From the Awards website, the Ned Kelly Award for Best Fiction is touted as reflecting:
the importance and popularity of the genre. The award reflects the diversity of crime fiction, its appeal to audiences on many and varied levels, and in particular draws attention to the calibre of Australian crime fiction on national and international stages
Over the years I've read some very good Australian crime fiction, and it's great to see Australian writers being recognised in this way in their home country. I have to say that the Ned Kelly Awards (what they've done well, what they've learned over the years, how they run their events, what publicity they get, etc) were something of an inspiration and model for how we have established the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel here in New Zealand. In future, we may look to add further awards categories too, as the genre (hopefully) continues to strengthen and grow here.
The nominees for the 2012 Ned Kelly Awards Best Fiction Award, which will be presented at an event as part of the Melbourne Writers Festival later this year, are:
- Lenny Bartulin De Luxe
- A.A. Bell Hindsight
- Honey Brown After The Darkness
- J.C. Burke Pig Boy
- Peter Corris Comeback
- Miranda Darling Siren’s Sting
- Garry Disher Whispering Death
- Jaye Ford Scared Yet?
- Kerry Greenwood Cooking the Books
- Brett Hoffmann The Race
- Katherine Howell Silent Fear
- Stephen M Irwin The Broken One
- Malcolm Knox The Life
- Adriana Koulias The Sixth Key
- Nansi Kunze Dangerously Placed
- Tobsha Learner The Map
- Stuart Littlemore Harry Curry: Counsel of Choice
- Colleen McCullough The Prodigal Son
- Barry Maitland Chelsea Mansions
- Kel Robertson Rip Off
- Michael Robotham The Wreckage
- Jennifer Rowe Love, Honour & O’Brien
- Kirsten Tranter A Common Loss
- Peter Twohig The Cartographer
- Kim Westwood The Courier's New Bicycle
- Felicity Young A Dissection of Murder
Of these, I've read Corris's COMEBACK (enjoyable), Robotham's THE WRECKAGE (excellent) and Rowe's LOVE, HONOUR, AND O'BRIEN (enjoyable). I also have the (or some) books by Greenwood, Disher, Howell, and Maitland on my shelf at home, and have heard good things about Kel Robertson.
It will be interesting to see which books make the shortlist.
You can read the full list of Best First Fiction and Best True Crime here.
Have you read any of the longlisted books? Which is your favourite? Do you like Australian crime fiction?