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10 December 2003

Some of Australia's top crime writers will look for clues about the amazing popularity of their chosen genre at a National Museum of Australia forum this Sunday.

Why Do We Love Reading Crime Fiction? takes place in the Museum's Studio from 2-4.30pm on Sunday, 14 December.

The free public forum is linked to the Museum's current exhibition, Outlawed! The World's Rebels, Revolutionaries and Bushrangers, the first major exhibition to investigate national outlaw legends and the forces creating their popularity.

The forum features:

  • Gabrielle Lord, writer of murder mysteries and detective novels, won the Ned Kelly Award for best 2002 crime novel for Death Delights, and was joint 2003 winner of the Davitt Award for Australian women crime writers.
  • Alex Palmer, Canberra-based writer whose novel, Blood Redemption, won several awards in 2003, including the Ned Kelly Award for Crime Writing, Best First Novel, and (with Gabrielle Lord) the Davitt Award.
  • Dorothy Johnston, another Canberra writer whose compelling computer crime novel The Trojan Dog, was joint winner of the 2001 ACT Book of the Year and won the Age's Best of 2000 in the crime section.

Stuart Coupe, a reader and reviewer of crime writing for more than 20 years (also known to crime-fiction lovers as publisher of Mean Streets: a quarterly journal of crime, mystery and detection, from 1990-1996), will lead the discussion.

Mr Coupe will also ask the audience for their clues on the ascendancy of crime fiction.

A range of crime fiction books will be on sale in the Museum shop on the day.

Bookings are essential. Phone 6208 5021.

For media enquiries please contact Martin Portus, Director of Public Affairs, National Museum, 02 6208 5351, 0409 916 481 or email

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