The compelling story of a child who goes missing in a fictional village near the national capital and a painstaking hunt for online trolls by a Canberra author are two works which have been shortlisted in the Davitt Awards for best crime and mystery books.
Former Canberran Petronella McGovern has produced a masterful debut work, Six Minutes, a page-turner to rival Liane Moriarty's best.
It is one of seven books nominated in the adult crime novel section of the Davitt Awards.
The story, which keeps you guessing until the end, is about a child who goes missing while in the care of mothers at a playgroup in a small village.
And while the village of Merrigang is fictional (imagined as a kind of Murrumbateman plonked "opposite Mount Stromlo"), McGovern positions the story squarely in Canberra.
We challenge you to find any other novel that references everything from Cooleman Court to Tim the Yowie Man. Love it.
McGovern, who lived in Canberra from 1998 to 2014, and is still firm friends with the women who were in her own mothers' group, will see her second book, The Good Teacher, published in September.
And she has just just signed another two-book deal with Allen & Unwin
"I'm so happy to be publishing more books with them and I love their focus on Australian stories," she said, on Wednesday.
But first to the Davitt Awards, the winners to be announced in September.
"It was just so exciting. I felt so honoured and so humbled, because there's so many fantastic books out at the moment, particularly from female crime writers, " McGovern said, of the recognition.
"So I was just thrilled to be on the long list and, then, to be on the short list was amazing."
Award-winning social justice journalist Ginger Gorman also received a nod in the Davitt Awards, in the non-fiction crime book category, for her powerful book, Troll Hunting: Inside the world of online hate and its human fallout, which has already won a Canberra Critics Circle award.
Six Minutes and Troll Hunting have also been recognised in the debut crime book category.
The impact of Troll Hunting continues to resonate, with Gorman doing more than 100 media interviews in Australia and around the world and continuing to be in demand as a speaker on the topic of online hate.
She is also regularly consulting to government about cyberhate policies and legislation.
"I'm actually quite blown away to be nominated in two categories of the Davitt Awards," Gorman said, on Wednesday.
"Firstly, when you write a book you never know whether anyone will ever read it or be interested in what you have to say. And writing Troll Hunting was a dark and violent experience. For example, people got shot in real time while I was writing it.
"At different points I felt quite lost amid all the hatred and misogyny of the predator trolls.
"I remember drinking wine and writing late into the night and wondering what the point of it all was.
"So this is an incredible honour.
"People have said to me Troll Hunting reads like a crime thriller. But as a social justice journalist, I'm still totally shocked that I ended up writing book that's classified as 'crime'."
Sisters in Crime Australia, formed to "celebrate women's crime writing on the page and screen", conducts the Davitt Awards, named after Ellen Davitt who wrote Australia's first mystery novel Force and Fraud in 1865.
Judges' "wrangler" Moraig Kisler said 24 books were in contention for the 20th annual Davitt Awards.
"The quality and breadth of the writing has blown us away, " she said.
"Whether it's politics, pharmaceutical companies, children's playgroups or the world of online trolls, women crime writers know how to apply the blow torch to their narratives."