Dunedin Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute

Recent Books

All the Beautiful Lies (May 2018)

By Peter Swanson

May 16, 2018

In a dark and brilliant guessing game of a novel, Peter Swanson once again displays his unique gift for reprising and refreshing mystery writing’s greatest tropes.

On the eve of his college graduation, Harry is called home by his step-mother Alice to their house on the Maine coast, following the unexpected death of his father.

But who really is Alice, his father’s much younger second wife?  In a brilliant split narrative, Peter Swanson teases out the stories and damage that lie in her past.  And as her story entwines with Harry’s in the present, things grow increasingly dark and threatening – will Harry be able to see any of it clearly through the fog of his own confused feelings?

The Fallen (May 2018)

By David Baldacci

May 16, 2018

He was the memory man essentially, unable to forget anything.

Small towns that have seen better times are not unusual.  But the mysterious events in Baronville, Pennsylvania, are raising the highly tuned antennae of agent Amos Decker and his FBI partner, Alex Jamison.  What was supposed to be a relaxing vacation turns into a murder investigation when two bodies are found in a nearby deserted house.

With the body count rising, Decker and Jamison dig deep to uncover a sinister truth in Baronville, which could be the canary in the coal mine for the rest of the country.

But even the duo’s skills and Amos Decker’s infallible memory may not be enough to save this town, or them, from becoming the next victims.

Bono: the rescue cat who helped me find my way home (May 2018)

By Helen Brown

May 16, 2018

Having survived a brush with cancer, Helen Brown, happily married with three grown children, took stock of her comfortable suburban life and found it wanting.  So when she was invited to visit New York, the city that never sleeps, she seized the day and accepted.  Perhaps, she mused, she might never return.

There was a catch, however: would she foster a homeless cat during her stay?  Visualising a dozy, sweet-natured snuggler with a name like Mavis, Helen agreed.  But the cat she met in the Manhattan shelter was anything but dozy.  Instead, Bono, as he was called, was wide-eyed and unpredictable, a bundle of nervous energy with a feisty attitude and punk haircut to boot.

After a shaky start, Helen and Bono began to get to know each other.  And, as winter turned to spring, cat and woman explored new beginnings and past heartache, only to discover that, in the end, home is where the heart is, wherever that may be.

In the tradition of Helen Brown’s international bestseller Cleo and based on her enormously popular Huffington Post blog, Bono is a funny, tender and insightful story about life, love and recovery – and a rock-star rescue cat with a big heart.

I Know a Secret (May 2018)

By Tess Gerritsen

May 16, 2018

In a house decorated with horror movie posters, a young woman’s body is found.  She lies on her bed, two bloodied objects clutched in her palm.  Detective Jane Rizzoli and Forensic Pathologist Maura Isles are called to the murder scene, but are unable to find an immediate cause of death.

Their investigation leads them to a high-profile case that was seemingly solved years before.  But when another body is found in horrific circumstances, the link between the two victims is clear.  Was the wrong person sent to prison?  Is the real killer out there right now, picking off new targets.

One woman knows the killer is coming for her next.  She’s the only one who can help Rizzoli and Isles catch him.

But she’s hiding something…

Whistle in the Dark (May 2018)

By Emma Healey

May 16, 2018

Jen is at her wit’s end.  Her fifteen-year-old daughter has just been found after going missing: four days lost and alone in the desolate countryside.  Lana won’t talk about it.  The police think the case is closed.  But Jen can’t leave it alone.  Lana is acting strangely: she stops going to school, she sleeps with the light on.  With her daughter increasingly becoming a stranger, Jen is sure the answer lies in those four missing days.

But will Lana ever reveal what happened?

Go Ask Fannie Farmer (May 2018)

By Elisabeth Hyde

May 16, 2018

Though the adult Blaire siblings have agreed to keep things calm and amiable on a trip to stay with their elderly father, each arrives, in true Blaire style, with a secret agenda.  But plans are derailed when Lizzie, the youngest, turns up late with a burnt hand, impending criminal charges, and a damp family cookbook: Fannie Farmer’s Boston Cooking School.

