Review: Southern Cross Crime by Craig Sisterson

Title: Southern Cross Crime: The Pocket Essential Guide to the Crime Fiction, Film & TV of Australia and New Zealand

Author: Craig Sisterson

Published: April 23rd 2020, Oldcastle Books

Status: Read April 2020 courtesy Oldcastle Books/Netgalley


My Thoughts:

I excitedly leapt at the opportunity to explore Southern Cross Crime, a long overdue guide to the crime fiction, film and television of Australia and New Zealand. Written by Kiwi Craig Sisterson, whose blog Crime Watch I’ve been following for close to a decade, Southern Cross Crime presents a comprehensive listing of authors, movies and TV shows from the last quarter of a century, with the inaugural Ned Kelly Awards as his starting point.

In the first section of Southern Cross Crime, Sisterson introduces authors whose settings range across the cities, suburbs and rural areas of not only Australia and New Zealand, but also international locales from Antarctica to Iceland. Long being a fan of crime fiction, I expected to be familiar with all but a few of the authors introduced by Sisterson, but just a few pages in I had a list of three author’s names to look up, and eventually added dozens more based on his succinct and tantalising descriptions of their work. You’ll not only find reference in Southern Cross Crime to internationally renowned author’s such as Michael Robotham (who also provides the Foreward), Jane Harper and Paul Cleave, but many others that may have slipped under your radar, as they did mine.

In the past year I’ve binge watched Blue Heelers, Water Rats, Rush, Murder Call, City Homicide and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (and none for the first time), which are a handful of the television series highlighted in the second section of Southern Cross Crime exploring some of the Antipodean produced and set crime on-screen TV and film over the past 25 years. Sisterson provides a short synopsis for each series or film, many of which are available to watch on various streaming services for both local and international audiences. Of those Sisterson has not mentioned I’d like to recommend Harrow (2018 – ), a TV drama featuring forensic pathologist Dr. Daniel Harrow, played by Ioan Gruffudd, and Stingers (1998-2004) which chronicled the cases of a deep undercover unit of the Victoria police.

The final section of Southern Cross Crime features thirteen well-known crime fiction authors whom Sisterson has interviewed, or reported on, in the last decade or so. This includes Ned Kelly Lifetime Achievement Award winner Peter Corris, newcomer Emma Viskic, ‘The Kiwi Godfather’ Paul Thomas, and Sisters in Crime co-founder and President, Lindy Cameron. I very much enjoyed this section, learning a little more about the author’s I admire, and of whose work I have read.

I’ve been pleased to witness the growing popularity of Australian & New Zealand crime fiction over the last few years, and I’m thrilled that Craig Sisterson has taken the initiative to develop this essential guide which will further promote the genre both within our two countries, and on the international stage. Southern Cross Crime is a valuable and Illuminative resource for crime fiction fans everywhere.


Southern Cross Crime is currently available as an ebook, with the publication of the paperback delayed because of Covid-19

To pre-order the print edition -available in September 2020

Oldcastle Books I Book Depository I Hive UK I via Booko

To purchase an ebook now

Oldcastle Books or your preferred retailer Amazon I Apple I Kobo


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mystica
    Apr 28, 2020 @ 13:04:56

    Yes I’ve noticed the emergence of Australian authors. Have you read Sulari Gentill

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Helen Murdoch
    Apr 29, 2020 @ 12:05:06

    What a fun compendium of crime. I am currently watching Janet King, an Australian court/crime drama and enjoying it.

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Tina
    Apr 30, 2020 @ 05:57:02

    I’m going to look for this on Amazon. I tried the link you provided but I’m not sure the currency exchange or the edition of the book would make it to my Kindle. I think I will try and buy a hardcopy.

    Liked by 1 person


  4. Verushka, an editor (@SydneyEditor1)
    Apr 30, 2020 @ 20:41:30

    oh my goodness, this is such a great guide to the genre in Australia!

    Liked by 1 person


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  6. Tracey (Carpe Librum)
    May 04, 2020 @ 19:51:43

    Love the sound of this and agree with your recommendation of the TV show Harrow, one of my favourite Aussie programs. Paul Cleave has been on my TBR forever with Collecting Cooper, must get to it soon. Great review.

    Liked by 1 person


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