to read...

Princess Mirror-Belle  by Julia Donaldson; illustrated by Lydia Monks
Ellen gets a shock when her double climbs out of her bathroom mirror.  Mirror-Belle is a princess on a mission: to cause as much trouble as possible!
Three stories in one cool book!




Zombiefied!  By C.M. Gray
Benjamin Roy lives for the undead. He plays zombie video games. He watches zombie movies. Ben can’t get enough of the undead, until he stumbles across a secret doorway that leads to an underground lair.




Marly and the Goat  by Alice Pung
This is the third book in the ‘Meet Marly’ in Our Australian girl series. Marly’s grandparents have arrived from Vietnam and mum is expecting a baby. 
Best and worst of all grandpa brings home a pet goat. 
Can life get any more complicated than this?



Poop Fountain  by Tom Angleberger
Imagine this: The wastewater treatment plant (a.k.a. Poop Fountain!) in your town is about to close. You’d want to see it, wouldn’t you?! No? Well, neither did I but Marrilla did and I couldn’t let her go alone; now could I?