Mystery and crime books from Australia. News, views, reviews, releases and author appearances - crime fiction in Australia. Crime novels, mystery novels, detective stories, police procedural books, thrillers and soft-boiled mysteries

Monday, June 25, 2007

A Few New Kiwi Releases

So hands up all those who can name more than one New Zealand crime writer - and you're not allowed to include Ngaio Marsh.

Time's up.

We're about to broaden our horizons by checking out a few recent releases by authors from New Zealand so sharpen your pencils. The "Down Under" part of the blog's name has given me free reign to hop across the ole ditch and, thanks to a little prompting (for which I am grateful) from Thomas Mitchell (author of the short story First Off the Blocks), I present a few of the latest offerings from New Zealand for you to hunt down.
  • The Cleaner & The Killing Hour by Paul Cleave pub. Randam House) - Firstly, The Cleaner has been longlisted for the Ned Kelly Award, not only for Best Debut Crime Novel but also for best Novel. It's a powerful story that takes you into the terrifying mind of a serial killer. He has since followed that up with The Killing Hour (published June 2007) in which a man wakes up with a bump on his head, blood on his shorts and the news that the two young women he was with the night before have been brutally murdered.


  • Overkill by Vanda Symon - this is a murder mystery set in New Zealand's South Island and introduces Police Constable Sam Shepherd. This is a small-town mystery that oozes with local flavour and is proposed as the first of a series.


  • The Windsor Conspiracy by Mike Ponder (pub. Random House) - this is an explosive thriller in which a London journalist receives the gruesome little package of a bloody finger and is told the finger belongs to Prince Charles, now a kidnapping victim. It's the start of a wild, conspiracy-filled story of murder, manipulation and some serious questions over the possible ruthlessness of a few members of the royal family.

  • Chad Taylor - his latest novel is Departure Lounge (pub. Jonathan Cape) which Taylor warns is a mystery with no resolution and that it plays with the genre. It's about a career burglar who breaks into an apartment and cleans it out before moving on to the next. Along the way he comes to an apartment whose occupants have recently died and he is startled to discover that he has a connection with them from his past which prompts a detailed examination of self.

  • Opportunity by Charlotte Grimshaw (Random House) - this is a book of dark short stories that can be read separately or combined to read as a whole novel. Her previous books - Provocation, Guilt and Foreign City lean towards the darker, more troubled side.

4 comments:

sally906 said...

I've just got my hand on two mystery books by New Zealand Author Joan Druett. They are about to be released in Oz by Allen & Unwin. Shark Island and A Watery Grave. They look really good

Damien said...

Excellent! Thanks for that Sally, I'll make sure I check them out.

Peter said...

Many thanks; I'm going to post a link to this comment. As far as i can remember, the only New Zealand crime writer I've read other than Marsh is Paul Thomas.

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Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
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Anonymous said...

Cleave's fourth book, Blood Men, is due out in October, and Vanda Symon's third, Containment, in December.

You can also add Simon Snow's Devil's Apple, Lindy Kelly's Bold Blood, and Andrea Jutson's The Darkness Looking Back to your list of crime novels (the latter two being fairly recent).