Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Conversations in Crime Alley Wrap

On the evening of Thursday 10 April...
an incident occurred at the premises of Abbey's Bookshop located in downtown Sydney at 131 York Street.

Newton & Nunn at Abbey's Bookshop

Two individuals, identifying themselves as crime authors,...
entered the premises at approximately 6pm and proceeded to regale onlookers with tales of crime writing and other evil doings. This activity was observed to continue for a duration of approximately 1.5 hours, during which time the imbibing of alcohol was also seen to occur. The suspects then fled the scene. Current whereabouts unknown.

It was only due to the quick response of PC Jessica Slade that the following notes were taken down while the actions described above were being carried out.


Suspect 1: P M Newton (PM)
Suspect 2: Malla Nunn (M)

On their own writing:

‘Place’ is important to both authors and plays a significant role in shaping their stories.
  • “Story comes out of place” (M)
  • “Embedded in place” (PM)
  • “I want to feel that they [characters] have some connection to the land”
Exploring a “fascinating setting” assists with character and plot development, at times explaining the actions and decisions of particular characters
  • “Sometimes it’s hard to tell who the good guys are” (PM on M Nunn’s books)

On true crime genre:
  • “Too sad”, “there is no resolution for the people the crime has happened to” (M)
  • “Not a huge fan; the resolution is missing” (PM)

On crime TV shows (in particular ‘True Detective’):
  • Cross-over between TV and books
  • Books are starting to replicate the complex nature of crime shows
  • True Detective – “embedded with literary clues” (PM)
  • The Wire – “the visual impact of having a cast that is so black” (M), communicates visually perhaps in a more successful way than through text

Newton & Nunn at Abbey's Bookshop

New crime readers:
  • Crime is such a broad genre
  • “I find what I like by reading… do I find it interesting, exciting, does it hook me in?” (M)
  • “Ask what’s out there” (PM)


  • “Crime is ‘The Quiet American’” - the perfect crime novel (PM)
  • 10 books; more like a 10 part novel
  • Plays around with and questions the ideas of their genre
  • “They are the mama and the papa of Swedish crime during that period [they were writing in]”
Bony series (Upfield)
Anil’s Ghost (Ondaatje)
  • crime novel from a literary writer
  • “beautiful, breathtaking phrases”

What’s next?
  • Present Darkness by Malla Nunn coming out in June
  • “Some Ned and also non-Ned ideas” (PM) are being thrown around

Newton & Nunn at Abbey's Bookshop

Newton & Nunn at Abbey's Bookshop

Buy these books at Abbey's (131 York Street Sydney) ~ An Aladdin's cave for readers

Abbey's ~ An Aladdin's cave for readers

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