Dunedin Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute

Recent Books

A Gambling Man (July 2021)

By David Baldacci

July 20, 2021

A lucky roll of the dice

California 1949.  Aloysius Archer is on his way to start a new job with a renowned private investigator in Bay Town.  Feeling lucky, he stops off at a casino in Reno, where he meets an aspiring actress, Liberty Callahan.  Together, they head west on a journey filled with danger and surprises – because Archer isn’t the only one with a secretive past.

A risk worth taking

Arriving in a town rife with corruption, Archer is tasked with finding out who is doing everything they can to disrupt the appointment of a top official.  Then two seemingly unconnected people are murdered at a burlesque club.  In a tight-lipped community, Archer must dig deep to reveal the connection between the victims.

All bets are off

As the final perilous showdown unfurls, Archer will need all of his skills to decipher the truth from the lies, and finally, to prove she’s a star in the making, will Liberty have her moment in the spotlight?

Before You Knew My Name (July 2021)

By Jacqueline Bublitz

July 20, 2021

This is not just another novel about a dead girl.

When she arrived in New York on her 18th birthday carrying nothing but $600 cash and a stolen camera.  Alice Lee was looking for a fresh start.  Now, just one month later, she is the city’s latest Jane Doe, an unidentified murder victim.

Ruby Jones is also trying to start over, she travelled halfway around the world only to find herself lonelier than ever.  Until she finds Alice’s body by the Hudson River.

From this first, devastating encounter, the two women form an unbreakable bond.  Alice is sure that Ruby is the key to solving the mystery of her life – and death.  And Ruby – struggling to forget what she saw that morning – finds herself unable to let Alice go.  Not until she is given the ending she deserves.

Before You Knew My Name doesn’t ask whodunnit.  Instead, this powerful, hopeful novel asks: Who was she?  And what did she leave behind?  The answers might surprise you.

the heights (July 2021)

By Louise Candlish

July 20, 2021

He thinks he’s safe up there.  But can he ever be safe from you?

The Heights is a tall, slender apartment building among the warehouses of Tower Bridge, its roof terrace so discreet you wouldn’t now it existed if you weren’t standing at the window of the flat directly opposite.  But you are.  And that’s when you see a man up there – a man you’d recognize anywhere.  He’s older now and his appearance has subtly changed, but it’s definitely him.

Which makes no sense at all since you know he has been dead for over two years.

You know this for a fact.

Because you’re the one who killed him.

The Final Twist (July 2021)

By Jeffery Deaver

July 20, 2021

Twist Left

Unique investigator Colter Shaw is in San Francisco hunting for the answer to his father’s final riddle – an elusive courier bag of evidence.  It is evidence that will topple the secretive espionage company.  BlackBridge.

Twist Right

He believes BlackBridge to be responsible for his father’s murder and brother’s disappearance.  They can outmanoeuvre anyone, as the long trail of bodies behind them can confirm.

But they haven’t yet met Colter Shaw.

To make matters worse he isn’t the only one hunting.  A kill order turns up in the pocket of a murdered assassin: an entire family will die in 48 hours.  He needs to move fast.

Never Assume You’re Safe

This time the stakes are huge: the fate of a family – and a nation – are in Shaw’s hands.  He must find the solution as to why his father died – but to do that he needs to stay alive…

The Stratford Murder (July 2021)

By Mike Hollow

July 20, 2021

October, 1940.  Bombs are falling on Stratford when air-raid warden Sylvia Parks sees a house with a shining light, in clear breach of the city’s strict blackout rules.  With no answer at the door she manages to break in, only to discover the body of a young woman, strangled to death with a stocking.

For Detective Inspector John Jago, the scene brings back memories of the gruesome Soho Strangler, who murdered four women a few years ago but has never been caught – could there be a connection?

The Guilt Trip (July 2021)

By Sandie Jones

July 19, 2021

Everyone’s guilty of something…

Jack and Rachel.  Noah and Paige.  Will and Ali.  Five friends who’ve known each other for years.  And Ali, Will’s fiancée.

Now it’s Ali and Will’s wedding, and all three couples are going on a weekend getaway together in Portugal.  It’s a chance to relax and get to know Ali a little better, perhaps.  A newcomer to their group, she seems perfectly nice – and Will seems happy after years of bad choices.  But Ali is hiding more than one secret…

By the end of the weekend there’ll be one dead body – and five people with guilty consciences, wondering if they really know each other so well after all.  Because one of them has to be the killer.

