Our latest new New Zealand fiction showcase

In dividing the light, things are seen. And we notice ourselves.”
― John Allison New Zealand poet. 

New Zealand literature is a rich and diverse field one full of many voices and many stories. This range and diversity is well represented in our latest fiction showcase to focus  on new New Zealand fiction releases.

Our latest showcase ranges from the compulsive, tense, nail biting  page turner that is Call me Evie by J.P. Pomare to the more gentle captivating A dream of Italy by Nicky Pellegrino there is also the latest outing from best selling  author Catherine Robertson called What you wish for and Pearly Gates set in and celebrating small town New Zealand by Owen Marshall.  As well as  a veritable  host of  wonderful other voices and stories to be experienced and enjoyed.

Call me Evie / J.P. Pomare
“Meet Evie, a young woman held captive by a man named Jim in the isolated New Zealand beach town of Maketu. Jim says he’s hiding Evie to protect her, that she did something terrible back home in Melbourne. In a house that creaks against the wind, Evie begins to piece together her fractured memories of the events that led her here. Jim says he’s keeping her safe. Evie’s not sure she can trust Jim, but can she trust her own memories?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

A dream of Italy / Nicky Pellegrino.
“The picturesque mountain town of Montenello is selling off some of its historic buildings for just one euro each. To be considered as a future resident of Montenello contact the town’s mayor, Salvio Valentini. Many people read Salvio’s advertisement with excitement. Elise is in her twenties and desperate to get on the property ladder. Edward wants to escape a life he finds stifling. Mimi is divorced and starting afresh. And there is one person whose true motivation won’t be clear for some time. These four people all have a dream of Italy. And it’s going to change their lives.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Julian calendar / William Henry.
“A bright young photojournalist returns to London with the aim of releasing himself from a profound love affair that has stalled without explanation. Instead, he is derailed by memories of the secretive nurse who broke his heart, and rejuvenated by a man whose unexpected and intense friendship challenges the fundamental notion of love itself.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Photos of you / Tammy Robinson.
“People are here for me, to celebrate the anniversary of the day I was given life. On the very same day I’d just been told my life was all but over.’ When Ava Green turns twenty-eight, she discovers this will be her last birthday. The cancer she thought she’d beaten three years ago is back, only this time it’s terminal. But she is not going to let the cancer define her last, precious months, she is going to make her childhood dream come true: her wedding.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhat you wish for / Catherine Robertson.
“Dr Ashwin Ghadavi, the newly imported GP, is trying hard to fit into Gabriel’s Bay. His challenges include the immovable force of his office manager, Mac, the ambiguities of the Kiwi idiom, and his unrequited attraction to Mac’s daughter, Emma. Having returned home, Emma is determined to help her old friend, Devon, whether he wants it or not. She’s also on a mission to right eco wrongs, and her targets include local farmer Vic Halsworth, who’s already neck deep in the proverbial and, to make matters worse, seems to be having visions of moose.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPearly Gates : a novel / Owen Marshall.
“This entertaining and insightful novel both skewers and celebrates small-town New Zealand. Pat `Pearly’ Gates has achieved a lot in his life and evinces considerable satisfaction in his achievements. He has a reputation as a former Otago rugby player and believes he would have been an All Black but for sporting injuries. He runs a successful real-estate agency in a provincial South Island town, of which he is the second-term mayor. Popular, happily married, well established, he cuts an impressive figure, especially in his own eyes. But will his pride and complacency come before a fall?” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRotoroa / Amy Head.
“On tiny, isolated Rotoroa Island in the Hauraki Gulf is a treatment facility for alcoholic men. It’s here, at the Salvation Army-run home, that three characters at very different points in their lives will find themselves gathered, each for reasons of their own. There is Katherine, known to history as Elsie K. Morton, famous journalist and author; Jim, a sleepless alcoholic sent to the island by his family; and Lorna, a teenage mother who joins the Salvation Army looking for a fresh start. As the stories of their lives are revealed, so too are their hopes and vulnerabilities.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Ice Shelf / Anne Kennedy.
“The Ice Shelf: an eco-comedy” On the eve of flying to Antarctica to take up an arts fellowship, thirty-something Janice, recently separated, has a long night of remembrance, regret and realisation as she goes about the city looking for a friend to take care of her fridge while she’s away. En route she discards section after section of her novel in the spirit of editing until there is nothing left to edit. The Ice Shelf, a novel written as Acknowledgements, is an allegory for the dangers of wasting love and other non-renewable resources.” (Syndetics summary)

Admissions : tales of life, death & love in a hospital not far from here … / Mira Harrison.
“Here are the stories of eight women doctors, nurses, cooks and cleaners at the heart of a hospital that connects them all in a city that could be anywhere. Inspired by Mira Harrison’s experiences in healthcare in the UK and NZ, these engrossing narratives unveil the shifting balance between professional and private worlds. Our scrupulous or haphazard plans are disrupted by falling in love; by our connections to others; by the birth of our children; by loss, grief, and ultimately death.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

The latest fiction from the Zambezi river to Graceland

This autumn find a great new read from the libraries latest acquisitions.  Indulge in romance, challenging assumptions, voyage through family sagas or prepare for a gripping ride with an unexpectedly disconcerting thriller these tales from new and experienced adept authors have something for everyone.

