Dunedin Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute

Recent Books

Dark Sacred Night (November 2018)

By Michael Connelly

November 13, 2018

Even detectives have a dark side…

At the end of a long, dark night detectives Renee Ballard and Harry Bosch cross paths for the first time.

Detective Renee Ballard works the graveyard shift and returns to Hollywood Station in the early hours to find a stranger rifling through old files.

The intruder is none other than retired legendary LAPD detective Harry Bosch, hunting for leads in an unsolved case that has got under his skin.

Ballard escorts him out but – curious to know what he was searching for – soon becomes obsessed by the murder of Daisy Clayton.  Was she the first victim of a serial killer who still stalks the streets?

For Bosch, the case is more than personal: it may be all he has left.

But in a city where crime never sleeps, even detectives have a dark side…

From the Ashes (November 2018)

By Deborah Challinor

November 13, 2018

In 1950’s Auckland things are changing – and fast.  Women are joining the workforce in numbers, white goods are readily available and the age of rock ‘n’ roll has arrived.

Allie Manaia works the Elizabeth Arden counter at Smith and Caugheys.  It’s been two years since the Dunbar and Jones fire, where some of her friends perished, but she still has nightmares.

Kathleen Lawson – rich, lonely and bored – is one of Allie’s customers.  Kathleen takes a shine to Allie, but when she discovers Allie’s husband is Maori, her attitude changes.  It she trying to make friends or poison the relationship between Sonny and Allie?

Meanwhile, Sonny’s beautiful younger sister, Polly, is embracing the more relaxed moral standards of the era, living a vibrant but wayward life as a waitress-model-goodtime girl while leaving her young daughter to be raised by her mother.

As each woman navigates the shifting social and cultural landscape of the 1950s, she is faced with new possibilities and decisions – with freedom comes a joy, but also fear and, occasionally, mistakes.

Told in Deborah Challinor’s trademark style – equal parts heart and humour – From the Ashes follows the fortunes of the women of three families through one decade of incredible change.

The Mitford Murders (November 2018)

By Jessica Fellowes

November 13, 2018

Murder on a train, 1919

Louisa Cannon dreams of fleeing London, and most of all her dangerous uncle.  Her escape is a job at Asthall Manor, where she becomes nursery maid, chaperone and confidante to the Mitford sisters, especially sixteen-year-old Nancy.

But then a nurse – Florence Nightingale Shore, goddaughter of her famous namesake – is killed on a train, and Louisa and Nancy find themselves entangled with a murderer who will do anything to hide their secret…

Lose yourself in the first of a new series of mysteries set amid the lives of the glamorous Mitford sisters, by Jessica Fellows, author of the bestselling Downton Abbey books.

The Reckoning (November 2018)

By John Grisham

November 13, 2018

John Grisham returns to Clanton, Mississippi, to tell the story of an unthinkable murder, the bizarre trial that followed it, and its profound and lasting effect on the people of Ford County.

Pete Banning was Clanton’s favourite son, a returning war hero, the patriarch of a prominent family, a farmer, father, neighbor, and a faithful member of the Methodist church.  Then one cool October morning in 1946, he rose early, drove into town, walked into the church, and calmly shot and killed the Reverend Dexter Bell.

As if the murder wasn’t shocking enough, it was even more baffling that Pete’s only statement about it – to the sheriff, to his defence attorny, to the judge, to his family and friends, and to the people of Clanton – was ‘I have nothing to say’.

And so the murder of the esteemed Reverend Bell became to most mysterious and unforgettable crime Ford Country has ever known.

The Sentence is Death (November 2018)

By Anthony Horowitz

November 13, 2018

Secrets Can Kill

Smooth-tongued divorce lawyer Richard Pryce is bludgeoned to death in his London home.

Scrawled on the wall beside the body: the number 182.

What does it mean?  And who was it at his front door just minutes before he died and while he was still talking on the phone?

