All human beings, as we meet them: Recently acquired fiction

Fredric March Horror Classics GIF by Turner Classic Movies

 

All human beings, as we meet them, are commingled out of good and evil: and Edward Hyde, alone, in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil. – Robert Louis Stevenson Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

In the first selection of recently acquired general fiction titles for 2023 we have an excellent example of the health of fiction on our own fair shores, with three new Aotearoa novels on the list: Tauhou by Kōtuku Titihuia,Nuttall, A Runner’s Guide to Rakiura by Jessica Howland Kany and The Wellington Alternate by Oliver Dace.

We also have new works by John Banville, William Boyd, and a real magnum opus from Jon Fosse, not to mention a dark feminist retelling of the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde called Girlcrush.

Since its publication in 1886, the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde has proved a novel highly suitable for reinterpretation and reimaging. Part of the fascination could be it’s tackling of the duality of human nature, the connection and divergence between good and evil and the mysteries of the human mind. In fact, this gothic classic has spawned over 120 stage and film versions alone: featuring actors and actresses as varied as Tom Baker, Christopher Lee, Richard E. Grant, and Martine Beswick. Robert Louis Stevenson reportedly came up with almost the entire structure of the novel in a dream and wrote the first draft in a feverish three days!

It is  regarded as one of the most famous novels of all time in English and still remains a thrilling, highly readable, tale even for modern audiences. Florence Given’s Girlcrush takes the tale in yet another exciting new direction.

Girlcrush : a hot, dark story / Given, Florence
“GIRLCRUSH is a dark feminist comedy by bestselling author Florence Given. In Given’s debut novel, we follow Eartha on a wild, weird and seductive modern-day exploration as she commences life as an openly bisexual woman whilst also becoming a viral sensation on Wonder Land, a social media app where people project their dream selves online. But as her online self and her offline self become more and more distanced, trauma from her past comes back to haunt and destroy her present. Eartha must make a choice: which version of herself should she kill off?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Tauhou / Nuttall, Kōtuku Titihuia
“An inventive exploration of Indigenous families, womanhood, and alternate post-colonial realities by a writer of Māori and Coast Salish descent … Tauhou envisions a shared past between two Indigenous cultures, set on reimagined versions of Vancouver Island and Aotearoa, two lands that now sit side by side in the ocean. Each chapter in this innovative hybrid novel is a fable, an autobiographical memory, a poem. A monster guards the cultural objects in a museum, a woman uncovers her own grave, another woman remembers her estranged father. On the rainforest beaches or the grassy dunes, sisters and cousins contend with the ghosts of the past – all the way back to when the first foreign ships arrived on their shores. In a testament to the resilience of Indigenous women, the two sides of this family, Coast Salish and Māori, must work together in understanding and forgiveness to heal that which has been forced upon them by colonialism. Tauhou is an ardent search for answers, for ways to live with truth. It is a longing for home, to return to the land and sea.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

