Dunedin Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute

Books Archive

Month: July 2022

Local Gone Missing (July 2022)

By Fiona Barton

July 26, 2022

Everyone watches their neighbours.

Elise King moves into the sleepy seaside town of Ebbing.  Illness has thrown her career as a successful detective into doubt, but no matter how hard she tries to relax and recuperate, she knows that something isn’t right.

Everyone lies about their friends.

Tensions are running high beneath the surface of this idyllic community: the weekenders in their fancy clothes renovating old bungalows into luxury homes, and the locals resentful of the changes.  A town divided, with the threat of violence only a heartbeat away.

Everyone knows a secret.

This peaceful world is shattered when two teenagers end up in hospital and a local man vanishes without trace.  Elise starts digging for answers, but the community closes ranks, and the truth begins to slip through her fingers.  Because in a small town like this, the locals are good at keeping secrets…

Everyone’s a suspect when a local goes missing.

Burial of Ghosts (July 2022)

By Ann Cleeves

July 26, 2022

Abandoned as a baby, twenty-five-year-old Lizzie Bartholomew spent her childhood moving between foster homes and has had more than her fair share of troubles.  Now a holiday in Morocco seems to be the perfect escape.  Especially when she meets Philip, a fellow tourist.  After a brief affair, Lizzie returns to England, only to find a solicitor’s letter waiting for her.

Philip Samson has died, and has left Lizzie a gift of $15,000 in his will.  But there are conditions attached to this unexpected legacy that will soon force Lizzie to confront terrifying secrets from her past life…

The Dockland Murder (July 2022)

By Mike Hollow

July 26, 2022

November 1940.  Darkness descends and another anxious night begins for those tasked with guarding London’s industrial heartland from enemy attack.  As a policeman patrols the Royal Albert Dock he stumbles upon a man sprawled across a barge, a dagger lodged in his back.

Detective Inspector John Jago of West Ham CID discovers the victim was a dock worker by day and a Home Guard volunteer by night – but there are things even the victim’s wife doesn’t know about his past.  During the course of the investigation Jago uncovers a widening circle of secrets ranging across family tensions, the Great War and a far-flung corner of the British Empire.

The Family Remains (July 2022)

By Lisa Jewell

July 26, 2022

London.  June 2019, early morning: on the foreshore of the River Thames a bag of bones is discovered.

Human bones.

DI Samuel Owusu quickly sends the bag for forensic examination.  The bones are those of a young woman, killed by a blow to the head many years ago.

Also inside the bag are the seeds of a rare tree which lead DI Owusu to a mansion in Chelsea where, nearly thirty years previously, three people lay dead in a kitchen while a baby waited upstairs for someone to pick her up.

Four deaths.  An unsolved murder mystery.  And a family whose secret history is darker than anyone can imagine…

The Whalebone Theatre (July 2022)

By Joanne Quinn

July 26, 2022

Cristabel Seagrave has always wanted her life to be a story, but there are no girls in the books in her dusty family library.  For an unwanted orphan who grows into an unmarriageable young women, there seems to be no place at all for her in Chilcombe, her family’s crumbling English estate.

But from the day that a whale washes up on the beach, and twelve-year-old Cristabel plants her flag, claiming it as her own, she is determined to do things differently.

With her step-parents blithely distracted by their endless party guests, Cristabel, and her siblings, Flossie and Digby, scratch together an education from the plays they read in their freezing attic bedroom, drunken conversations eavesdropped through oak-panelled doors, and the esoteric lessons of Maudie, their maid.

But as the children grow to adulthood and war approaches, it becomes clear that the roles they are expected to play are no longer those they would choose themselves.  And as they are drawn into the conflict, they must each find a way to write their own story…

Lying Beside You (July 2022)

By Michael Robotham

July 26, 2022

Twenty years ago, Cyrus Haven‘s family was murdered.  Only he and his brother survived.  Cyrus because he hid Elias because he was the killer.

Now Elias is being released from a secure psychiatric hospital and Cyrus, a forensic psychologist, must decide if he can forgive the man who destroyed his childhood.

As he prepares for the homecoming, Cyrus is called to a crime scene in Nottingham.  A man is dead and his daughter, Maya, is missing.  Then a second woman is abducted…  The only witness is Evie Cormac, a troubled teenager with an incredible gift: she can tell when you are lying.

Both missing women have dark secrets that Cyrus must unravel to find them – and he and Evie know better than anybody how the past can come back to haunt you…

The Foot Soldiers (July 2022)

By Gerald Seymour

July 26, 2022

Jonas Merrick is back.

Someone is giving the Russians vital information.  So the quietly cantankerous man from MI5 must abandon his holiday to track down a traitor on the more glamorous side of the Secret Service – MI6.

From London to Denmark, Berlin to Moscow, The Foot Soldiers is an epic novel of the intelligence world, exciting, authentic and relentlessly suspenseful.

Reputation (July 2022)

By Sarah Vaughan

July 26, 2022

Reputation: It takes a lifetime to build and just one moment to destroy.

Emma Webster is a respectable MP.

Emma Webster is a devoted mother.

Emma Webster is innocent of the murder of a tabloid journalist.

Emma Webster is a liar.

#Reputation: the story you tell about yourself, and the lies others choose to believe…

The Dictionary of Lost Words (July 2022)

By Pip Williams

July 26, 2022

In 1901, the word bondmaid was discovered missing from the Oxford English Dictionary.  This is the story of the girl who stole it.

Motherless and irrepressibly curious, Esme spends her childhood in the Scriptorium, a garden shed in Oxford where her father and a team of lexicographers are gathering words for the very first Oxford English Dictionary.  Esme’s place is beneath the sorting table, unseen and unheard.  One day, she sees a slip containing the world bondmaid flutter to the floor unclaimed.  Esme seizes the word and hides it in an old wooden trunk that belongs to her friend, Lizzie, a young servant in the big house, Esme begins to collect other worlds from the Scriptorium that are misplaced, discarded or have been neglected by the dictionary men.  They help her make sense of the world.

Over time, Esme realises that some words are considered more important than others, and that words and meanings relating to women’s experiences often go unrecorded.  She begins to collect words for another dictionary: The Dictionary of Lost Words.

Set when the women’s suffrage movement was at its height and the Great War loomed, The Dictionary of Lost Words reveals a lost narrative, hidden between the lines of a history written by men.  It’s a delightful, lyrical and deeply thought-provoking celebration of words, and the power of language to shape our experience of the world.

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