Transient Desires (July 2021)

By Donna Leon

July 19, 2021

In his many years as a Commissario, Guido Brunetti has seen all manner of crime and know intuitively how to navigate the various pathways in his native Venice to discover the person responsible.  Now, in the landmark thirtieth novel in Donna Leon’s masterful Commissario Brunetti series, he faces a heinous crime committed outside his jurisdiction.

Two young American women have been badly injured in a boating accident, joyriding in the Laguna with two young Italians.  However, Brunetti’s curiosity is aroused by the behaviour of the young men, who abandoned the victims after taking them to the hospital.  If the injuries were the result of an accident, why did they want to avoid association with it?

As Brunetti and his colleague, Claudia Griffoni, investigate the incident, they discover that one of the young men works for a man rumoured to be involved in more sinister night-time activities in the Laguna.  To solve the case, Brunetti needs to enlist the help of both the Carabinieri and the Guardia Costiera.  Determining how much trust he and Griffoni can put in these unfamiliar colleagues adds to the difficulty of solving a peculiarly horrible crime whose perpetrators are ruthlessly organised.

Donna Leon’s latest Brunetti novel is as powerful as any she has written, testing Brunetti to his limits, forcing him to listen very carefully for the truth.

Nancy Business (July 2021)

By R. W. R. McDonald

July 19, 2021

The gripping, heart-warming and hilarious sequel to R. W. R. McDonald’s smash hit The Nancys, winner of the 2020 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best First Novel.

It’s been four months since Tippy, Uncle Pike and Devon were together for Christmas.  Now back for the first anniversary of Tippy’s father’s death, The Nancys are re-formed when Riverstone is rocked by an early morning explosion that kills three people and destroys the town hall.

A new case is born.  Is the accused bomber really guilty?  Is there a second bomber?  And if so, does that mean a threat to destroy Riverstone Bridge is real?  And is asparagus a colour?  Once again, it is up to the Nancys to go against the flow, and ignore police orders, to get to the truth.

It’s great to be back in Nancy business again, but this time it’s all different.  Uncle Pike and Devon can’t agree on anything and Tippy is learning hard truths about the world and the people she loves the most.  Can the Nancys stay together to do their best work and save the town?  Or will the killer strike again?  When everyone is right, does that make you wrong?  And can Tippy ever trust anyone again.

Yours Cheerfully (July 2021)

By A J Pearce

July 19, 2021

London, September, 1941

Following the departure of the formidable Editor, Henrietta Bird, from Woman’s Friend magazine, things are looking up for Emmeline Lake as she takes on the challenge of becoming a young wartime advice columnist.  Her relationship with boyfriend Charles, now stationed back in the UK, is blossoming, while Emmy’s best friend Bunty is still reeling from the very worst of the Blitz, but bravely looking to the future.  Together, the friends are determined to Make a Go of It.

When the Ministry of Information calls on Britain’s women’s magazines to help recruit desperately needed female workers to the war effort, Emmy is thrilled to be asked to step up and help.  But when she and Bunty meet a young woman who shows them the very real challenges that women war-workers face, Emmy must tackle a life-changing dilemma between doing her duty, and standing by her friends.

Every bit as funny, heart-warming, and touching as Dear Mrs Bird, Yours Cheerfully is a wonderful celebration of friendship, a tribute to the strength of women and the importance of lifting each other up, even in the most challenging times.

Fatal Isles (June 2021)

By Maria Adolfsson

June 15, 2021

A remote island.  A brutal murder.  A secret hidden in the past…

In the middle of the North Sea, between the UK and Denmark, lies the beautiful and rugged island nation of Doggerland.

Detective Inspector Karen Eiken Hornby has returned to the main island, Heimo, after many years in London and has worked hard to become one of the few female police officers in Doggerland.

So, when she wakes up in a hotel room next to her boss, Jounas Smeed, she knows she’s made a big mistake.  But things are about to get worse: later that day, Jounas’s ex-wife is found brutally murdered.  And Karen is the only one who can give him an alibi.

The news sends shockwaves through the tight-knit island community, and with no obvious motive for the murder Karen struggles to find the killer in a race against time.  Soon she starts to suspect that the truth might lie in Doggerland’s history.  And the deeper she digs, the clearer it becomes that even small islands can hide deadly secrets…

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