New Mysteries & Thrillers

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“The theatre has never been any good since the actors became gentlemen.” – W.H. Auden

Welcome to this month’s selection of newly acquired crime and thriller titles. As always, we have a host of likely looking suspects in this month’s particular book line-up.

One particular title that caught our eye was  The Innocents by Bridget Walsh; a novel in which a series  of grisly murders occur in a down-at-heel music hall in London. During the Victorian era, music halls were the pre-eminent form of  mass entertainment and very big business. Every city and town had one or more of these fine establishments. Their heyday predated both cinema and recording technology and they were the place people went to see both the superstars and novelty acts of the day. The bill usually featured a variety of turns to ensure every taste was catered for, ranging from magic acts, singers and dancers to trick cyclists and comedians.  Once cinema technology evolved and took hold, many of the theatres embraced and converted to the new medium, and whilst music halls hung on for a while, its days as the major popular entertainment form were numbered.

To see our full list of selected titles and borrow any that interest you, just browse below.

The innocents / Walsh, Bridget
“The Variety Palace Music Hall is in trouble, due in no small part to a gruesome spate of murders that unfolded around it a few months previously. Between writing, managing the music hall and trying to dissuade her boss from installing a water tank in the building, Minnie Ward has her hands full. Her complicated relationship with detective Albert Easterbrook doesn’t even bear thinking about. But when a new string of murders tears through London, Minnie and Albert are thrown together once more. Strangely, the crimes seem to link back to a tragedy that took place fourteen years ago, leaving 183 children dead. And given that the incident touched so many people’s lives, everyone is a suspect .” (Adapted from Catalogue)

A better class of criminal / Kelly, Cristian
“A seemingly foolproof plan to make some quick money turns into a race for their lives… It’s the mid-nineties and methamphetamine casts its shadow over the Californian city of Santa Lucía. Nathan, happy running a small marijuana grow operation with his two best friends, takes advantage of meth’s rise in popularity and makes a lucrative one-time deal. Betrayed, beaten, and desperate… But a devastating betrayal leaves him entangled with the city’s merciless crime boss. Risking everything, Nathan and his friends embark on a wild plan to steal millions of dollars’ worth of diamonds to settle the debt. Caught in the crosshairs of corrupt cops, a relentless Russian henchman and his temptress partner, they face setbacks at every turn as they pursue the diamonds across the city. As the death toll rises, can Nathan save them all before the real bad guys find them?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Sibanda and the night adder / Elliott, C. M.
“Two murders occur in Gubu village, hours apart, embroiling Detective Inspector Sibanda, Sergeant Ncube and Miss Daisy in the murky world of blood diamonds. Before long, Sibanda is on the run, accused of the murders. He escapes to the wilderness. Pursued by the armed and threatening CIO and an assortment of government agents, he is forced to survive in the dangerous environment of wild animals and wilder weather. Sibanda heads north to Victoria Falls. His many murder suspects are gathered there. He must use all his cunning and legendary detection skills to find the real killer and clear his name. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Dagger of death at Honeychurch Hall / Dennison, Hannah
“Is it a question of turn the other cheek– or an eye for an eye? At last St Mary’s church is going to have its own vicar! Not only that, the gorgeous Reverend Pritchard is sixty, single and in need of a wife. But when he spearheads a campaign to restore a derelict chapel — rumoured to be haunted by a German Luftwaffe pilot — in a far-flung corner of the Honeychurch estate, the Dowager Countess puts her foot down. But nobody quite understands why. Meanwhile, a fierce bidding war at an auction of military memorabilia ends in Kat’s female adversary being murdered and Kat being held as the prime suspect. And then it turns out that several of the auctioned items are connected to Operation Tiger, a doomed rehearsal for the D-Day landings that took place in nearby Slapton Sands all those years ago. And Kat begins to realise that the vicar, the Luftwaffe ghost and all the World War II weaponry may all somehow be related.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The clock struck murder / Webb, Betty
“Expat Zoe Barlow has settled well into her artist’s life among the Lost Generation in 1920s Paris. When a too-tipsy guest at her weekly poker game breaks Zoe’s favorite clock, she’s off to a Montparnasse flea market to bargain with the vendor Laurette for a replacement. What Zoe didn’t bargain for was the lost Chagall painting that’s been used like a rag to wrap her purchases! Eager to learn whether Laurette has more Chagalls lying about like trash, Zoe sets off to track her down at her storage shed. With no Laurette in sight, Zoe snoops around and indeed finds several additional Chagalls–and then she finds Laurette herself, dead beneath a scrap heap, her beautiful face bashed in…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

