“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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When once you have tasted flight: New fiction

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When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.

– Leonardo DaVinci

Welcome to this month’s selection of recently acquired fiction titles. To make this month’s choices we have employed a broad and panoramic approach, picking titles that convey the wide variety of subject matters, literary styles and approaches present in all our new intake books.

This month’s collection of titles includes a new historical fiction novel by Sara Ackerman called The uncharted flight of Olivia West, inspired by the Dole Air Race of 1927. This is a gripping story, based on true events, about a young pioneering aviator participating in the race. Literary legend Isabel Allende has released a new novel, called The wind knows my name. We have two highlights from Aotearoa, an outstanding collection of new short stories from the iconic Aotearoa author Patricia Grace, titled Bird child & other stories, and the much-anticipated debut novel from Olive Nuttall called Kitten. There’s also The Tearsmith by Erin Doom, which is currently being adapted into a Netflix series. To round things off in style, we have the Booker shortlisted and winner of the An Post Irish Book of the Year, The Bee Sting by Paul Murray.

Links to all these titles, and a few others, can be found below.

The uncharted flight of Olivia West / Ackerman, Sara
“This extraordinary novel, inspired by real events, tells the story of a female aviator who defies the odds to embark on a daring air race across the Pacific. 1927. Olivia “Livy” West is a fearless young pilot with a love of adventure. She yearns to cross oceans and travel the skies. When she learns of the Dole Air Race–a high-stakes contest to be the first to make the 2,400 mile Pacific crossing from the West Coast to Hawai’i–she sets her sights on qualifying. But it soon becomes clear that only men will make the cut. In a last-ditch effort to take part, Livy manages to be picked as a navigator for one of the pilots, before setting out on a harrowing journey that some will not survive.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

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Owls in folklore and fantasy: New science fiction and fantasy

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“Murder owls are extreme,” Jude said. “What’s more extreme than murder owls?”

Aimee Pokwatka, The parliament

Welcome to our latest selection of newly acquired fantasy and science fiction titles. There is a rich abundance of scintillating and gripping titles on offer this month, but the title that really caught our eye was The parliament by Aimee Pokwatka, a newly released fantasy novel about the deep original force of nature as especially expressed by owls. Indeed, the book has been described as The Birds meets The Princess Bride.

Owls have played an important part in myths, traditions and folklore across many cultures around the world, and continue to do so to this day. Owls feature in Mayan, Celtic and Zulu myths and stories to name just a few, and of course, closer to home, the ruru is a powerful figure in Māori myths and traditions. Mythic owls seem to come in many guises but are often linked to the mysterious spiritual realms and vary between being either good or bad omens and either benevolent creatures or more malevolent in nature.

It is perhaps their prominent role in many of the World’s mythologies that has led them to be such popular inclusions in many fictional works. Just a few of the most notable fictional Owls include Archimedes in The sword in the stone, Hedwig in the Harry Potter Series, and of course Owl in the Winnie the Pooh books. To this rich and noble fictional tradition, Aimee Pokwatka adds her own voice and story — have a read below and reserve your copy today!

Our other top picks in this month’s selection can be viewed below:

The parliament / Pokwatka, Aimee
“When tens of thousands of owls descend on her hometown library, rending and tearing at anyone foolish enough to step outside, Madigan Purdy, tasked with keeping her students safe, seeks inspiration from her favorite childhood book, The Silent Queen, to find a solution to their dilemma.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Faebound / El-Arifi, Saara
“Yeeran was born on the battlefield, has lived on the battlefield, and one day, she knows, she’ll die on the battlefield. As a warrior in the elven army, Yeeran has known nothing but violence her whole life. Her sister, Lettle, is trying to make a living as a diviner, seeking prophecies of a better future. When a fatal mistake leads to Yeeran’s exile from the Elven Lands, both sisters are forced into the terrifying wilderness beyond their borders. There they encounter the impossible: the fae court. The fae haven’t been seen for a millennium. But now Yeeran and Lettle are thrust into their seductive world, torn among their loyalties to each other, their elven homeland, and their hearts.” (Adapted from Catalogue)
Also available as an eBook – Faebound, by Saara El-Arifi.

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Arsène Lupin, gentleman thief – New detective and thriller titles

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Welcome to this month’s selection of newly acquired detective and thriller titles.

There is a plethora of diverse and thrilling titles  on offer this month, but the title that caught our eye was The best of Lupin: adventures of Arsène Lupin, gentleman-thief by Maurice Leblanc; a reprint of stories from the first half of the twentieth century.

The huge runaway success of A.C. Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, and the complexity of the character he created, spawned a whole host of budding detectives from all sorts of backgrounds, all hoping to emulate the success of the master detective.

And this was true of  the French novelist Maurice Leblanc, who took a rather unique approach to his central character Arsène Lupin – making him not a detective, but a gentleman thief  in a similar vein to E. W. Hornung’s  A. J. Raffles character. Coincidentally, E.W. Hornung was the brother-in-law of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  The approach proved to be successful, with Arsène Lupin the gentleman thief going on to feature in 17 novels and 39 novellas .

The Holmes connections didn’t stop with the intellectual gentleman link or the E.W. Hornung connection. In one story, Lupin is introduced Sherlock Holmes – though for copyright reasons, his name was changed to Herlock Sholmès.

Our other top picks in this month’s selection can be viewed below.

The best of Lupin : adventures of Arsène Lupin, gentleman-thief / Leblanc, Maurice
“A collection of 22 short stories selected from the five collections of short stories about master criminal Arsene Lupin that Maurice Leblanc published in France a century ago. The English translations (some by George Morehead and some by Alexander Teixeira de Mattos) are now in the public domain. With a new introduction by mystery writer Martin Walker.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

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Keeping up with the Jones: new mysteries in our collection

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Welcome to this month’s selection of newly acquired detective and thriller titles. There is a host of goodies on offer this month but the title that caught our eye was The Wharton Plot by Mariah Fredericks, in which the acclaimed author and socialite Edith Wharton solves a tricky mystery.

Author Edith Wharton is perhaps better known as the chronicler of America’s gilded age, approximately the mid-1870s to the late 1890s, through which Edith Wharton lived.  This time in America’s history is known for its rapid economic expansion, materialistic excess and associated political corruption – in short, a perfect period and location in which to set a detective story.

Edith Wharton was born in 1862 into New York aristocracy. Her family name was Jones and their  wealth was such that it led to the phrase, still in use today, “keeping up with the Jones” being coined about them. She became a hugely gifted writer, realistically portraying the morals and lives of her time. Her novel The Age of Innocence won the 1921 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and she was the first ever female recipient of the prize. She went on to write numerous other well-known novels such as The House of Mirth and her ghost stories are highly recommended. She passed in 1937 and was posthumously inducted  into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1996.

Our other top tips in this month’s selection can be viewed below.

The Wharton plot : a novel / Fredericks, Mariah
“New York City, 1911. Edith Wharton, almost equally famed for her novels and her sharp tongue, is bone-tired of Manhattan. Finding herself at a crossroads with both her marriage and her writing, she makes the decision to leave America, her publisher, and her loveless marriage. And then, dashing novelist David Graham Phillips–a writer with often notorious ideas about society and women’s place in it–is shot to death outside the Princeton Club. Edith herself met the man only once, when the two formed a mutual distaste over tea in the Palm Court of the Belmont hotel. When Phillips is killed, Edith’s life takes another turn, as she becomes obsessed with solving a crime.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

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