On Events, with Chris Gordon

Bookshops become more magical as the nights grow colder. There is something about a place filled to the brim with books waiting to be read that can generate a certain warmth in your soul during the winter nights. It may be sleeting outside, the wind may be brutal, but inside a bookshop there are endless possibilities for escape. This month we are hosting events with several crime writers. Reading crime novels in the middle of winter always seems just right to me. And as you may already be aware, Australia is having what has been dubbed our crime moment. We are living in a Golden Age full of writing that is tense, evocative and plot driven. This month we are celebrating several of our crime writers.

Join us on Monday 27 June to hear about Matthew Ryan Davies’ Things We Bury, a novel filled with secrets and redemptions, where three siblings reunite while struggling to deal with the fallout of a car crash that almost killed their father – on top of everything else life seems to be throwing at them. We have Matthew Spencer talking about his much-hyped novel, Black River, which promises to be one of the most compelling thrillers you’ll read this year (Wednesday 15 June). And on Tuesday 7 June, Hayley Scrivenor will discuss her debut crime novel Dirt Town, which centres around the disappearance of 12-year-old Esther Bianchi in a small country town, and the no-nonsense cop who must put her ex-girlfriend out of her mind to do everything she can to find the missing girl. An earlier version of Scrivenor’s book was shortlisted for the Penguin Literary Prize and won the Kill Your Darlings Unpublished Manuscript Award.

And of course, the very end of June also brings us Chris Womersley’s latest novel, The Diplomat, an extension of the story of one of Melbourne’s greatest art heists and a companion piece to Womersley’s award-winning novel Cairo. Fresh out of detox and five years after his involvement in the theft of Picasso’s masterpiece ‘The Weeping Woman’ from the NGV, Edward Degraves – art forger and drug addict – returns to Melbourne for a new start. All he needs is to make one last visit to The Diplomat, a seedy motel renowned for its drug dealers and eccentrics. But as Edward revisits old haunts, he is confronted by reminders of the past: ruined relationships, a stalled career as an artist and – looming over everything – the death of his beloved wife Gertrude. Our editor tells me that we will have a review of this highly anticipated novel in the July issue, but if you can’t wait until then, might I recommend booking a ticket for our Tuesday 28 June event with Womersley, where we’ll take a trip down a cobblestoned memory lane to the seedy streets of nineties Melbourne.

So, my advice to you is simply this: pull on your winter boots, wrap your scarf around your neck and join us for many nights of conversations, safe in the knowledge that it may be raining outside, but here in a Readings shop, there are stories that will see you through many a stormy night.


Chris Gordon is the community engagement and programming manager for Readings.

Dirt Town

Dirt Town

Hayley Scrivenor

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