White as snow / Lilja Sigurðardóttir
“On a snowy winter morning, an abandoned shipping container is discovered near Reykjavík. Inside are the bodies of five young women – one of them barely alive. As Icelandic Police detective Daníel struggles to investigate the most brutal crime of his career, Áróra looks into the background of a suspicious man, who turns out to be engaged to Daníel’s former wife, and the connections don’t stop there… As the temperature drops and the 24-hour darkness and freezing snow hamper their efforts, their investigations become increasingly dangerous… for everyone.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Murder at Bletchley Park / Koning, Christina
“Spring, 1941. The Second World War has entered a dangerous phase, with British ships being torpedoed in the Atlantic and nightly bombing raids on major ports. At Bletchley Park, top secret home of the nation’s code-breakers, the race is on to crack the German Enigma code and thus prevent further naval and military losses. This endeavour is suddenly very close to home for Frederick Rowlands, blind veteran of the Great War, when his daughter, Margaret, who works at ‘the Park’ as a cryptographer, is arrested on suspicion of betraying secrets to the enemy. Then a young woman is found murdered, and Rowlands is drawn into a deadly battle of wits where he must decode a series of clues that will lead him to the killer and enable him to discover the real traitor at Bletchley Park.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Close to death / Horowitz, Anthony
“Richmond, London. Six attractive houses are tucked away in an exclusive and very upmarket gated community: Riverview Close. Surrounded by flowers and shrubbery, they’re sealed off from the busy main road and the realities of urban life. At weekends, with the gate locked, the residents enjoy the sound of birdsong, the whirr of mowers, the occasional snatch of opera through an open window. Everyone knows each other. Everyone gets on. That is, until the Kenworthys arrive. With their four gas-guzzling cars, their noisy children and their plans to build a swimming pool in their garden, they quickly offend every one of their neighbours. When Giles Kenworthy is found dead in his hallway, the bolt of a crossbow through his throat, Daniel Hawthorne is called in. But how do you solve a murder when everyone has the same motive?” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eAudiobook.

“No, emptiness is not nothingness”: New Sci Fi & Fantasy

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“No, emptiness is not nothingness. Emptiness is a type of existence. You must use this existential emptiness to fill yourself.” ― Liu Cixin, The Three-Body Problem

Welcome to our latest selection of recently acquired science fiction and fantasy titles. As always, we have a cosmos of choice awaiting our readers.

This month’s selection includes three titles from our own fair shores, the first of which is the eagerly anticipated new book by H. G Parry called Heartless. Regular readers will know that H. G. Parry is one of our personal favourites and we were thrilled to see a new title from this wonderful author on the shelves. Another treat from Aotearoa  comes in the form of  best-selling, award-winning  author David Hair’s latest release that’s called The Burning Land, and the third member of our local trio of talent is local author Helen Vivienne Fletcher, who releases a collection of stories called Beside the River Styx. It’s fabulous to see so much exceptional home-grown talent out there. The other title that caught our eye was A View from the Stars by Liu Cixin, author of the exceptional modern classic The Three-Body Problem, currently one of the most popular television adaptations around. If you’ve not read any Liu Cixin before and enjoy deep, thought-provoking cutting-edge science fiction we thoroughly recommend his work.

To see our full list of selected titles and borrow any that interest you, just browse below.

Heartless / Parry, H. G.
“At the age of seven, in a London workhouse, newly-orphaned James meets ten-year-old Peter. Mysterious, mercurial, thoughtless to the point of cruelty, Peter nonetheless takes a liking to James. The two forge a strange friendship, bound together by their shared love of stories…But one fateful night, Peter vanishes from his bed, and in the morning James is found lying alone and broken in the courtyard outside…Over twenty years later, on the deck of a whaling ship in the frozen wastes of the Arctic…James’s obsession with finding his childhood friend will lead him to mutiny and murder, beyond the edges of the world, and finally to an island that shouldn’t exist.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

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The things that make me different: New fiction

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“The things that make me different are the things that make me, me.”  A.A. Milne (Piglet)

Welcome to our latest selection of titles from our recently acquired fiction books. As always, we have a wide variety of authors and novels to suit all tastes.

In amongst this month’s literary treasures, we have the much-anticipated Aotearoa debut novel from Joy Holley called Dream girl. We also have a new collection of short stories from A. A. Milne, which gives readers the chance to see another side of this much beloved children’s author. Black silk & sympathy by Aotearoa bestselling author Deborah Challinor is a book inspired by Victorian funeral practices. We also have three books that directly feature books in their storylines: The Titanic Survivors Book Club by Timothy Schaffert, The underground library by Jennifer Ryan, and Days at the Morisaki bookshop by Satoshi Yagisawa. All of these titles show how important books are to various cultures, at all times throughout history. We would also like to make a special mention of Scrap by Calla Henkel, a novel that has scrapbooks at its core.