A runner’s guide to Rakiura : a novel / Kany, Jessica Howland
“A millennial New Yorker, a Stewart Island fisherman, and a WW II veteran walk into a bar… Maudie’s on the run – from New York and from her past – but she runs headlong into her future when she ends up on Rakiura Stewart Island on assignment to cover Aotearoa New Zealand’s southernmost running trails. Or, as her new fisherman friend Vil puts it: Giving brainless bucket-listers hard-ons for islands like mine. She quickly becomes absorbed into island life and once she hears tales of buried treasure, Maudie embarks on a dogged pursuit of the truth, increasingly hooked by gossipy hints. Clues and waypoints are buried in old SINs (Stewart Island News) and pieces of the puzzle are scrawled on buoys washed up on the pages. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The Wellington alternate / Dace, Oliver
“Ever since an egg had devoured her, Eighteen-year-old Merinette Dace Nadean wants to escape her destiny. She longs to be an academic instead of continuing in her family’s century-old position in maintaining the various surreal entities called Fiction. She would become only a glorified maintenance worker. That life is a chore. So Merinette, as stubborn as she is, refuses, eager to prove that she is more than the talents she was born with. She wants to turn her love for books into an alternative way to help her family rather than confronting Fiction head-on. And, when an opportunity arises in a dingy car park, Merinette will do anything to achieve her goal. Originating from an airplane seat in August 2014, The Wellington Alternate is a Magical Realism story set in the capital of new Zealand. It is a story involving floating stars, family, friendship and the extraordinary ordinary.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The singularities / Banville, John
“A man with a borrowed name steps from a flashy red sportscar-also borrowed-onto the estate of his youth. But all is not as it seems. There is a new family living in the drafty old house: the Godleys, descendants of the late, world-famous scientist Adam Godley, whose theory of existence threw the universe into chaos. And this mystery man, who has just completed a prison sentence, feels as if time has stopped, or was torn, or was opened in new and strange ways. He must now vie with the dysfunctional Godley family, with their harried housekeeper who becomes his landlady, with the recently commissioned biographer of Godley Sr., and with a wealthy and beautiful woman from his past who comes bearing an unusual request. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The romantic : the real life of Cashel Greville Ross : a novel / Boyd, William
“Set in the 19th century, the novel follows the roller-coaster fortunes of a man as he tries to negotiate the random stages, adventures and vicissitudes of his life. He is variously a soldier, a lover, a husband, a father, a friend of famous poets, a writer, a bankrupt, a jailbird, a farmer, an African explorer – and many other manifestations – before, finally, he becomes a minor diplomat, a consul based in Trieste (then in Austria-Hungary) where he thinks he will see out the end of his days in well-deserved tranquillity. This will not come to pass.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Septology / Fosse, Jon
“The celebrated Norwegian novelist’s magnum opus, shortlisted for the International Booker Prize, published in one volume for the first time.What makes us who we are? And why do we lead one life and not another? Asle, an ageing painter and widower who lives alone on the southwest coast of Norway, is reminiscing about his life. His only friends are his neighbour, Åsleik, a traditional fisherman-farmer, and Beyer, a gallerist who lives in the city. There, in Bjørgvin, lives another Asle, also a painter but lonely and consumed by alcohol. Asle and Asle are doppelgängers – two versions of the same person, two versions of the same life, both grappling with existential questions about death, love, light and shadow, faith and hopelessness. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The weather woman / Gardner, Sally
“London, January 1789. The weather is so severe the River Thames completely freezes over. The people of London decide to hold an impromptu Frost Fair, with dancing bears, jugglers and puppet shows. Neva and her Russian parents operate a chess-playing bear, so convincing people believe it is real. But a dreadful tragedy is waiting just around the corner for Neva, as the treacherous ice begins to crack. All of a sudden she finds herself alone in the world, until her fortunes change and she is adopted by eccentric clock and automata maker, Victor Friezland. As Neva grows up, she discovers she has a gift that will prove to be as dangerous as it is desirable: she can predict the weather, and her adoptive father devises a machine to help her. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The colony / Magee, Audrey
“He handed the easel to the boatman, reaching down the pier wall towards the sea. Mr Lloyd has decided to travel to the island by boat without engine – the authentic experience. Unbeknownst to him, Mr Masson will also soon be arriving for the summer. Both will strive to encapsulate the truth of this place – one in his paintings, the other with his faithful rendition of its speech, the language he hopes to preserve. But the people who live here on this rock – three miles wide and half-a-mile long – have their own views on what is being recorded, what is being taken and what is given in return.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an Audiobook.

Euphoria / Cullhed, Elin
“A woman’s life, erupting with brilliance and promise, is fissured by betrayal and the pressures of duty. What had once seemed a pastoral family idyll has become a trap, and she struggles between being the wife and mother she is bound to be and wanting to do and be so much more. The woman in question is Sylvia Plath in the final year of her life, reimagined in fictive form by Elin Cullhed, who seizes the flame of Plath’s blistering, creative fire in Euphoria, lending a voice to women everywhere who stand with one foot in domesticity and the other in artistic creation.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

City of Souls : Our interview with author Melanie Harding Shaw

Melanie Harding Shaw is well-known in the Wellington and Aotearoa New Zealand speculative fiction scene, both as a writer and through activities such as being the Writer Liaison for CoNZealand. Melanie has had numerous short stories published winning the Julius Vogel award for best short story in 2022.

As fans of Melanie’s work, we were very excited to see the recent announcement of the  publication of her debut full length novel, City of Souls.

