Last night, as part of the Melbourne Writers' Festival, the Crime Writers Association of Australia announced the winners of the annual Ned Kelly Awards for Crime Writing. There has been very little publicity about the results as of yet, but it seems the top award for Best Fiction was jointly shared between relative newcomer Kel Robertson's SMOKE & MIRRORS and well-established and acclaimed Peter Corris's DEEP WATER.
Given the background to Robertson's book (and the fact the other finalist was Barry Maitland for DARK MIRROR), this could be seen as something of a boilover. SMOKE & MIRRORS is a novel which had only a tiny print run from ultra-small Ginninderra Press, was scarcely reviewed, and the printing costs were even paid for on the author's credit card. Robertson said when he was first notified of the short-listing, he thought he was the victim of a hoax.
You can read a little more about this health department employee's success in today's Canberra Times article at: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/crime-writer-breaks-into-major-league-with-winning-tale/1609283.aspx
Shane Maloney (author of the Murray Whelan novels) received the Lifetime Achievement Award. I will post more about the other award winners (Best First Fiction, Best Non-Fiction, and the SD Harvey Short Story Award) as those results come to hand.
*** UPDATE *** UPDATE *** UPDATE *** UPDATE ***
Courtesy of Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise and Karen at AustCrimeFiction (thanks ladies), it's now become apparent that the full list of 2009 Ned Kelly Award winners from last night's event is as follows:
Non-Fiction: THE TALL MAN by Chloe Hooper
First Fiction: GHOSTLINES by Nick Gadd
Fiction: DEEP WATER by Peter Corris and SMOKE & MIRRORS by Kel Robertson (tie)
S.D. Harvey Award: "Fidget's Farewell" by Scott McDermott
Lifetime Achievement: Shane Maloney
See: http://paradise-mysteries.blogspot.com/2009/08/ned-kelly-news-leaks-through.html and http://www.austcrimefiction.org/node/5298 for further information.