Queenie / Carty-Williams, Candice
“Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. She works at a national newspaper, where she’s constantly forced to compare herself to her white middle class peers. After a messy break up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places including several hazardous men who do a good job of occupying brain space and a bad job of affirming self-worth. As Queenie careens from one questionable decision to another, she finds herself wondering, “What are you doing? Why are you doing it? Who do you want to be?” All of the questions today’s woman must face in a world trying to answer them for her.” (Catalogue)

Schoolgirl missing / Fortin, Sue (eBook) (eAudiobook) (print)
“A gripping portrayal of a family caught on the wrong side of the law. When fourteen-year-old Poppy vanishes on a family boating trip, suspicion soon turns close to home – to the two people who should do everything to keep her safe, her parents, Kit and Neve.
Neve has a secret. Kit is lying. Everyone is watching. Who do you believe? (Catalogue)

 

Syndetics book coverThe parade : a novel / Dave Eggers.The Parade: A Novel
“An unnamed country is leaving the darkness of a decade at war, and to commemorate the armistice the government commissions a new road connecting two halves of the state. Two men, foreign contractors from the same company, are sent to finish the highway. While one is flighty and adventurous, wanting to experience the nightlife and people, the other wants only to do the work and go home. But both men must eventually face the absurdities of their positions, and the dire consequences of their presence.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKaddish.com / Nathan Englander.
“Larry is the secular son in a family of Orthodox Brooklyn Jews. When his father dies, it’s his responsibility to recite the Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead, every day for eleven months. To the horror and dismay of his sister, Larry refuses, imperiling the fate of his father’s soul. To appease her, Larry hatches an ingenious if cynical plan, hiring a stranger through a website called kaddish.com to recite the prayer and shepherd his father’s soul safely to rest.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMemories of the future : a novel / Siri Hustvedt.
Memories of the Future tells the story of a young Midwestern woman’s first year in New York City in the late 1970s.  S.H., aka “Minnesota,” transcribes her neighbor’s bizarre and increasingly ominous monologues in a notebook. One frightening night Lucy bursts into her apartment on a rescue mission. Forty years later, S.H., now a veteran author, discovers her old notebook while moving her aging mother from one facility to another.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLost children archive / Valeria Luiselli.
“Suppose you and Pa were gone, and we were lost. What would happen then? A family in New York packs the car and sets out on a road trip. A mother, a father, a boy and a girl, they head south west, to the Apacheria, the regions of the US which used to be Mexico. Meanwhile, thousands of children are journeying north, travelling to the US border from Central America and Mexico. A grandmother or aunt has packed a backpack for them, putting in a bible, one toy, some clean underwear. They have been met by a coyote: a man who speaks to them roughly. They cross a river on rubber tubing and walk for days. Then they climb to the top of a train and travel precariously in the open container on top. In a breath-taking feat of literary virtuosity, Lost Children Archive intertwines these two journeys to create a masterful novel.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe old drift : a novel / Namwali Serpell.The Old Drift: A Novel
“1904. On the banks of the Zambezi River, a few miles from the majestic Victoria Falls, there is a colonial settlement called The Old Drift. In a smoky room at the hotel across the river, an Old Drifter named Percy M. Clark, foggy with fever, makes a mistake that entangles the fates of an Italian hotelier and an African busboy. This sets off a cycle of unwitting retribution between three Zambian families (black, white, brown) as they collide and converge over the course of the century, into the present and beyond.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGraceland / Bethan Roberts.
“What happens when your only son becomes The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll? From the moment she first holds him, after his twin brother is stillborn, Gladys Presley loves her son Elvis ferociously. And he will love her back, even as his heart is turned by the blues, clothes and girls. But while he makes it big in Hollywood, brings audiences across the land to their knees and achieves unimagined wealth and fame, there is another story – of drinking and diet pills, loneliness and loss. While the heat and music of the American South in the 40s and 50s play in the background, a heartbreaking portrait of a mother’s love and a son’s devotion takes centre stage. When Elvis reaches the height of his power, he buys his family the ultimate mansion on the hill, Graceland, where he hopes his mother will be happy. The reality, though, is very different, and Elvis finds that even kings must go on alone.” (Syndetics summary)