City of Souls is an enemies to lovers, romantic,  paranormal, urban fantasy set in a post-apocalyptic, decaying Wellington. With dark magic, intricate world building and a fast-paced plot, City of Souls is a book that is both fun and thrilling. The two key  protagonists at the books core are bounty hunter Hel and winged necromancer Bastion, both with mysterious pasts and a slowly-emerging romantic interest in each other.

City of Souls recently won the Winner Agents Choice in the Romance Writers of New Zealand Great Beginnings Contest.

We wish to extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Melanie  for taking the time to answer our questions, and for providing such an illuminating insight into her world and work.

This interview was done in conjunction with Caffeine and Aspirin, the arts and entertainment review show on Radioactive FM and was conducted by Tanya Ashcroft.

City of Souls : Soul Court Ascension / Harding-Shaw, Melanie
City of Souls is an enemies to lover’s, romantic,   paranormal, urban fantasy  set in a post-apocalyptic, decaying Wellington. With dark magic, intricate world building ,and a fast-paced plot, City of Souls is a book that is both  fun and thrilling. The two key  protagonists at the books core are bounty hunter Hel  and winged necromancer Bastion both with mysterious pasts and a slowly emerging romantic  interest in each other.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

 

Against the grain / Harding-Shaw, Melanie
“It’s bad enough when your own body tries to attack you, but when dark powers want to as well, running is the only option. Until you can’t. After another casual fling goes horribly wrong, coeliac witch Trinity moves down the country to start over, yet again, in the bush-clad suburb of Karori. On the surface, it seems like the perfect place: from the local bistro below her flat with its gluten-free baking (and its handsome owner) to the mountain bike trails she can escape to. But her fresh start takes a dark turn when she discovers something is trapping her familiar, Saifa, in the suburb…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Alt-ernate : a collection of 37 stories / Harding-Shaw, Melanie
“Alt-ernate is the debut short story collection from author Melanie Harding-Shaw.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

 

 

 

Year’s best Aotearoa New Zealand science fiction & fantasy. VI
“Collected together for the first time, the very best science fiction and fantasy short stories published by New Zealand authors in 2018″–Publisher information.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

 

 

Year’s best Aotearoa New Zealand science fiction & fantasy. V2
“Ancient myths go high-tech a decade after the New New Zealand Wars. Safe homes and harbours turn to strangeness within and without.Splintered selves come together again – or not. Twelve authors. Thirteen stories. The best short science fiction and fantasy from Aotearoa New Zealand in 2019. With works by: Juliet Marillier, Nic Low, Rem Wigmore, Andi C Buchanan, Octavia Cade, A.J. Fitzwater, Nicole Tan, Melanie Harding-Shaw, Alisha Tyson, James Rowland, Zoë Meager, and Casey Lucas.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Year’s Best Aotearoa New Zealand science fiction and fantasy, V3
“When borders closed last year, Kiwi science fiction and fantasy took readers on flights of imagination through space and time. This anthology contains a selection of the best short science fiction and fantasy stories published by Aotearoa New Zealand writers in 2020.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

 

Year’s best Aotearoa New Zealand science fiction & fantasy. v. 4
“Contents : Introduction. I will teach you magic by Andi C. Buchanan,  A thorn in your side by M. Darusha Wehm, Rabbit by Samantha Lane Murphy ,  Clutch, stick, shift by Tehnuka, Plague year by Anuja Mitra,  Basil and the wild by Rem Wigmore,  Data migration by  Melanie Harding-Shaw, Domestic goddess  by Kirsteen Ure,  Below salt-heavy tides by Andi C. Buchanan,  The women who didn’t win Nobels, and how world trees are not a substitute by Octavia Cade, Why we make monsters by  Rem Wigmore,  Interview with the sole refugee from the A303 Incident by James Rowland, Last Bird Island by  Nat Baker and Washing the plaid by Juliet Marillier.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

Vanishing Ice: Our interview with author Lynley Hargreaves

Lynley Hargreaves is a science writer who lives with her glaciologist partner and two children at Te Tai Poutini on the West Coast of the South Island.

After gaining a mathematical physics degree and working for a United States physics magazine, she completed a journalism diploma. She now works in communications at Forest & Bird.  Lynley has spent much of her life exploring New Zealand’s mountains. Her debut book  Vanishing Ice: Stories of New Zealand’s Glaciers took many years to research and write .