To see our full list of selected titles and borrow any that interest you, just browse below.

Dream girl / Holley, Joy
“Alice wants a heart-shaped bed. Mary, Genevieve and Angelica want to know the future. June says she wants Lena to rescue her from a rat, but really she wants Lena to make out with her. Eve wants to get Wallace alone at the strawberry farm. Olivia just wants to leave the haunted boarding school and go home. Bittersweet and intimate, comic and gothic, Dream Girl is a collection of stories about young women navigating desire in all its manifestations. In stories of romance and bad driving, ghosts and ghosting, playlists and competitive pet ownership, love never fails to leave its mark.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

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Needing and loving are two different things: New fiction

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Needing and loving are two different things. ― Armistead Maupin, Further Tales of the City

Welcome to this month’s selection of recently acquired general fiction. For this month we have selected a rich carnival of new titles that span a colourful range of styles, subjects, periods in time and genres.

First up on the list we have two Aotearoa highlights in the form of Ruin: and other stories by Emma Hislop and Bird life by Anna Smaill. Next, we spread our wings and travel to the Cotswolds via the streets of San Francisco to enjoy the tenth instalment of the hugely popular Tales of the City series by Armistead Maupin, Mona of the manor. Then we have a chilling and scintillating horror set in a small town in Alberta called Bad Cree = Âcimowin by Jessica Johns. Continue reading “Needing and loving are two different things: New fiction”

“There’s no escaping fate”: new mystery titles

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“Drink up!” urged the Chief. “There’s no escaping fate. Drink while the champagne lasts!”
― Andrey Kurkov, Death and the Penguin

Welcome to another of our regular round ups of recently acquired detective and thriller titles.

In this month’s exciting and thrilling  mixed bag  of titles we have a  new crime thriller novel set in the atmospheric and wonderful city of Dunedin, called The Night She Fell by Eileen Merriman. We also have The Extinction of Irena Rey: a new book by Women’s Prize finalist Jennifer Croft In The Extinction of Irena Rey, the scene is set when an acclaimed author goes missing in an ancient Polish forest and her  translators set to work as sleuths to find her.

We also have The Mystery Writer by Sulari Gentill – a novel which has lots of fun with the concept of  conspiracy theories and carefully and cleverly weaves it into the plot. For fans of the “strange and fantastic “Death and the Penguin, we have a new work by its author Andreĭ  Kurkov, which is the first instalment of his latest series called The Silver Bone.  Taking a very different approach from Andreĭ  Kurkov, A Death in Diamonds by Sophia Bennett is a crime tale in which Queen Elizabeth II takes a leading role, we also have in our bag of delights a chilling, gas lit, gothic crime called A Grave Robbery by Deanna Raybourn, a novel that revolves around a mysterious waxwork figure. And finally we have  novels which feature various dastardly deeds committed in Devon,  Lake Zurich and France.  In short, there is something to suit every detective and thriller fan. To peruse our full selection, just glance below.

The night she fell / Merriman, Eileen
“‘When I last saw Ashleigh, she was lying in a pool of blood … Her eyes were open, staring sightlessly into the sky. I’d like to think she saw the stars before she died; that in her last moments she flew, soaring on serotonin, dreamy with dopamine. I’d like to think she didn’t suffer …’ A beautiful young law student dies on the concrete below her third-storey window in chilly Dunedin. It’s clear enough how she died. What isn’t is why – or who’s involved. Plenty of people had a reason to hate Ashleigh, with her straight As and perfect looks. She’s fallen out with her flatmates, and her boyfriend Xander is having second thoughts about their future together. And then there are the weird messages…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

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“Genghis Khan bathed in sherbet ice cream”: New science fiction and fantasy

It extols death with the luminescent brilliance of a dying star. It is Genghis Khan bathed in sherbet ice cream. The mantis shrimp is the harbinger of blood-soaked rainbows.

The Oatmeal

Welcome to our latest selection of newly acquired fantasy and science fiction titles. Every month we endeavour to highlight new books that aren’t necessarily the highest profile releases or even a reflection of the bestseller lists (although we do sometimes include titles that are on both); instead, we like to select books that have some unusual aspect that catches our attention, that maybe fall off the beaten track, but that we think you might enjoy. From that selection, we then like to go even further and turn the spotlight on one particular title.

For this month’s spotlight book, the book that literally caught our eye (pun intended) was Red side story by Jasper Fforde — a book in which people’s standing in society depends on their ability to perceive colour.

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