 

Devastation, devotion and the undead in Downing Street : recent readers choice

From dystopian novels to romance fiction there is an great range of reviewed reading material this month. Featuring complex relationship issues in Donna Leon’s Venetian recent crime novel Unto us a son is given. Strange twists of fate and coincidence affect seaborne Shetland adventurer Cass Lynch in Death on a Shetland Isle by Marsali Taylor.  Tensions mount in a Swiss hotel as nuclear devastation doesn’t halt the murderous habits of of one of a small number of guests, Hanna Jameson has written a disturbing end of times thriller, The last asks what kind of person you want to be at the end of the world?

These selected books are highlighted with Reader’s Choice stickers so that other people can find great reading material. You can find slips for Reader’s Choice reviews in new books, or ask staff for one if you have a review or recommendation to embellish the library collection.

The last / Jameson, Hanna
“Breaking- Nuclear weapon detonates over Washington. Breaking- London hit, thousands feared dead. Breaking- Munich and Scotland hit. World leaders call for calm.
Jon Keller was on a trip to Switzerland when the world ended. More than anything he wishes he hadn’t ignored his wife Nadia’s last message. Twenty people remain in Jon’s hotel. Far from the nearest city, they wait, they survive. Then one day, the body of a girl is found. It’s clear she has been murdered. Which means that someone in the hotel is a killer… As paranoia descends, Jon decides to investigate. But how far is he willing to go in pursuit of justice? And what happens if the killer doesn’t want to be found?” (Catalogue)

Reader’s review: Somewhat harrowing but gripping dystopia novel of the post-trump era. Very well written.

Unto us a son is given / Donna Leon.Syndetics book cover
“The latest of Donna Leon’s bestselling Venice crime novels. As a favour to his wealthy father-in-law, Commissario Guido Brunetti agrees to investigate the seemingly innocent wish of the Count’s best friend, the elderly and childless Gonzalo, to adopt a younger man as his son. Under Italian inheritance laws, this man would become the sole heir to Gonzalo’s substantial fortune. Not long after Brunetti meets with Gonzalo, the elderly man unexpectedly passes away from natural causes. Old and frail, Gonzalo’s death goes unquestioned. But when Berta, one of Gonzalo’s closest confidantes, is strangled in her hotel room, Brunetti is drawn into long-buried secrets from Gonzalo’s past. What did Berta know? And who would go to such lengths to ensure it would remain hidden?” (Syndetics summary)

Reader’s review: Interesting exposition of the importance of honesty in a loving relationships. Brunetti is as philosophical as usual and the Venetian back drop is as enticing as usual.  There is less political intrigue than usual but still a very enjoyable read.

The truths and triumphs of Grace Atherton / Harris, Anstey
Also available as an eBook
“Between the simple melody of running her violin shop and the full-blown orchestra of her romantic interludes in Paris with David, her devoted partner of eight years, Grace Atherton has always set her life to music. Her world revolves entirely around David, for Grace’s own secrets have kept everyone else at bay. Until, suddenly and shockingly, one act tips Grace’s life upside down, and the music seems to stop. It takes a vivacious old man and a straight-talking teenager to kickstart a new chapter for Grace. In the process, she learns that she is not as alone in the world as she had once thought, that no mistake is insurmountable, and that the quiet moments in life can be something to shout about …” (Catalogue)

Reader’s review: Well drawn characters. Story gets reader from page one and carries one along to the very end. Interesting re musical instrument restoration.

A lawless place / Donachie, David
“Edward Brazier is enlisted by Prime Minister William Pitt to assist his investigation into smuggling activity in Deal. However, with his love Betsy now locked into a loveless marriage with Tom Spafford, a useless drunk, and living as a prisoner, Brazier is distracted from his mission. Having foiled Spafford’s plan to steal Betsy away to her family-owned plantation in the West Indies, Brazier finds himself taken captive. Only his ingenuity will help engineer his escape and his cunning use of subterfuge will then allow him to infiltrate the smuggling gangs of Deal in a determined bid to unmask those in control. But with suspicion raised around him and his enemies banding together, can Brazier survive long enough to bring those responsible to justice?” (Catalogue)

Reader’s review: A good reflection of the era, but somewhat verbose! A list of characters would have been helpful.