Vanishing Ice brings into sharp relief the dangers our glaciers face as the  world warms and our glaciers  disappear at an unprecedented rate.

As Vanishing Ice reveals this unfolding disaster, it tells the stories of our glaciers through the lens of human interaction, the book carefully moves through time from first Māori discoverers to colonial explorers, mountaineers, and modern glaciologists. To do so the book investigates the way science, nature and culture interact and sometimes collide.

As well as being an important work, the volume is also very beautiful; containing numerous stunning photographs of our glacial landscapes.

Vanishing Ice joins an ever-growing canon of important and poignant modern books about Aotearoa’s natural world.

We wish to extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Lynley for taking the time to answer our questions, and for providing such an illuminating insight into her world and work.

This interview was done in conjunction with Caffeine and Aspirin, the arts and entertainment review show on Radioactive FM and was conducted by Tanya Ashcroft.

 

Vanishing Ice : Stories of New Zealand’s glaciers / Hargreaves, Lynley
Vanishing Ice brings into sharp relief the dangers our glaciers face as the  world warms and our glaciers  disappear at an unprecedented rate. As the book reveals this unfolding disaster,  it  tells the stories of our glaciers through the lens of human interaction, the book carefully moves through time  from first Māori discoverers to colonial explorers, mountaineers, and modern glaciologists. To do so  the book investigates the way science, nature  and culture interact and sometimes collide.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

 

“Home is an Island”: interview with travel writer Neville Peat

Neville Peat is an award-winning New Zealand writer whose career has already spanned over 50 years. He has written many acclaimed works in that time covering the genres of geography, biography, history and the natural environment.

He was the recipient of the 2007 Creative New Zealand Michael King Writers’ Fellowship and was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to conservation in 2018.

His books on Aotearoa New Zealand range from Antarctica to tropical Tokelau, and during this time he has visited many of the islands within New Zealand’s marine realms.

Home is an Island, his latest book, is all about these beloved islands and features eight islands and eight journeys that range throughout his illustrious career. The book is part adventure travel, part memoir, part history and part nature conservation.

The book is highly readable, atmospheric, evocative, insightful and beautiful; a work that is about Neville’s lifelong odyssey across the islands of New Zealand and celebrates their diversity.

We wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to Neville for taking the time to answer our questions and for providing such an illuminating insight into his world and work.

This interview was done in conjunction with Caffeine and Aspirin, the arts and entertainment review show on Radioactive FM.

Home Is An Island : A writer’s tribute to the islands of Aotearoa New Zealand / Peat, Neville
“This book is about these islands, including Stewart Island/Rakiura, Anchor Island in Tamatea/Dusky Sound, Kāpiti Island and Tiritiri Matangi in the Hauraki Gulf. Further afield, the book also covers Ross Island in Antarctica, Enderby Island in the subantarctic Auckland Islands, the Chatham Islands and the New Zealand dependency of Tokelau. Part memoir, part adventure travel, history and nature conservation, Home is an Island is a fascinating, insightful book.” (Adapted from catalogue).

The invading sea : coastal hazards and climate change in Aotearoa New Zealand / Peat, Neville
“New Zealand’s coastline is under attack. When cyclones and king tides coincide, there is double trouble at the sea’s edge with erosion and flooding .Award-winning author Neville Peat investigates the multiple faces of the greatest environmental issue to face New Zealand and other Pacific nations this century: the science of a warming, rising, stormier sea; the risky reality for many low-lying communities; the sluggish response of central and local government; the engineered solutions; and the curly question of insurance. He also addresses the vital question: what should be done and who should pay?” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Stewart Island : Rakiura National Park / Peat, Neville
“Stewart Island is an increasingly popular holiday destination for eco-tourism and outdoor recreation, with many bush walks and a wealth of natural features to enjoy. Neville Peat introduces the attractions of the island – what to see and do, its walks and tramps, its national park, wildlife, history and magnificent scenery.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

 

