Buried beneath the hysteria of last Saturday’s federal election was another vote, the 2013 Ned Kelly awards for Australian crime writing. It was a night of firsts: the first year e-books were eligible, the first time the Neddies have taken place in Brisbane, and the first under the umbrella of the recently formed Australian Crime Writers Association.
But for Geoffrey McGeachin, the recipient of the top award, Best Fiction, it was very much a matter of second time around. His winning book Blackwattle Creek focuses on Detective Sergeant Charlie Berlin, a policeman in fifties Melbourne. The first in the Berlin series, The Diggers Rest Hotel, took home the Neddie for best first crime fiction in 2011.