Maybe this time / Mansell, Jill
“When Mimi first visits her dad’s new home in the Cotswolds, she falls in love with Goosebrook and the people who live there. (Well, maybe not snooty Henrietta, who lets Mimi walk miles in the rain rather than give her a lift.) There’s Paddy, with his flashing eyes and seductive charm. Friendly and funny Lois makes Mimi laugh. And seriously gorgeous Cal is welcoming and charismatic. Though Mimi loves her city life and her career, she’d be very happy to return to Goosebrook if it means seeing more of him. Life is about to take some unexpected and shocking twists and turns. And Mimi’s path and Cal’s are set to cross again and again – but will it ever be the right time for both of them? ” (Catalogue)

Readers’ review: You know you’re going to enjoy Jill Mansel’s book. This one is an enjoyable read and although everyone  lives happily ever after, there are some surprises and complications along the way!

In his father’s footsteps : a novel / Steel, Danielle
Also available as an eBook
“April, 1945. As the Americans storm the Buchenwald concentration camp, among the survivors are Jakob and Emmanuelle, barely more than teenagers. Each of them have lost everything and everyone in the unspeakable horrors of the war. But when they meet, they find hope and comfort in each other. Jakob and Emmanuelle marry, and resolve to make a new life in New York. The Steins build a happy, prosperous life for themselves and their new family, but their pasts cast a long shadow over the present. Years later, as the Sixties are in full swing, their son Max is an ambitious, savvy businessman, determined to throw off the sadness that has hung over his family since his birth. But as Max’s life unfolds, he must learn that there is meaning in his heritage that will help shape his future . . .” (Catalogue)

Readers’s review: A good read – some insightful looks into WW2 and holocaust.

The labyrinth index / Stross, Charles
“Britain is under New Management. The disbanding of the Laundry – the British espionage agency that deals with supernatural threats, has culminated in the unthinkable – an elder god in residence in 10 Downing Street. But in true ‘the enemy of my enemy’ fashion, Mhari Murphy finds herself working with His Excellency Nylarlathotep on foreign policy – there are worse things, it seems, than an elder god in power, and they lie in deepest, darkest America .A thousand-mile-wide storm system has blanketed the midwest, and the president is nowhere to be found – Mhari must lead a task force of disgraced Laundry personnel into the storm front to discover the truth. But working for an elder god is never easy, and as the stakes rise, Mhari will soon question exactly where her loyalties really lie.” (Catalogue)

Reader’s review: Very good. Enjoying characters and story. Great continuation of the series.

Another reader commented: Good political satire aka horror story or paranormal spy thriller.  looking forward to the next in the series.

Death on a Shetland isle / Taylor, Marsali
“Readying her Norwegian sail-training ship, Sorlandet, for a fresh voyage through the Shetland Islands, Cass Lynch has the shock of her life when the new third officer is a ghost from her past – the man she thought she’d left to drown in the Atlantic eleven years before. Cass has an odd feeling about some of the new trainees: a slick city-boy, and a brother and sister. As her distrust of the newcomers deepens, two people go missing and a third is found dead. Struggling to confront the ghosts of her past, the deceased of her present, and the man of her future, Cass must out-manoeuvre the killer before she too becomes one of the victims.” (Catalogue)
Reader’s review: I enjoyed every page and wanted to catch the next plane/boat and experience the Shetland Islands for myself. Any chance of the library stocking two earlier books?
(These are now on order)

 

 

Comics to Prepare You for Avengers: Endgame!

Avengers: Endgame, the hotly anticipated conclusion to a saga of 21 films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, hit theaters on April 24, and to help you prepare we’ve added a number of Marvel titles to Overdrive. Featuring the original stories that inspired Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, the fan-favourite Jonathan Hickman series that introduced the fiendish Black Order and tales that take a terrifying peek into the mind of Thanos, the Mad Titan!

So head over to Overdrive to start borrowing–or check out our eLibrary Getting Started guide!