Wanaka : lake, mountain, adventure / Peat, Neville
“Neville Peat describes the scenic splendour of Wanaka and the myriad activities and attractions for visitors in this updated edition of a book that serves as both a guide to one of New Zealand’s tourism hotspots, and as a souvenir. The book covers the history of the Wanaka area and its progress into a contemporary centre renowned for an exciting range of outdoor activities and regular events, including the internationally recognized Warbirds Over Wanaka air show. Further material offers a guide to local walking and cycling tracks, local flora and fauna, and Mt Aspiring National Park.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The falcon and the lark : a New Zealand high country journal / Peat, Neville
“Part memoir, part natural history, a journey through Central Otago and encounters with New Zealand’s magnificent native falcon. He uncovers all; that is curious and distinctive there, in a rich blend of autobiography folklore and natural history. Woven throughout the narrative is an intimate portrait of New Zealand’s native falcon, karearea, ‘the wildest thing in our skies’. Neville Peat is one of New Zealand’s finest writers, and in this delightful book combines his skill as an essayist and natural historian and his instincts and breadth of knowledge as a conservationist.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

High country lark : an invitation to paradise / Peat, Neville
“An unusual summons from an old, itinerant acquaintance – known as the Lark – piques author Neville Peat’s curiosity. The invitation to meet in the mountains around Glenorchy is timely: he’s keen to head into the high country to investigate recent reports of sightings of the near-extinct kokako. The South Island high country has an allure all its own. New Zealand’s equivalent of the Wild West, it’s a rustic, spectacularly beautiful frontier, combining wild alpine beauty, beech forest and mirror-still lakes. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Queenstown : New Zealand’s adventure capital / Peat, Neville
“Founded on gold, sustained on scenery, developed on adrenalin …Queenstown is unlike anywhere else in New Zealand. It is the countrys tourismmecca, with lots of good reasons: mountains, rivers, lakes, climate, snow sports,tramping, fishing, bungy jumping, whitewater-rafting the list goes on and on.Neville Peat provides a guide to the region, with descriptions of its highlights.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

“In a child’s eyes, a mother is a goddess.”: new science fiction & fantasy

 

new york landscape GIF

“In a child’s eyes, a mother is a goddess. She can be glorious or terrible, benevolent or filled with wrath, but she commands love either way. I am convinced that this is the greatest power in the universe.”

 N.K. Jemisin

A warm welcome to the last selection of recently acquired Science Fiction and Fantasy titles for 2022. And in this month’s selection we have three new titles from our own fair shores, including The Hand of Glodd by Gareth Ward, It Was In Our Hands by M.C. Ronen and the Year’s Best Aotearoa New Zealand Science Fiction & Fantasy. V. 4. We were  recently lucky enough to interview the editor of that anthology, Emily Brill-Holland, and you can hear that interview below. The interview was done in conjunction with Caffeine and Aspirin, the arts and entertainment review show on Radioactive FM.

And in other titles, we are very excited to have the new N. K. Jemisin novel; an author we love whom the New York Times recently described as “The most celebrated Science Fiction and Fantasy writer of her generation.” Her new book The World We Make is the sequel to The City We Became and takes place a few months after the events in that book, and again features a fantastical reimagined New York city. It has already featured on many of the Best of 2022 lists.

The Hand of Glodd / Ward, Gareth
” The first instalment of the Tarquin the Honest series of books. Tarquin is wizard on a quest to find a golden gauntlet, accompanied by his  reluctant gnome sidekick Luna and riding his skeleton statue Clatterbones.  Along the way he encounters a series of madcap adventures.  ” ( Adapted from catalogue)

It was in our hands / Ronen, M. C.
“Sunny, a seasoned, long-time activist who fights to liberate enslaved and exploited victims, is herself an escapee from a farm where she was kept as a slave. Years of battling for total liberation did not dampen her highly developed sense of justice. But time has come to take the fight into a brand-new arena – the treacherous political one. Could the Liberation Amendment be passed into law? And if so, at what cost? The Liberation saga powerfully ends with this eventful, emotional rollercoaster. A tale of love, loss, violence, bravery, compassion and friendship.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Year’s best Aotearoa New Zealand science fiction & fantasy. v. 4
“Contents : Introduction. I will teach you magic by Andi C. Buchanan,  A thorn in your side by M. Darusha Wehm, Rabbit by Samantha Lane Murphy ,  Clutch, stick, shift by Tehnuka, Plague year by Anuja Mitra,  Basil and the wild by Rem Wigmore,  Data migration by  Melanie Harding-Shaw, Domestic goddess  by Kirsteen Ure,  Below salt-heavy tides by Andi C. Buchanan,  The women who didn’t win Nobels, and how world trees are not a substitute by Octavia Cade, Why we make monsters by  Rem Wigmore,  Interview with the sole refugee from the A303 Incident by James Rowland, Last Bird Island by  Nat Baker and Washing the plaid by Juliet Marillier.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

