Dunedin Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute

Books Archive

Month: December 2017

Murder on the Orient Express (December 2017)

By Agatha Christie

December 1, 2017

‘The murder is with us – on the train now…’

Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift.  A passenger lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside.

Isolated by the storm and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must identify the prime suspects from a scornful and impatient array of foreign passengers – before the murderer decides to strike again…

The Wanted (December 2017)

By Robert Crais

December 1, 2017

Seventeen-year-old Tyson is a normal teenaged boy: socially awkward, obsessed wtih video games, and always hungry.  But his mother is worried that her sweet nerdy son has started to change…and she’s just found a $40,000 Rolex watch under his bed.  Suddenly very frightened that Tyson has gotten involved in something illegal, his mother gets in touch with a private investigator named Elvis Cole and asks him to do some digging.

Cole uncovers a connection between Tyson and eighteen unsolved burglaries in Los Angeles ritziest neighbourhood.  Tyson spooks and runs.

And then the bodies start turning up…

How to Stop Time (December 2017)

By Matt Haig

December 1, 2017

Tom Hazzard has a dangerous secret.  He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries.  From Elizabethan England to Jazz-Age Paris, from New York to the South Seas, Tom has seen a lot, and now craves an ordinary life.

Always changing his identity to stay alive, Tom has the perfect cover – working as a history teacher at a London comprehensive.  Here he can teach the kids about wars and witch hunts as if he’d never witnessed them first-hand.  He can try to tame the past that is fast catching up with him.  The only thing Tom must not do is fall in love.

How to Stop Time is a wild and bittersweet story about losing and finding yourself, about the certainty of change and about the lifetimes it can take to learn how to live.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (December 2017)

By Gail Honeyman

December 1, 2017

Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive but not how to live

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life.  She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottle of vodka to drink every weekend.

Eleanor Oliphant is happy.  Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life.  Except, sometimes, everything.

One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself.  Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.

Change can be good.  Cange can be bad.  But surely any change is better than … fine?

A story about the very worst and very best that humans are capable of…Funny, brave and utterly devastating

Devil’s Day (December 2017)

By Andrew Michael Hurley

December 1, 2017

All stories in the valley have to begin with the Devil…

After the blizzard of a century ago, it was weeks before anyone got in or out.  By that time, what had happened there, what the Devil had done, was already fable.

Devil’s Day is a day for children now, of course.  A tradition it’s easy to mock, from the outside.  But it’s important to remember why we do what we do.  It’s important to know what our grandfathers have passed down to us.

Because it’s hard to understand, if you’re not from the valley, how this place is in your blood.

That’s why I came back, with Kat, and just because the Gaffer was dead.

Though that year we may have let the Devil in after all…

IQ (December 2017)

By Joe Ide

December 1, 2017

East Long Beach.  The LAPD is barely keeping up with the high crime rate.  Murders go unsolved, the elderly are being mugged, children go missing.  But word has spread: if you’ve got a case the police can’t – or won’t – touch, Isaiah Quintabe can help.

They call him IQ.  He’s a loner and a high school dropout, his unassuming nature disguising a relentless determination and a fierce intelligence.  His clients pay him whatever they can afford, a set of new tyres or some homemade muffins.  But now he needs a client who can pay.  And the only way to that client is through the jive-talking, low-life drug dealer he thought he’d left behind.  Then there’s the case itself.  A drug-addled rap star surrounded by a crew of flunkies who believes his life is in danger, and a hit man who even other hit men say is a lunatic.  If he solves this case, IQ can put right a mistake he made long ago.  If not, it won’t just be the hit man coming after him…

100 Nasty Women of History (December 2017)

By Hannah Jewell

December 1, 2017

These are the stories of incredible women you’ve probably never heard of, but should have.  The women who were too brave and too brilliant and too unconventional and too political and too poor to be recognised by their shrivel-souled contempararies.  The women who were deemed too ‘nasty’ for their times, too nasty to be recognised, too nasty to be paid for their work and sometimes too nasty to be allowed to live.

Read their stories and bask in the warm, tingling sensation that comes from learning for the first time about a women from history how gave zero f*cks whatsoever.  It’s just as satisfying as a cathartic scream – but less alarming to your friends and neighbours.

That Inevitable Victorian Thing (December 2017)

By E. K. Johnston

December 1, 2017

Set in a near-future world where the British Empire never fell – a surprising, romantic, and thought-provoking story of love, duty, and the small moments that change people and the world.

Victoria-Margaret is the crown princess of the Empire, a descendant of Queen Victoria I.  The tradition of genetically arranged matchmaking will soon guide Margaret into a politically advantageous marriage and a life of duty.  But first she’ll have one summer of freedom in a far corner of the Empire.  Posing as a commoner in Toronto, she meets Helena Marcus, daughter of one of the Empire’s greatest placement geneticists, and August Callaghan, the heir to a powerful shipping firm besieged by American pirates.  In a summer of high-society debutante balls, politically charged tea parties, and raucous country dances, Margaret, Helena and August discover they share an extraordinary bond and maybe a one-in-a-million chance to have what they want and to change the course of history in the process.

The Couple Next Door (December 2017)

By Shari Lapena

December 1, 2017

You never know what’s happening on the other side of the wall.

Your neighbour told you that she didn’t want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party.  Nothing personal, she just couldn’t stand her crying.

Your husband said it would be fine.  After all, you only live next door.  You’ll have the baby monitor and you’ll take it in turns to go back every half-hour.

Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last.  But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worse fears are realized.  She’s gone.

You’ve never had to call the police before.  But now they’re in your home, and who knows what they’ll find there…

Now We Are Dead (December 2017)

By Stuart MacBride

December 1, 2017

Revenge is a dangerous thing…

Detective Chief Inspector Roberta Steel got caught fitting up Jack Wallace – that’s why they demoted her and quashed his sentence.  Now he’s back on the streets and women are being attacked again.  Wallace has to be responsible, but if Detective Sergeant Steel goes anywhere near him, his lawyers will get her thrown off the force for good.

The Powers That Be won’t listen to her, not after what happened last time.  According to them, she’s got more than enough ongoing cases to keep her busy.  Perhaps she could try solving a few instead of harassing an innocent man?

Steel knows Wallace is guilty.  And the longer he gets away with it, the more women will suffer.  The question is: how much is she willing to sacrifice to stop him?

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