Dunedin Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute

Books Archive

Month: October 2021

The Body Lies (October 2021)

By Jo Baker

October 19, 2021

When a young writer accepts a job at a university in the remote countryside, it’s meant to be a fresh start, away from the big city and the scene of a violent assault she’s desperate to forget.  But when one of her students starts sending in chapters from his novel that blur the lines between fiction and reality, the professor recognises herself as the main character in his book – and he has written her a horrific fate.

Will she be able to stop life imitating art before it’s too late?

Cloud Cuckoo Land (October 2021)

By Doerr Anthony

October 19, 2021

Bound together by a single ancient text, the unforgettable characters of Cloud Cuckoo Land are dreamers and outsiders figuring out the world around them; thirteen-year-old Anna and Omeir, an orphaned seamstress and a cursed boy, on opposite sides of the formidable city walls during the 1453 siege of Constantinople; teenage idealist Seymour and octogenarian Zeno in an attack on a public library in present-day Idaho; and Konstance, decades from now, who turns to the oldest stories to guide her community in peril.

Doerr has created a tapestry of times and places that reflects our own vast interconnectedness – with other species, with each other, with those who lived before us and those who will be here after we’re gone.  Dedicated to ‘the librarians, then, now, and in the years to come’, Cloud Cuckoo Land is a beautiful and redemptive novel about stewardship – of the book, of the Earth, of the human heart.

The Darkness Knows (October 2021)

By Arnaldur Indridason

October 18, 2021

A frozen body is discovered emerging from the icy depths of Iceland’s Langjokull glacier, apparently that of a businessman who disappeared thirty years before.  At the time, an extensive search and police investigation yielded no results – one of the missing man’s business associates was briefly held in custody, but there wasn’t enough evidence to charge him.

Now the suspect is arrested again and Konrad, the retired detective who originally investigated the disappearance, is called back to reopen the case that has weighed on his mind for decades.

When a woman approaches Konrad with an important new revelation, a fire is lit under this long-cold case.

How to Raise an Elephant (October 2021)

By Alexander McCall Smith

October 18, 2021

The One with Charlie’s Big Secret

As the temperature rises in Gaborone, Precious Ramotswe wonders whether the heat could be the reason that business is particularly slow.  But then a distant cousin comes to the agency with a plea for help.  Armed with Mma Ramotswe’s circumspection and Mma Makutsi’s sharp eye, the ladies decide to pursue the issue together.  What, after all, could be more straightforward than a family matter?

Meanwhile, their colleague Charlie is behaving oddly, borrowing Mma Romotswe’s van and returning it in an unusual condition.  Digging a little deeper, the explanation is both strange and extraordinary, and takes Charlie, along with Mma Ramotswe’s husband, Mr J. L. B. Matekoni on a hair-raising night-time expedition.

The Man Who Died Twice (October 2021)

By Richard Osman

October 18, 2021

It’s the following Thursday.

Elizabeth has received a letter from an old colleague, a man with whom she has a long history.  He needs her help.  His story involves stolen diamonds, a violent mobster and a very real threat to his life.

As bodies start piling up, Elizabeth enlists Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron in the hunt for a ruthless murderer.  And if they find the diamonds too?  Well, wouldn’t that be a bonus?

But this time they are up against an enemy who wouldn’t bat an eyelid at knocking off four septuagenarians.  Can the Thursday Murder Club find the killer, before the killer finds them?

To Italy, with Love (October 2021)

By Nicky Pellegrino

October 18, 2021

Love happens when you least expect it…

Assunta has given up on love.  She might run her little trattoria in the most romantic mountain town in Italy, but love just seems to have passed her by.

Sarah-Jane is finished with love.  She’s buying an old convertible and driving around Italy this summer – it’s the perfect way to forget all about her hot celebrity ex-boyfriend!

But when Sarah-Jane’s van breaks down outside Assunta’s restaurant in Montenello, she has to stay longer than she intended!  And the trouble is, love is everywhere…

When You Are Mine (October 2021)

By Michael Robotham

October 18, 2021

Philomena McCarthy has defied the odds to become a promising young officer with the Metropolitan Police despite being the daughter of a notorious London gangster.  Called to the scene of a domestic assault, she rescues a bloodied young woman, Tempe Brown, the mistress of a decorated detective.  The incident is hushed up, but Phil has unwilling made a dangerous enemy who has powerful friends.

Determined to protect each other, the two women strike up a tentative friendship.  Tempe is thoughtful and sweet and makes herself indispensable to Phil, but sinister things keep happening and something isn’t quite right about the stories Tempe tells.  When a journalist with links to both Phil’s father and to the detective is found floating in the Thames, Phil doesn’t know where to turn, who to blame or who she can trust.

New Zealanders: The Field Guide (October 2021)

By Tom Sainsbury

October 18, 2021

A guide to the weird and wonderful inhabitants of New Zealand, and the places you’ll find them.

After years of mimicking celebrities and Kiwi stereotypes on social media, comedian Tom Sainsbury has compiled all his favourite character types into a book.  His array of New Zealand heroes includes the useless farmhand who is forever jack-knifing the tractor trailer, the martyr mother who constantly guilt-trips her children and the officious New Zealander who loves narking on his office co-workers for the mildest of misdemeanours.  All these descriptions are lovingly collated into a concise, easy-to-use field guide that’ll give you an in-depth insight into the people of Aotearoa.

Every Vow You Break (October 2021)

By Peter Swanson

October 18, 2021

The plane lifted slightly, and she experienced a sudden wave of relaxation so intense that it felt like she’d keep on feeling it even if the plane started tumbling toward the ocean.  Her fingers were intertwined with Bruce’s.  He leaned across her and pointed through the oval side window.  ‘See the island?’

After a whirlwind fairy-tale romance, Abigail Baskin marries freshly minted Sillicon-Valley millionaire Bruce Lamb.

For their honeymoon, he whisks her away to Heart Pond Island, a friend’s exclusive retreat off the Maine coast.  But once there, Abigail starts to think she’s noticed some alarming warning signs about this seemingly idyllic off-grid resort.  When she recognises one of their fellow guests as the good-looking, charismatic stranger who, weeks earlier, she slept with at her own bachelorette party, her perfect new life threatens to come crashing down.

Trapped on this island, can Abigail possibly outrun the myriad lies that surround her marriage?

The Heron’s Cry (September 2021)

By Ann Cleeves

October 11, 2021

Detective Matthew Venn of The Long Call returns in the next captivating novel in the Two Rivers series from Ann Cleeves, the number one bestselling author and creator of Vera and Shetland.

North Devon is enjoying a rare hot summer with tourists flocking to its coast-line.

Detective Matthew Venn is called out to a rural crime scene at the home of a group of artists.  What he finds is an elaborately staged murder – Dr Nigel Yeo has been fatally stabbed.  His daughter, Eve, is a glass blower, and the murder weapon is a shard of one of her broken vases.

Dr Yeo seems an unlikely murder victim.  He’s a good man, a public servant, beloved by his daughter.  Matthew is unnerved, though, to find that Eve is a close friend of Jonathan, his husband.

Then another body is found – killed in a similar way – and Matthew finds himself treading carefully through the lies that fester at the heart of his community in a case that is dangerously close to home…

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