The world we make / Jemisin, N. K
“Every great city has a soul. A human avatar that embodies their city’s heart and wields its magic. New York? She’s got six. But all is not well in the city that never sleeps. Though Brooklyn, Manny, Bronca, Venezia, Padmini, and Neek have temporarily managed to stop the Woman in White from invading–and destroying the entire universe in the process–the mysterious capital “E” Enemy has more subtle powers at her disposal. A new candidate for mayor wielding the populist rhetoric of gentrification, xenophobia, and “law and order” may have what it takes to change the very nature of New York itself and take it down from the inside…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Scattered all over the earth / Tawada, Yōko
“Welcome to the not-too-distant future: Japan, having vanished from the face of the earth, is now remembered as “the land of sushi.” Hiruko, its former citizen and a climate refugee herself, has a job teaching immigrant children in Denmark with her invented language Panska (Pan-Scandinavian). As she searches for anyone who can still speak her mother tongue, Hiruko soon makes new friends. Her troupe travels to France, encountering an umami cooking competition; a dead whale; an ultra-nationalist named Breivik; unrequited love; Kakuzo robots; red herrings; uranium; an Andalusian matador…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The atlas paradox / Blake, Olivie
“The Atlas Paradox is the long-awaited sequel to Olivie Blake’s New York Times bestselling dark academic sensation The Atlas Six–guaranteed to have even more yearning, backstabbing, betrayal, and chaos. Six magicians were presented with the opportunity of a lifetime. Five are now members of the Society. Two paths lay before them. All must pick a side. Alliances will be tested, hearts will be broken, and The Society of Alexandrians will be revealed for what it is: a secret society with raw, world-changing power, headed by a man whose plans to change life as we know it are already under way.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook. 

Across the sand / Howey, Hugh
“The old world is buried. A new one has been forged atop the shifting dunes, a land of howling wind and infernal sand. In this barren home, siblings Conner, Rob, Palmer and Violet daily carve out a future. They live in the shadow of their father and oldest sister, Vic, two of the greatest sand divers ever to comb the desert’s depths. But these branches of their family tree are long gone, disappeared into the wastes beyond, leaving the younger siblings scratching in the dust, hopeful for a better life…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Leech / Ennes, Hiron
“In an isolated chateau, as far north as north goes, the baron’s doctor has died. The doctor’s replacement has a mystery to solve: discovering how the Institute lost track of one of its many bodies. For hundreds of years the Interprovincial Medical Institute has grown by taking root in young minds and shaping them into doctors, replacing every human practitioner of medicine. The Institute is here to help humanity, to cure and to cut, to cradle and protect the species from the apocalyptic horrors their ancestors unleashed. In the frozen north, the Institute’s body will discover a competitor for its rung at the top of the evolutionary ladder…” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

“I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way”: new mysteries

Image by Brigitte Werner from Pixabay

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.” – Georgia O’Keeffe

It is December and time for our last selection of recently acquired crime and fiction titles for 2022. And as it’s time for Christmas sales, some of the biggest names in the crime writing community have titles out, including T.V personality turned mega huge bestselling crime writing sensation Richard Osman; not to mention fabulous new titles by both Ian Rankin and Elly Griffiths, all of whom have featured heavily in many of the best of the year lists already.

And a very special mention goes Dark Deeds Down Under, a compendium of new crime stories  featuring some of Australia’s and New Zealand’s finest modern crime and mystery writers and compiled by no other than Ngaio Marsh Awards supremo Craig Sisterson. 

If you’re looking for something very different, one title that caught our attention was Light on Bone by  Kathryn Lasky; the latest celebrity detective novel to join an ever-growing genre. This time the internationally acclaimed American painter Georgia O’Keefe does the sleuthing; the tale is set in the semi desert landscape of New Mexico – the landscape that inspired so many of her wonderful and  famous paintings.

