Murder She Wrote

Panel Sessions

Cygnet Town Hall

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Saturday 2 November

Check-in (Ticket Office opens)

7.30 am - 8.25 am

Doors Close

8.25 am

Welcome and Opening

8.30 am


8.45 am – 9.35 am

What makes a writer turn to a life of crime?

Angela Savage and David Owen explore the motives of crime fiction writers with Chris Gallagher. What draws someone to create tales of wicked, craven or horrifying human acts? And invent fictional detectives to investigate them? Is it related to the attraction crime fiction holds for readers - now the best-selling genre worldwide?

Angela is the author of the Jane Keeney, PI series and Director of Writers Victoria. David is the author of Tasmania’s much loved long-running Pufferfish series.


9.45 am – 10.35 am

What does it feel like to be shot? How do you perform a post-mortem? What goes through the mind of a serial killer?

Tara Moss and Jack Heath discuss their most startling research techniques and discoveries with L.J.M. Owen.

Tara famously learnt to shoot, spent time at crime scenes and a morgue and earned a private investigation qualification to prepare for her Mak Vanderwall series, knowledge she also brings to her new Billie Walker mystery, Dead Man Switch. L.J. has a background in forensic pathology, genetics, archaeology and librarianship - as does her protagonist Dr Elizabeth Pimms. As for Jack, perhaps in the closed confines of a panel session he will confess his research proclivities for a certain spine-chilling character…

Morning Tea (by Baker & Co.) and Murder She Wrote Bookshop

10.35 am - 10.55 am


11.00 am – 11.50 am

How do a lawyer and a journalist become crime fiction authors?

Shamini Flint and Meg Keneally discuss the changes in their lives that resulted in second (or third) careers as writers.

What was the moment from which there was no turning back? What surprised them about the writing journey? How did they find publishers? What advice would they give to someone considering a new life as a crime fiction author?

Shamini is a lawyer and children’s author who increasingly spends her time crafting the Inspector Singh Investigates series and, most recently, The Beijing Conspiracy. Meg Keneally, an ex-reporter and radio producer, is the author of Fled and the Monsarrat Series of historical murder mysteries with co-author Tom Keneally.

The Mirror Crack’d

12.00 pm – 12.50 pm

How does a character form in the mind of a writer, then become so vivid she steps from the page to the screen?

Join Kerry Greenwood, creator of the fabulous Miss Phryne Fisher, and retrace the steps of Phryne’s journey from inspiration to international phenom in a conversation with Lindy Cameron.

With 20 books in the Phryne Fisher historical mystery series, three seasons of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, the spin-off Ms Fisher's Modern Murder Mysteries and now a feature film, Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears, it’s been one hell of a ride for Kerry and her fictional heroine, Phryne!

Lunch (by Cygnet Old Bank) and Murder She Wrote Bookshop with Panellist Signing Tables

12.50 pm - 1.40 pm

Pick Your Poison

1.45 pm – 2.35 pm

Cosy? Noir? Thriller? Historical?

Jack Heath and Tansy Rayner Roberts join Meg Keneally to examine how crime and mystery writers choose their sub-genres. How clearly defined are the sub-genres and what are the conventions of each? Does each sub-genre have a different typical reader?

Jack’s adult crime fiction novels, Hangman and Hunter, sit firmly at the noir end of the crime fiction spectrum. Tansy, writing as Livia Day, crafts the cosy culinary Tabitha Darling series. Meg Keneally is the author of Fled and the Monsarrat Series of historical murder mysteries with co-author Tom Keneally.

Scene of the Crime

2.45 pm – 3.35 pm

What are the challenges of setting your story in another country and creating an authentic sense of place?

Learn how Shamini Flint and Angela Savage imbue their storyworlds with the sights, scents and sounds of a culture and landscape not their own.

Shamini is a Singaporean lawyer, children’s author and author of the Inspector Singh Investigates series set in Malaysia and, most recently, The Beijing Conspiracy, set in China. Angela is the Director of Writers Victoria and author of the Jane Keeney, PI series, featuring an Australian ex-pat living and solving crime in Thailand.

Afternoon Tea (by Baker & Co.)

3.35 pm - 3.55 pm

CSI: Tasmania

4.00 pm – 4.50 pm

Tasmania is a rich a source of inspiration for (fictional) foul deeds. The landscape and weather, in particular, seem to captivate writers from across the globe, including - at one time - Agatha Christie.

Join Angela Meyer in conversation with local crime and mystery authors Joanna Baker, David Owen and L.J.M. Owen to explore the moods offered by the insular land of city, country and mountain.