Confronted with the most baffling of mysteries, the police are forced to turn to disgraced private investigator Daniel Hawthorne.

As the death toll rises, Hawthorne confronts a tangle of secrets while at the same time doing everything he can to conceal his own past.

Unsheltered (November 2018)

By Barbara Kingsolver

November 13, 2018

2016 Vineland

Meet Willa Knox, a woman who stands braced against an upended world that seems to hold no mercy for her shattered life and family – or the crumbling house that contains her.

1871 Vineland

Thatcher Greenwood, the new science teacher, is a fervent advocate of the work of Charles Darwin, and he is keen to communicate his ideas to his students.  But those in power in Thatcher’s small town have no desire for a new world order.  Thatcher and his teachings are not welcome.

Both Willa and Thatcher resist the prevailing logic.  Both are asked to pay a high price for their courage.  But both also find inspiration – and an unlikely kindred spirit – in Mary Treat, a scientist, adventurer and anachromism.

A testament to both the resilience and persistent myopia of the human condition, Unsheltered explores the foundations we build, spanning time and place to give us all a clearer look at those around us and perhaps ourselves.  It is a novel that speaks truly to our times.

The Three Secret Cities (November 2018)

By Matthew Reilly

November 13, 2018

A shadow world behind the real world

When Jack West Jr won the Great Games, he threw the four legendary kingdoms into turmoil.

A world with its own history, rules and prisons

Now these dark forces are coming after Jack…

That is reaching into our world…explosively

With the end of all things rapidly approaching, Jack must find the Three Secret Cities, three incredible lost cities of legend.

It’s an impossible task by any reckoning, but Jack must do it while he is being hunted…

The Turn of Midnight (November 2018)

By Minette Walters

November 13, 2018

The compelling, taut and suspenseful conclusion to The Last Hours

As the year 1349 approaches, the Black Death continues its devastating course across England.  In Dorseteshire, the quarantined people of Develish question whether they are the only survivors.

Guided by their beloved young mistress, Lady Anne, they wait, knowing that when their dwindling stores are finally gone they will have no choice but to leave.  But where will they find safety in the desolate wasteland outside?

One man has the courage to find out.

Thaddeus Thurkell, a free-thinking, educated serf, strikes out in search of supplies and news.  A compelling leader, he and his companions quickly throw off the shackles of serfdom and set their minds to ensuring Develish’s future – and freedom for its people.

But what use is freedom that cannot be gained lawfully?  When Lady Anne and Thaddeus conceive an audacious plan to secure her people’s independence, neither forsees the life-threatening struggle over power, money and religion that follows…

Antarctica – The Unfolding Story (October 2018)

By Margaret Andrew

October 24, 2018

‘Antarctica – The Unfolding Story ‘ is a journey of discovery.  Explore the ice, mountains, valleys and islands of Antarctica with each new page.  Find out amazing facts about the plants and animals that survive in freezing conditions.

Discover how famous explorers like Amundsen, Scott and Shackleton withstood the harsh Antarctic environment.  Find out about the achievements of New Zealander, Sir Edmund Hilary and other recent Antarctic expeditions from around the world.

Learn how countries cooperate in Antarctic research to further global scientific understanding.  Exciting photographs depict how the people involved in scientific research live and work at modern Antarctic bases.

Find out about New Zealand’s role in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.  Discover how you too can visit the continent as a researcher, support worker, artist or tourist and become a part of the unfolding story of Antarctica.

Milkman (October 2018)

By Anna Burns

October 24, 2018

In this unnamed city, to be interesting is dangerous.  Middle sister, our protagonist, is busy attempting to keep her mother from discovering her maybe-boyfriend and to keep everyone in the dark about her encounter with Milkman.  But when first brother-in-law sniffs out her trouble and rumours start to swell, middle sister becomes ‘interesting’.  The last thing she ever wanted to be.  To be interesting is to be noticed and to be noticed is dangerous…

Milkman is a tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness.  It is the story of inaction with enormous consequences.

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