Dunedin Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute

Recent Books

All That’s Dead (July 2019)

By Stuart MacBride

July 29, 2019

Scream all you want, no one can hear…

Inspector Logan McRae is looking forward to a nice simple case – something to ease him back into work after a year off on the sick.  But the Powers That Be have other ideas…

The high-profile anti-independence campaigner, Professor Wilson, has gone missing, leaving nothing but bloodstains behind.  There’s a war brewing between the factions for and against Scottish Nationalism.  Infighting in the police ranks.  And it’s all playing out in the merciless glare of the media.  Logan’s superiors want results, and they want them now.

Someone out there is trying to make a point, and they’re making it in blood.  If Logan can’t stop them, it won’t just be his career that dies.

Knife (July 2019)

By Jo Nesbo

July 29, 2019

The phenomenal new Harry Hole novel from the number one bestselling author of Police and The Thirst.

Harry Hole is about to face his darkest case yet

Harry is in a bad place: Rakel has left him, he’s working cold cases and notorious rapist and murderer Svein Finne is back on the streets.

The first killer Harry put behind bars is out to get him

Harry is responsible for the many years Finne spent in prison but now he’s free and ready to pick up where he left off.

A man like Harry better watch his back

When Harry wakes up with blood on his hands, and no memory of what he did the night before, he knows everything is only going to get worse.


Something to Live For (July 2019)

By Richard Roper

July 29, 2019

Sometimes you have to risk everything to find your something…

Andrew works with death for a living.  Searching for people’s next of kin and attending the funerals if they don’t have anyone, he’s desperate to avoid the same fate for himself.  Which is fine, because he has the perfect wife and 2.4 children waiting at home for him after a long day.  At least, that’s what he’s told people.

The truth is, his life isn’t exactly as people think, and the little white lie he once told is about to catch up with him.

Because in all Andrew’s efforts to fit in , he’s forgotten one important thing: how to really live.  And maybe it’s about time for him to start.

Just One Damned Thing After Another – The Chronicles of St Mary’s (July 2019)

By Jodi Taylor

July 29, 2019

Book One

‘So tell me, Dr Maxwell, if the whole of History lay before you … where would you go?  What would you like to witness?’

When Madeleine Maxwell is recruited by the St Mary’s Institute of Historical Research, she discovers the historians there don’t just study the past – they revisit it.

But one wrong move and History will fight back – to the death.  And Max soon discovers it’s not just History she’s fighting…

Follow the tea-soaked disaster magnets of St Mary’s as they rattle around History.  Because wherever the historians go, chaos is sure to follow.

Big Sky (July 2019)

By Kate Atkinson

July 16, 2019

The highly anticipated return of Jackson Brodie, ex-military, ex-Cambridge Constabulary, now private investigator, ‘a hero for men and women alike’  (The Times).

Jackson Brodie has relocated to a quiet seaside village in North Yorkshire, in the occasional company of his recalcitrant teenage son Nathan and ageing Labrador Dido, both at the discretion of his former partner Julia.  It’s a picturesque setting, but there’s something darker lurking behind the scenes.

Jackson’s current job, gathering proof of an unfaithful husband for a suspicious wife, seems straightforward, but a chance encounter with a desperate man on a crumbling cliff leads him across a sinister network – and back into the path of someone from his past.

Old secrets and new lies intersect in this breathtaking new novel, both sharply funny and achingly sad, by one of the most dazzling and surprising writers at work today.

Allegra in Three Parts (July 2019)

By Suzanne Daniel

July 16, 2019

I can split myself in two…something I have to do because of Joy and Matilde.  They are my grandmothers and I love them both and they totally love me but they can’t stand each other.

Eleven-year-old Allegra shuttles between her grandmothers who live next door to one another but couldn’t be more different.  Matilde works all hours and instils discipline, duty and restraint.  She insists that Allegra focus on her studies to become a doctor.

Meanwhile free-spirited Joy is full of colour, possibility and emotion, storing all her tears in little glass bottles.  She is riding the second wave of the woman’s movement in the company of her penny tortoise, Simone de Beauvoir, encouraging Ally to explore broad horizons and live her ‘true essence’.

And then there’s Rick who lives in a flat out the back and finds distraction in gambling and solace in surfing.  He’s trying to be a good father to Al Pal, while grieving the woman who links them all but whose absence tears them apart.