The now-ruined cookbook is the last vestige of a more idyllic time, when there were four siblings, not three, a public family reputation to uphold, and a mother, whose handwritten notes in the margins of the recipes are now their last link to her after the accident years ago.

The Temptation of Forgiveness (May 2018)

By Donna Leon

May 16, 2018

When important information is leaked from inside the Venetian Questura, Commissario Guido Brunetti is entrusted with the task of uncovering which of his colleagues is responsible.  But before Brunetti can begin his investigation, he is surprised by the appearance in his office of a friend of his wife’s, who is fearful that her son is using drugs.  A few weeks later, Tullio Casparini, the woman’s husband, is found unconscious with a serious head injury at the foot of a bridge, and Brunetti is drawn to pursue a possible connection to the boy’s behavior.  But the truth is not straightforward.

Following various contradictory leads, Brunetti navigates his way through a world of mysterious informants, underground deals and secret long-standing scam networks, all the while growing ever more impressed by the intuition of his fellow Commissario, Claudia Griffoni, and by the endless resourcefulness of Signorina Elettra, Vice-Questore Patta’s secretary and gate-keeper.

With Casparini’s condition showing no signs of improvement, and his investigations leading nowhere, Brunetti is steadied by the embrace of his own family and by his passion for the classics.  He turns to Sophocles’ Antigone in an attempt to understand the true purpose of justice, and, in its light, he is forced to consider the terrible consequences to which the actions of a tender heart can lead.

One Way (May 2018)

By S. J. Morden

May 16, 2018

We stand at the dawn of a new era

Frank Kittridge is serving life for murdering his son’s drug dealer.  So when he’s offered a deal by Xenosystems Operations – the company that runs the prison – he takes it, even though it means swapping one life sentence for another.

There has never been a better time to be alive

He’s been selected to help build the first permanent base on Mars.  Unfortunately, his crewmates are just as guilty of their crimes as he is – and he’ll have to learn to trust them if they’re to succeed.

The future of space travel is in safe hands

As the convicts sets to work on the frozen wastes of Mars, the accidents multiply.  Until Frank begins to suspect they might not be accidents at all…

Xenosystems Operations: Making Dreams a Reality

There’s a murderer amongst them, and everyone’s a suspect.

Odd Boy Out (April 2018)

By Paul Ashford Harris

April 26, 2018

When Paul Ashford Harris receives a phone call to say his childhood home has burned to the ground, he begins a fascinating journey to reclaim the history of his eccentric family.

We meet his highly respectable Victorian grandfather, Sir Percy Harris, an eminent member of the House of Commons.  His grandmother, the highly bohemian Lady Frieda Harris, an artist, suffragette, friend of Emily Pankhurst, and the infamous accultist Aleister Crowley, for whom she painted the famous Thoth Tarot cards.

Then there’s his eternally distant parents, whose idea of parenthood was giving birth as swiftly as possible, immediately appointing a nanny and arranging a couple of satisfactory boarding schools.

Taking you on a remarkable journey from the politics of London’s East End, to the early years of the Australian gold rush, and the rise and fall of the family business Bing Harris, Odd Boy Out is at its core a poignant memoir that examines the legacy you are given – whether good or bad – and how it shapes you into the person you are today.

The Cutting Edge (April 2018)

By Jeffery Deaver

April 26, 2018

William and Anna went to collect her engagement ring.  1.5 carat, almost flawless.  But the Promisor had other ideas for their future…

Their murder – and that of the diamond cutter they were visiting – is only the first of a series of macabre attacks.  Someone is targeting couples just as they start their lives together.  Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs, newly married themselves, are on the hunt.

But the killer is hunting down any witnesses who can help them.  He has promised one thing: to destroy.  Rhyme and Sachs will have to use all their own skills and determination to break his vow.

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