13 July 2008

Australians are fascinated with crime fiction

If my recent hosting of The Carnival of Criminal Minds didn't convince you, then maybe this article in yesterday's Melbourne Age titled Crime Lines will.
Promoting Australia's first ever Crime & Justice festival, where among the participants you will find Michael Robotham, Garry Disher, Gabrielle Lord, Chloe Hooper, Leigh Redhead, Brendan Kilty SC, Brian Walters SC, Barry Jones and Malcolm Fraser.

Just some snippets...
next weekend will see the launch of Melbourne's — and Australia's — first-ever specialist crime-writing and justice festival, to be held at the Abbotsford Convent.

Crime fiction has become respectable, says the internationally acclaimed and Ballarat-based crime writer Peter Temple, author of nine crime novels and winner of the world's biggest crime-writing prize, Britain's Golden Dagger.

"Crime fiction readers have come out, they are admitting to their secret addiction," he says. "All sorts of people are now prepared to say: 'I love crime fiction.'

..... According to Temple, a passionate interest in crime fiction is an Australian tradition that dates back to 1886, the year our first blockbuster crime novel was published. Fergus Hume's The Mystery of a Hansom Cab, billed as "a sensational Melbourne novel", sold more than 400,000 copies before the turn of the century .

He missed out Rolfe Boldrewood's Robbery Under Arms first published in 1882 and now available as an e-book. And For the Term of His Natural Life, by Marcus Clarke, published in serial form 1872 -1874 now also available as an e-book.

So crime fiction, here downunder, we do well. Go read the whole article.

The Age invites Melburnians to "Tell us in 50 words or less the author and title of your best read, and why you enjoyed it so much." Email: sunday@theage.com.au

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