Dunedin Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute

Books Archive

Month: August 2019

Mary B (August 2019)

By Katherine J Chen

August 26, 2019

What is to be done with Mary Bennet?  She possesses neither the beauty of her eldest sister, Jane, nor the high-spirited wit of second-born Lizzy.  Even compared to her frivolous younger siblings, Mary is lacking in the ways that matter for single, not-so-well-to-do women in nineteenth-century England.  As her sisters wed, one by one, Mary pictures herself growing old, a spinster dependent upon the charity of others.  As least she has the secret pleasures of reading and writing to keep her company.  But even Mary’s fictional creations are no match for the scandal, tragedy, and romance that eventually visit her.  Beneath her plain appearance and bookish demeanor simmers an inner world brimming with passion, humor, and imagination – and a voice that demands to be heard.  Set before, during, and after the events of Pride and Prejudice, Mary B pays homage to a beloved classic while envisioning a life difficult to achieve in any era: that of a truly independent woman.

The Perfect Wife (August 2019)

By JP Delaney

August 26, 2019

Abbie wakes in a hospital bed with no memory of how she got there.  The man by her side explains that he’s her husband, the founder of one of Silicon Valley’s most innovative startups.  He tells Abbie she’s a gifted artist, a doting mother to their young son, and the perfect wife.  Five years ago, she suffered a terrible accident.  Her return from the abyss is a miracle of science, a breakthrough in artificial intelligence that has taken him half a decade to achieve.

But as Abbie pieces together memories of her marriage, she begins questioning her husband’s motives – and his version of events.  Can she trust him when he says he wants them to be together for ever?  And what really happened to her, half a decade ago.

The Family Upstairs (August 2019)

By Lisa Jewell

August 26, 2019

In a large house in London’s fashionable Chelsea, a baby is awake in her cot.  Well-fed and cared for, she is happy waiting for someone to pick her up.

In the kitchen lie three decomposing corpses.  Close to them is a hastily scrawled note.

They’ve been dead for several days.

Who has been looking after the baby?  And where did they do?

Two entangled families.

A house with the darkest of secrets.

A compulsive new thriller from Lisa Jewell.

The Bastard Brigade (August 2019)

By Sam Kean

August 26, 2019

Scientists have always kept secrets.  But rarely in history have scientific secrets been as vital as they were during World War II.  In the midst of planning the Manhattan Project, the U.S. Office of Strategic Services created a secret offshoot – the Alsos Mission – meant to gather intelligence on and sabotage if necessary, scientific research by the Axis powers.

What resulted was a plot worthy of the finest thriller, full of spies, sabotage, and murder.  At its heart was the ‘Lightning A’ team, a group of intrepid soldiers, scientists, and spies – and even a famed baseball player who were given almost free rein to get themselves embedded within the German scientific community to stop the most terrifying threat of the war: Hitler acquiring an atomic bomb of his very own.

While the Manhattan Project and other feats of scientific genius continue to inspire us today, few people know about the international intrigue and double-dealing that accompanied those breakthroughs.  The Bastard Brigade recounts this forgotten history, fusing a non-fiction spy thriller with some of the most incredible scientific ventures of all time.

The Whisper Man (August 2019)

By Alex North

August 26, 2019

Still devastated after the loss of his wife, Tom Kennedy and his young son Jake move to the sleepy village of Featherbank, looking for a fresh start.

But Featherbank has a dark past.  Fifteen years ago a twisted serial killed abducted and murdered five boys.  Until he was finally caught, the killer was known as ‘The Whisper Man’.

Of course, an old crime need not trouble Tom and Jake as they try to settle into their new home.  Except that now another boy has gone missing.  And then Jake begins acting strangely.

He says he hears a whispering at his window…

Not Bad People (August 2019)

By Brandy Scott

August 26, 2019

Three friends, 30 years of shared secrets, one impulsive gesture – and a terrible accident.  When friendship goes bad, someone has to pay…

It’s New Years Eve.  Three 30-something women – Aimee, Melinda and Lou – best friends for decades, let off sky lanterns filled with resolutions: for meaning, for freedom, for money.  After the glowing paper bags float away, there’s a bright flare in the distance.  It could be a sign of luck – or the start of a complete nightmare that will upend their friendships, families and careers.

The next day, the newspapers report a small plane crash – two victims pulled from the wreckage, one a young boy.  Are the three friends responsible?  Aimee thinks they are, Melinda won’t accept it and Lou has problems of her own.  It’s a toxic recipe for guilt trips, shame, obsession, blackmail and power games.

They’re not bad people.

But desperate times call for desperate measures.

A Beggar’s Kingdom (August 2019)

By Paullina Simons

August 26, 2019

‘You and I have a chance for a real life somewhere…it’s waiting for us.’

Julian has failed Josephine once.  Despite grave danger and impossible odds, he is determined to do the unimaginable and try again to save the woman he loves.

What follows is a love story like no other as the doomed lovers embark on an incredible adventure across time and space.  In the pages of history they live amid beauty and ecstasy, bloodshed and betrayal, facing countless dangers and deadly enemies.

Each time they court and cheat death brings Julian and Josephine closer to an unthinkable sacrifice and a confrontation with the harshest master of all – fate.

The second novel in the End of Forever saga continues the heartbreaking story of a love that spans lifetimes.

No Time Like The Past – The Chronicles of St Mary’s (July 2019)

By Jodi Taylor

August 21, 2019

Book Five

A fate worse than death.

The St Mary’s Institute of Historical Research has finally recovered from its wounds and it’s business as usually for those rascals in the History Department.

From being trapped in the Great Fire of London to an unfortunately timed comfort break at Thermopylate, which leaves the fate of the western world hanging in the balance, Max must struggle to get History back on track.

But first, they must get through the St Mary’s Fete – which is sure to end badly for everyone.

Only one thing is certain, life at St Mary’s is never dull.

A Trail Through Time – The Chronicles of St Mary’s (July 2019)

By Jodi Taylor

August 21, 2019

Book Four

Sometimes, surviving is all you have left.

Max and Leon are safe at last.  Or so they think.

Snatched from her own world and dumped into a new one, Max is soon running for her life.   Again.

From a 17th-century Frost Fair to Ancient Egypt; from Pompeii to 8th-century Scandinavia; Max and Leon are pursued up and down the timeline, playing a dangerous game of hide-and-seek, until finally they’re forced to take refuge at St Mary’s where a new danger awaits them.

Max’s happily ever after is going to have to wait a while…

A Second Chance – The Chronicles of St Mary’s (July 2019)

By Jodi Taylor

August 21, 2019

Book Three

History happens all around you.  And, occasionally, to you.

It began well.  A successful assignment to 17th-century Cambridge to meet Isaac Newton, and another to witness the historic events at the Gates of Grief.

So far so good.

But then came the long-awaited jump to the Trojan War that changed everything.  And for Max, nothing will ever be the same again.

With the bloody Battle of Agincourt playing out around her, Max risks everything on one last desperate gamble to save a life and learns the true meaning of a second chance.

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