Overdrive cover The Infinity Gauntlet Aftermath, by Ron Marz (ebook)
“Collects Silver Surfer (1987) 60-66, Dr. Strange: Sorcerer Supreme 36, Warlock & the Infinity Watch 1-6, material from Silver Surfer Annual 5. After defeating Thanos, Adam Warlock won the Infinity Gauntlet–and now has absolute power! Can the most powerful being in the universe be convinced to give up the Gauntlet? And who can be trusted with even a portion of its awesome abilities?” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Infinity War, by Jim Starlin (ebook)
“Collects Infinity War #1-6, Warlock and the Infinity Watch #7-10 & Marvel Comics Presents #108-111. When evil dopplegangers of the Marvel heroes appear, it’s all-out war! Why has Magus unleashed them on an unsuspecting world? And is the heroes only hope…Thanos?! Plus, will the Infinity Gauntlet swing the tide of the war?” (Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Avengers (2012), Volume 1, by Jonathan Hickman (ebook)
“Collects Avengers #1-6. The greatest heroes in comics, together as one expansive, unbeatable team! The Avengers’ first mission takes them to Mars, but the secrets of the Garden lead right back to Earth’s Savage Land! Plus, the Shi’ar Imperial Guard and Captain Universe races to decipher the code hidden in the Avengers’ recent adventures!” (Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Thanos Rising, by Jason Aaron (ebook)
“Collects Thanos Rising #1-5. The vile face of Thanos left audiences in shock after last summer’s Marvel Studios’ “The Avengers” movie…but who is this eerily disturbing villain? Discover the hidden truth, as Thanos rises as the unrivaled rogue of wretchedness in this gripping tale of tragedy, deceit and destiny. Where did this demi-god of destruction come from – and more importantly, what does he want from the universe?” (Adapted from the Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover Thanos (2016), Volume 1, by Jeff Lemire (ebook)
“Collects Thanos #1-6. Thanos, possibly the most diabolical individual in the Marvel Universe, is back — and he’s out for vengeance on all who would oppose him! Unfortunately for the Mad Titan, he’s also heading for an unexpected reckoning…with his family. Take an ongoing walk on the dark side of the galaxy, and follow the deadly trail of destruction left in the wake of…Thanos! He is pure evil. He is unstoppable. And it’s time for someone — anyone — to take him down.” (Overdrive description.)

Overdrive cover The Infinity Gauntlet, by Jim Starlin (ebook)
“Collects Infinity Gauntlet (1991) #1-6. The Mad Titan Thanos has seized control of Infinity Gauntlet and with it near-omnipotent power! Who can stop this deadly new overlord? All of Marvel’s top heroes star in this epic of cosmic proportions!” (Overdrive description.)

Let’s Dance: the David Bowie Book Club List!

I read voraciously. Every book I ever bought, I have. I can’t throw it away. It’s physically impossible to leave my hand! Some of them are in warehouses. I’ve got a library that I keep the ones I really really like.”
— David Bowie

When David Bowie arrived on the set of  his 1976 film The Man Who Fell to Earth, he arrived with a trailer full of books. Nicholas Roeg joked with him about it, saying, “The problem with you David is you don’t read enough.” Throughout his life Bowie was an avid reader, and many of his songs and albums have literary references. Diamond Dogs originally started life as a musical version of George Orwell’s 1984, while he famously used William Burroughs’ cut out techniques on several of his most famous songs.

In 2013, Bowie posted his 100 favourite books on his public Facebook page. You can view the full list here, or check out some examples below. Enjoy!

Overdrive cover David Bowie, by Dylan Jones (eBook) (print)
“Drawn from a series of conversations between David Bowie and Dylan Jones across three decades, together with over 180 interviews with friends, rivals, lovers, and collaborators–some of whom have never before spoken about their relationship with Bowie–this oral history is an intimate portrait of a remarkable rise to stardom and one of the most fascinating lives of our time.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

 

Overdrive cover The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov (ebook)
“Afterwards, when it was frankly too late, descriptions were issued of the man: expensive grey suit, grey beret, one green eye and the other black. Only the Master, a man devoted to truth, and Margarita, the woman he loves, can resist the devil’s onslaught. Brilliant and blackly comic, The Master and Margarita was repressed by Stalin’s authorities and only published after the author’s death.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

 

Overdrive cover A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess (eAudiobook)
“A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Anthony Burgess’s novel which became a controversial film in the 1970s. In a nightmare world of the near future, packs of teenagers run wild, beyond the control of their families or the police. Alex is a gang-leader, addicted to drug-fuelled assault, torture and rape.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

 

Overdrive cover 1984, by George Orwell (ebook) (print)
“It is 1984. The world is in a state of perpetual war and Big Brother sees and controls all. Winston Smith, a member of the Outer Party and propaganda-writer at the Ministry of Truth, is keeping a journal he should not be keeping and falling in love with Julia, a woman he should not be seeing. Outwardly compliant, Winston dreams of rebellion against the oppressive Big Brother, risking everything to recover his lost sense of individuality and control of his own future.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, by Muriel Spark (ebook)
“Miss Jean Brodie is a teacher unlike any other; a romantic, with progressive, sometimes shocking ideas and aspirations for the girls in her charge. At the Marcia Blaine Academy she takes a select group of girls under her wing. But as the girls enter their teenage years and they become increasingly drawn in by Miss Brodie’s personal life, her ambitions for them take a startling and dark turn with devastating consequences.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

 

