The Davitt Awards celebrate the best crime books written by Australian women. They are named after Ellen Davitt, the author of Australia’s first mystery novel, Force and Fraud, which was published in serial form in 1865. In honour of the 20th anniversary of the awards, a new trophy was designed by Alexsandra Pontonio and crafted by Simon Wrangles, according to the Sisters in Crime website.
Astrid's book is not your typical murder mystery, as it is set in a fantasy world, so it's especially exciting to see her win in this category. “I’ve been a fan of crime stories ever since I was a child, in particular, the whodunnit,” Astrid says. “In Four Dead Queens, I wanted to create an Agatha Christie-style murder mystery with my take on a Poirot-like investigator, set in a unique fantasy world with many twists and turns.”
The 2020 awards were presented by crime-writing superstar Val McDermid online from her home in Scotland.
Other winners of the Davitt Awards were:
- Meg Mundell, Best Adult Crime Novel for The Trespassers
- Susan Hurley, Best Debut Crime Book for Eight Lives
- Jenny Blackford, Best Children’s Crime Novel for The Girl in the Mirror
- Adele Ferguson, Best Non-Fiction Book for Banking Bad
- Jess Hill, highly commended in Best Non-Fiction Book for See What You Made Me Do: Power, control and domestic abuse
- Emma Viskic with Darkness for Light and Dervla McTiernan with The Scholar, joint winners of the Readers’ Choice Award.
The awards were hosted by Sue Turbull, Sisters in Crime’s ambassador at large.
“We had hoped to hold a gala dinner to mark this special occasion of the 20th awards, but the pandemic had other ideas,” Sue says on the Sisters in Crime website. “Back in 2001, there were 7 books in contention although the awards didn’t then extend to true crime – or what we’re now calling non-fiction. This year an amazing 124 books have been battling it out. The one silver lining is that, thanks to the miracles of modern technology, Val McDermid could do the honours – without leaving Scotland.”
Like the other recipients, Astrid accepted her award online from her home, and said she was thrilled to be part of the Australian crime-writing community. You can watch the full ceremony on the Sisters in Crime YouTube channel.
Astrid has long harboured writing ambitions, and it's so wonderful to see her dreams come true.
“Without the AWC courses, I don't believe I would've ever finished writing a novel, let alone three!” Astrid says.
Congratulations Astrid! We're sure there are many more awards coming your way.