Light on bone / Lasky, Kathryn
“Kathryn Lasky has written a new adult amateur sleuth mystery set in New Mexico in the 1930s. The sleuth is Georgia O’Keefe. It begins when  she discovers the slain body of a priest in the desert. The plot includes several other murders,  an international espionage plot involving Charles Lindbergh, and lots of intricate twists and turns leading to a thoroughly unforeseen denouement. The strength of this story is how Lasky’s elegant writing captures the emotional depth of this artist’s turmoil and so stunningly reveals O’Keeffe’s perception of the landscape that moves her to paint. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The bullet that missed / Osman, Richard
“It is an ordinary Thursday, and things should finally be returning to normal. Except trouble is never far away where the Thursday Murder Club are concerned. A decade-old cold case–their favorite kind–leads them to a local news legend and a murder with no body and no answers. Then a new foe pays Elizabeth a visit. Her mission? Kill or be killed. Suddenly the cold case has become red hot. While Elizabeth wrestles with her conscience (and a gun), Joyce, Ron, and Ibrahim chase down the clues with help from old friends and new. But can the gang solve the mystery and save Elizabeth before the murderer strikes again?” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

A heart full of headstones / Rankin, Ian
“John Rebus stands accused: on trial for a crime that could put him behind bars for the rest of his life. Although it’s not the first time the legendary detective has taken the law into his own hands, it might be the last. What drove a good man to cross the line? Or have times changed, and the rules with them? Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke faces Edinburgh’s most explosive case in years, as a corrupt cop goes missing after claiming to harbour secrets that could sink the city’s police force. But in this investigation, it seems all roads lead to Rebus–and Clarke’s twin loyalties to the public and the police will be tested to their limit. A reckoning is coming–and John Rebus may be hearing the call for last orders…” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

Bleeding heart yard / Griffiths, Elly
“DS Cassie Fitzgerald has a secret but it’s one she’s deleted from her memory. In the 1990s when she was at school, she and her friends killed a fellow pupil. Thirty years later, Cassie is happily married and loves her job as a police officer. One day her husband persuades her to go to a school reunion and another ex-pupil, Garfield Rice, is found dead, supposedly from a drug overdose. As Garfield was an eminent MP and the investigation is high profile, it’s headed by Cassie’s new boss, DI Harbinder Kaur. The trouble is, Cassie can’t shake the feeling that one of her old friends has killed again. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Dark deeds down under
“This crime and thriller anthology, from Clan Destine Press, showcases the breadth and depth of modern Australian and New Zealand crime writing in a collection of brand-new short stories from some of our brightest storytelling talents: international bestsellers, award winners, and fresh voices. Dark Deeds Down Under features some of crime fiction’s most beloved ‘characters’, including Garry Disher’s Hirsch, Kerry Greenwood’s Corinna Chapman, Vanda Symon’s Sam Shephard.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The long knives / Welsh, Irvine
“Ritchie Gulliver MP is dead. Left to bleed in an empty Leith warehouse. Vicious, racist and corrupt, many thought he had it coming. But nobody could have predicted this. After the life Gulliver has led, the suspects are many: corporate rivals, political opponents, the countless groups he’s offended. And the vulnerable and marginalised, who bore the brunt of his cruelty – those without a voice, without a choice, without a chance. As Detective Ray Lennox unravels the truth, and the list of brutal attacks grows, he must put his personal feelings aside. But one question refuses to go away… Who are the real victims here?”  (Adapted from Catalogue)
Marple : twelve new stories
“A brand-new collection of short stories featuring the Queen of Mystery’s legendary detective Jane Marple, penned by 12 remarkable best-selling and acclaimed authors. This collection of 12 original short stories, all featuring Jane Marple, will introduce the character to a whole new generation. Each author reimagines Agatha Christie’s Marple through their own unique perspective while staying true to the hallmarks of a traditional mystery … ” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

The King Arthur case : a Brittany mystery / Bannalec, Jean-Luc
“The forest of Broceliande, with its picturesque lakes and castles, is the last remnant of the fairy kingdom, if Breton lore is to be believed. Innumerable legends spanning thousands of years are set here, including the tale of King Arthur and the Round Table. It seems to be an appropriate destination for Commissaire Dupin and his team to take a late summer field trip. But when the body of a historian turns up, Dupin is called upon to investigate the brutal murder case. Before too long, there are more victims…” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.