Overdrive cover On the Road, by Jack Kerouac (Audiobook)
On the Road chronicles Jack Kerouac’s years traveling the North American continent with his friend Neal Cassady. As ‘Sal Paradise’ and ‘Dean Moriarty,’ the two roam the country in a quest for self-knowledge and experience. Kerouac’s love of America, his compassion for humanity, and his sense of language as jazz combine to make On the Road an inspirational work of lasting importance.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

 

Overdrive cover The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald (ebook)
“Everybody who is anybody is seen at Jay Gatsby’s glittering parties. Day and night his Long Island mansion buzzes with bright young things drinking, dancing and debating his mysterious character. For Gatsby–young, handsome, fabulously rich–always seems alone in the crowd, watching and waiting, though no one knows what for. Beneath the shimmering surface of his life he is hiding a secret: a silent longing that can never be fulfilled.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Wonder Boys, by Michael Chabon (ebook)
“Grady Tripp is an over-sexed, pot-bellied, pot-smoking, ageing wunderkind of a novelist now teaching creative writing at a Pittsburgh college while working on his 2,000-page masterpiece, ‘Wonder Boys’. When his rumbustious editor and friend, Terry Crabtree, arrives in town, a chaotic weekend follows–involving a tuba, a dead dog, Marilyn Monroe’s jacket and a squashed boa constrictor. A novel of elegant imagination, bold humour and undeniable warmth.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Nights At the Circus, by Angela Carter (eBook)
“Is Sophie Fevvers, toast of Europe’s capitals, part swan…or all fake? Courted by the Prince of Wales and painted by Toulouse-Lautrec, she is an aerialiste extraordinaire and star of Colonel Kearney’s circus. She is also part woman, part swan…” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

New Mysteries

Nefarious business tactics, buried secrets and deadly coincidences are woven through our latest selection of fiction mysteries. The imaginations of these talented authors deal with the machinations of the darker side of human nature.  The landscapes, cities and villages that host these tales feature as essential characters in these tales. Our  selection includes Donna Leon’s new Venetian novel, awash with her fascination for minor vices and drastic consequences. A new northern European detective hero is revealed in shape of Embla Nystrom, a welter weight prize-winner, hunter and female detective inspector whose talents and skills are about to be tested to the limit in Helene Tursten’s Hunting Game.

Accessing new titles has become easier with the removal of reserve fees. As before you can can choose any location to collect your chosen books.  Some of our new titles can be found through Overdrive as eBooks or eAudiobooks. This post highlights the library online access where possible.  All the titles in this new Mystery fiction selection are available in print form also.

Overdrive cover The Scholar, Dervla McTiernan (ebook) (eAudiobook) (print)
“When DS Cormac Reilly’s girlfriend, Emma, stumbles across the victim of a hit and run early one morning outside the laboratory at Galway University, he is first on the scene of a murder that would otherwise never have been assigned to him. The dead girl is carrying an ID, that of Carline Darcy, heir apparent to Darcy Therapeutics, Ireland’s most successful pharmaceutical company. Darcy Therapeutics has a finger in every pie, it has funded Emma’s own ground-breaking research. As Cormac investigates, evidence mounts that the death is linked to a Darcy laboratory and increasingly, to Emma herself. Cormac is sure she couldn’t be involved, but how well does he really know her?” (Catalogue)

Murder at the British Museum / Eldridge, Jim
“1894. A well-respected academic is found dead in a gentlemen’s convenience cubicle at the British Museum, the stall locked from the inside. Professor Pickering had been due to give a talk promoting the museum’s new ‘Age of King Arthur’ exhibition when he was stabbed repeatedly in the chest. Daniel Wilson is called in to solve the mystery of the locked cubicle murder, and he brings his expertise and archaeologist Abigail Fenton with him. But  the museum becomes the site of another fatality and the pair face mounting pressure to deliver results. With persistent journalists, local vandals and a fanatical society, Wilson and Fenton face a race against time to salvage the reputation of the museum and catch a murderer desperate for revenge.” (Catalogue)

Overdrive cover Hunting Game, Helene Tursten (ebook) (print)
 “Helene Tursten’s explosive new series features Detective Inspector Embla Nyström, a sharp, unforgiving woman working in a man’s world. From a young age, 28-year-old Embla Nystrom has been plagued by chronic nightmares and racing thoughts. She has learned to channel most of her anxious energy into her position as Detective Inspector in the mobile unit in Gothenburg, Sweden. When one of her peers is murdered during a routine hunting trip, Embla must track down the killer while confronting a dark incident from her past.” (Adapted from catalogue)