Allegra is left to orbit these three adult worlds wishing they loved her a little less and liked each other a lot more.  Until one day the unspoken tragedy which has created this division explodes within the person they all cherish most.

Conviction (July 2019)

By Denise Mina

July 16, 2019

It’s just a normal morning for Anna McDonald.  Gym kits, packed lunches, getting everyone up and ready.  Until she opens the front door to her best friend, Estelle.  Anna turns to see her own husband at the top of the stairs, suitcase in hand.  They’re leaving together and they’re taking Anna’s two daughters with them.

Left alone in the big, dark house, Anna can’t take it in.  With her world shattered, she distracts herself with a story: a true-crime podcast.  There’s a sunken yacht in the Mediterranean, multiple murders and a hint of power and corruption.  Then Anna realizes she knew one of the victims in another life.  She is convinced she knows what happened.  Her past, so carefully hidden until now, will no longer stay silent.

As she throws herself into investigating the case, little does she know, her past and present lives are about to collide, sending everything she has worked so hard to achieve into freefall.

gravity is the thing (July 2019)

By Jaclyn Moriarty

July 16, 2019

Abigail Sorensen has spent her life trying to unwrap the events of 1990.

It was the year she started receiving random chapters from a self-help book called The Guidebook in the post.

It was also the year Robert, her brother, disappeared on the eve of her sixteenth birthday.

She believes the absurdity of The Guidebook and the mystery of her brother’s disappearance must be connected.

Now 35, owner of the Happiness Cafe and mother of four-year-old Oscar, Abigail has been invited to learn the truth behind The Guidebook at an all-expenses-paid retreat.

What she finds will be unexpected, life-affirming and heartbreaking.

The Nancys (July 2019)

By R. W. R. McDonald

July 16, 2019

Tippy Chan is eleven and lives in a small town in a very quiet part of the world – the place her Uncle Pike escaped from the first chance he got as a teenager.  Now Pike is back with his new boyfriend Devon to look after Tippy while her mum’s on a cruise.

Tippy is in love with her uncle’s old Nancy Drew books, especially the early ones where Nancy was sixteen and did whatever she wanted.  She wants to be Nancy and is desperate to solve a real mystery.  When her teacher’s body is found beside Riverstone’s only traffic light, Tippy’s moment has arrived.  She and her minders form The Nancys, a secret amateur detective club.

But what starts as a bonding and sightseeing adventure quickly morphs into something far more dangerous.  A wrongful arrest, a close call with the murderer, and an intervention from Tippy’s mum all conspire against The Nancys.  But regardless of their own safety, and despite the constant distraction of questionable fashion choices in the town that style forgot, The Nancys know only they can stop the killer from striking again.

The Nancys is gripping and glorious, a heartwarming novel for anyone who’s ever felt they were on the outside looking in.  At its heart it is about the family we make and how we must summon the courage to face the truth, no matter what the cost may be.

Some Other Country New Zealand’s Best Short Stories (July 2019)

By ed Marion McLeod and Bill Manhire

July 16, 2019

First published in 1984, Some Other Country quickly become established as New Zealand’s essential single volume anthology of short stories, and has since been enjoyed by many thousands of visitors, students and readers of all kinds.  Now this fourth edition adds six new writers, bringing the collection completely up to date with the diverse energies of New Zealand life and writing.

The country to be found in these pages is not the place depicted in glossy picture books or economic profiles.  But it is a real place, composed of the blend of accuracy and vision which only the imagination, committed to language and experience, can supply.  It is the New Zealand of Janet Frame and Katherine Mansfield, of Frank Sargeson and Maurice Gee, of Witi Ihimaera and Patricia Grace.

Some Other Country is a collection of stories from the body of New Zealand writing that began with the work of the young expatriate writer, Katherine Mansfield.  It includes well-known stories by major writers including Vincent O’Sullivan, Joy Cowley, C. K. Stead, Owen Marshall and Keri Hulme, alongside stories by writers who have come into prominence in the last 20 years, such as Barbara Anderson, Fiona Farrell, Emily Perkins, Damien Wilkins, Charlotte Grimshaw and Alice Tawhai.

Some Other Country represents the editors’ choice of simply ‘the best we could find’.

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