David’s Pufferfish series features Hobart-based Detective Inspector Franz Heineken investigating intriguing criminal activity across the state (and beyond). Joanna’s The Slipping Place opens on Mount Wellington, the haunting slopes and sky lending an almost Gothic atmosphere to the novel. L.J.’s latest novel The Great Divide, is set in the bone-chilling cold of a stark Tasmanian winter far from the comforts of big city life.

Drinks and Book Launch

5.00 pm - 5.30 pm

Please note that these drinks and a copy of the novel are included in a Golden Ticket and Saturday Day Pass.

Murder She Wrote Bookshop with Panellist Signing Tables

5.30 pm - 6.30 pm

[6.30pm for 7pm, Murder Mystery Party: Curse of the Sphinx, across the road in Carmel Hall^]

Sunday 3 November

Check-in (Ticket Office open)

7.30 am - 8.25 am

Doors Close

8.25 am

Welcome and Opening

8.30 am

The Usual Suspects

8.45 am – 9.35 am

How diverse are crime and mystery fiction authors? Is there a difference between the diversity of those who are attracted to writing in the genre and those who are published?

Introduced by Sulari Gentill, Shamini Flint and Angela Meyer explore the question of diversity in crime fiction publishing from writer and publisher perspectives in conversation with Angela Savage.

Sulari is a Ned Kelly Award winning Australian crime fiction author originally from Sri Lanka via Zambia. A panel session on ‘The Usual Suspects’ began with Sulari’s desire to explore why there seems to be little diversity in traditionally published crime fiction authors.

Shamini is one of Singapore’s best loved children’s and crime fiction authors. Angela M. is an award-winning Australian publisher with a track record of publishing diverse voices. Angela S. is the author of the Jane Keeney, PI series, Director of Writers Victoria and an avid crime fiction proponent and teacher.

The Lady Vanishes

9.45 am – 10.35 am

How do writers and readers approach crime fiction written by women or featuring female protagonists?

Introduced by Jock Serong, Jack Heath and Joanna Baker discuss the gendered ways of writers, readers and crime fiction book buyers with L.J.M. Owen.

Jock was the inaugural winner of the Staunch Prize for crime fiction that does not depict violence against women, and Jack is a passionate advocate for boys and men to read literature written by women.

The portrayal and consumption of crime fiction written by a woman, featuring a female detective or female victims, is a topic close the heart of Murder She Wrote Director, L.J.

Morning Tea (by Baker & Co.) and Murder She Wrote Bookshop

10.35 am - 10.55 am

The Female Gumshoe

11.00 am – 11.50 am

Tara Moss is one of Australia’s most celebrated and dedicated crime fiction authors and her protagonists, Mak Vanderwall and Billie Walker, are two of the country’s strongest women detectives.

Join Tara in conversation with Angela Meyer to explore the driving forces behind the creation of Tara’s female gumshoes.

Marple vs Holmes

12.00 pm – 12.50 pm

Why does Sherlock fan-fic abound, yet homages to Marple are few and far between? Both have incredibly sharp minds and observational skills, while Marple brings an element of compassion and understanding of the human condition that Holmes lacks.

Meg Keneally interviews her co-conspirators in the Holmes anthology, Sherlock Holmes: The Australian Casebook - Lindy Cameron, Kerry Greenwood and L.J.M. Owen - on their attraction to expanding the world created by Doyle and if they would like to do the same for Christie.

Will we see a flourishing of Miss Marple stories any time soon?

Lunch (by Cygnet Old Bank) and Murder She Wrote Bookshop with Panellist Signing Tables

12.50 pm - 1.40 pm

And Then There Were None

1.45 pm – 2.35 pm

Who is your favourite author from the Golden Age of Detective Fiction?

Joanna Baker leads a lively discussion with her co-panellists Lindy Cameron, Shamini Flint, Jack Heath, Meg Keneally, Angela Meyer, Tara Moss, L.J.M. Owen, Tansy Rayner Roberts and Angela Savage on the best female crime fiction writers from the last century.

Closing Remarks

2.35 pm – 3.00 pm

Murder She Wrote Bookshop with Panellist Signing Tables

From 3.00 pm

[3.00 pm, Matthew Evans, the Gourmet Farmer, Book Launch of The Commons, across the alley in the Southern Swan]

[4.00 pm, Andrew Morton, the First Dog on the Moon, and Angela Meyer, author of A Superior Spectre, in Whisky & Words upstairs in the Cygnet Supper Room*^]

[5.00 pm, Bob Brown will launch Angela Rockel’s 2019 Dorothy Hewett award-winning Rogue Intensities in the Southern Swan]

*Please note that the Cygnet Supper Room is only accessible by stairs.

^Not included in a Golden Ticket, unless specified at purchase.