Hallowdene / Mann, George
“Former London journalist Elspeth Reeves is trying to carve a new life for herself in the sleepy Oxfordshire countryside, until she’s sent to cover the excavation of a notorious local witch’s grave. Three hundred years ago, her name mixed up with murder and black magic, Agnes Levett was hanged and then buried under an immense stone, to prevent her spirit from ever rising again. Elspeth investigates, but soon finds there is far more to the old tale than meets the eye, as the surrounding area is rocked by a series of mysterious and brutal murders, all of people somehow connected with the dig. She and her childhood friend DS Peter Shaw race to uncover the truth, but secrets lain buried for centuries are not easily discovered.” (Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverUnto us a son is given / Donna Leon.
“The latest of Donna Leon’s bestselling Venice crime novels. As a favour to his wealthy father-in-law, Commissario Guido Brunetti agrees to investigate the seemingly innocent wish of the Count’s best friend, the elderly and childless Gonzalo, to adopt a younger man as his son. Under Italian inheritance laws, this man would become the sole heir to Gonzalo’s substantial fortune, something which Gonzalo’s friends,  find appalling. For his part, Brunetti wonders why they’re so intent on meddling in the old man’s business. Not long after Brunetti meets with Gonzalo, the elderly man unexpectedly passes away from natural causes. Old and frail, Gonzalo’s death goes unquestioned. But when Berta, one of Gonzalo’s closest confidantes, is strangled in her hotel room, Brunetti is drawn into long-buried secrets from Gonzalo’s past. What did Berta know? And who would go to such lengths to ensure it would remain hidden?” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFalse account / Veronica Heley.
“The mysterious deaths of two adored cats plunges Bea into the disturbing goings-on of the Tredgold family in the latest Abbot Agency mystery. Wealthy Marcia Tredgold and her daughter, Charlotte, want Bea Abbot to find them replacements for staff who have left under a cloud. Bea discovers that all those dismissed were close to Marcia Tredgold, and senses that something is not right. Were they framed, and if so by whom and why? In her quest to uncover the truth, Bea’s own safety is put at risk.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

The godless / Doherty, Paul
“A number of prostitutes in 14th century London are brutally murdered, with blood-red wigs placed upon their heads; at the same time a war cog ship bound for Calais is destroyed: is there a connection, and are the rumours true that the mysterious Oriflamme is responsible? Brother Athelstan returns to uncover the truth, and of who – or what – he is.” (Catalogue)

 

Syndetics book coverNever tell / Lisa Gardner.
“One death might be an accident.
Two deaths looks like murder.
A man is shot dead in his own home, and his pregnant wife, Evie, is found with the gun in her hands. Detective D.D. Warren instantly recognises her. Sixteen years ago, Evie also shot her own father. That killing was ruled an accident. D.D. doesn’t believe in coincidences. But this case isn’t as open and shut as it first appears, and her job is to discover the truth. Evie might be a victim. Or she might be about to get away with murder again.” (Catalogue)

Mystery Writers Panel Author Feature: Kelly Dennett

Are you a fan of mysteries? The Ngaio Marsh Awards and Wellington City Libraries invites you to Mystery in the Library, a fantastic (and free!) after-hours event featuring four outstanding and highly acclaimed local storytellers.

Photo by Emma Miller

When?
Saturday 13 April 2019

Where?
Karori Library (Please note the new location for this event)

What time?
6pm-7.30pm

One of the outstanding panellists at our Mystery in the Library event is Sunday Star-Times news director Kelly Dennett.  Her book The Short Life and Mysterious Death of Jane Furlong was published last year and is a gripping and empathetic account of the life and unsolved murder of Jane Furlong, a seventeen year old who disappeared from Auckland’s Karangahape Road in 1993.

We were lucky enough to talk to Kelly last week about her book.

Kelly told us she had forged strong relationships and trust with Jane’s friends and family as she painstakingly pieced all the different strands of the story of Jane’s disappearance together. As a result, she felt an enormous responsibility to Jane’s family and the memory of Jane to write the best book that she could. She felt that it was important to get the tone of the book right and concentrate on details that would bring the story and the charismatic personality of Jane to life rather than salacious and sensational details. Being able to read Jane’s diaries meant Kelly could get a good understanding of Jane’s character and she told us that she would often consider what Jane would think of the book as she was writing it.

We asked if Kelly had any thoughts on why unsolved murders and true crime, for example the television series Making a Murderer, were more popular than ever.  Kelly told us that because cold cases are about real people it is easy for us to relate to the characters, and put ourselves in their shoes. She also thinks that the genre gives audiences the appealing chance to be armchair detectives.

Jane’s body was discovered 19 years after her disappearance and her murder remains unsolved. Kelly believes that this case could be solved in the future and pointed to some recent arrests in Australia that have been made decades after the murders were committed.

Kelly speaks eloquently about her writing. Come along to Mystery in the Library this Saturday night (6-7:30pm) to hear more of the fascinating details of this book that has been called a “brave look at a cold case” (Otago Daily Times).

For more tasters of Kelly Dennett’s writing and The Short Life and Mysterious Death of Jane Furlong  listen to this interview with Wallace Chapman on RNZ or read this article in The Spinoff.

Join us on Saturday, 13 April at 6pm at Karori Library to hear Kirsten McDougall, Dame Fiona Kidman, Jennifer Lane, Kelly Dennett and chairperson Brannavan Gnanalingam discuss some fantastic works of mystery!

Mystery Writers Panel Author Feature: Jennifer Lane!

Are you a fan of mysteries?

The Ngaio Marsh Awards and Wellington City Libraries invites you to Mystery in the Library, a fantastic (and free!) after-hours event featuring four outstanding and highly acclaimed local storytellers.

WHEN: Saturday 13 April 2019
WHERE: Karori Library (Please note the new location for this event)
WHEN: 6pm-7.30pm

This year’s panel includes author Jennifer Lane!

Jennifer Lane’s debut novel, All Our Secrets, is the story of 11-year-old Gracie Barrett and her life in small town Australia in the 1980s. With religious tensions, serial murders and all the complications of being on the cusp of teenagehood, All Our Secrets is a work of insight and high excitement.

Book Review: All Our SecretsThe Reader, December 13, 2017

All Our Secrets was the winner of the Best First Novel Award at the Ngaio Marsh Awards, and has been described as “a hugely enjoyable mash-up of small town horror and coming-of-age story, with plenty of quirky and sometimes downright weird humour thrown in.” Lane has also published widely in journals across Aotearoa/New Zealand and Australia, including Southerly, Pulp, Viola Beadleton’s Compendium and Island.

So join us on Saturday, 13 April at 6pm at Karori Library to hear Jennifer Lane, Kirsten McDougall, Dame Fiona Kidman, Kelly Dennett and chairperson Brannavan Gnanalingam discuss some fantastic works of mystery!

Mystery Writers Panel Author Feature: Kirsten McDougall

Photo by Grant Maiden
Photo by Grant Maiden

Are you a fan of mysteries?

The Ngaio Marsh Awards and Wellington City Libraries invite you to Mystery in the Library, a fantastic (and free!) after-hours event featuring four outstanding and highly acclaimed local storytellers.

WHEN: Saturday 13 April 2019
WHERE: Karori Library (Please note the new location for this event)
WHEN: 6pm–7.30pm

This year’s panel includes author Kirsten McDougall!

We are totally thrilled to have the award-winning Wellington author Kirsten McDougall as one of our illustrious mystery writers panellists. McDougall’s critically-acclaimed book Tess is a wonderful, multi-layered can of worms, and Wairarapa’s answer to Southern Ontario Gothic. As The Listener describes it, “Tess is authentically, affectingly abrasive and vulnerable. The physical world is alive and jumping, and the narrative never lets go of your throat.”

As well as Tess, McDougall has published The Invisible Rider, as well as short stories and non-fiction in a range of books and journals. She has also given several excellent interviews about her writing process–including this great piece in The Pantograph Punch.

So join us on Saturday, 13 April at 6pm at Karori Library to hear Kirsten McDougall, Dame Fiona Kidman, Jennifer Lane, Kelly Dennett and chairperson Brannavan Gnanalingam discuss some fantastic works of mystery!

Mystery Writers Panel Author Feature: Dame Fiona Kidman!

Are you a fan of mysteries?

The Ngaio Marsh Awards and Wellington City Libraries invite you to Mystery in the Library, a fantastic (and free!) after-hours event featuring four outstanding and highly acclaimed local storytellers.

WHEN: Saturday 13 April 2019
WHERE: Karori Library (Please note the new location for this event)
WHEN: 6pm

This year’s panel includes a very special guest: Dame Fiona Kidman!

Fiona Kidman’s contribution to literature in Aotearoa/New Zealand has been immense. Since publishing her first novel in 1970, Kidman has gone on to create a powerful and imaginative body of work ranging from novels to short stories, memoirs to poetry, plays to radio series. She has won a range of awards, fellowships and residencies and in 1998 she was awarded a Dame Companion New Zealand Order of Merit for services to literature.

Kidman’s latest work, This Mortal Boy, tells the story of Albert Black, one of the last people executed in New Zealand. It’s been called “powerful and haunting… and bloody convincing”, and has been shortlisted for the Acorn Prize as part of the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

So join us on Saturday, 13 April at 6pm at Karori Library to hear Fiona Kidman, Jennifer Lane, Kelly Dennett, Kirsten McDougall and chairperson Brannavan Gnanalingam discuss some fantastic works of mystery!