Karen Chisholm

Fresh voices came to the fore at WORD Christchurch Spring Festival on Saturday afternoon as Becky Manawatu and RWR McDonald were named the winners of the 2020 Ngaio Marsh Awards.

Both winners were first-time novelists, and while their winning books were different in many ways, each was told in large part from the perspective of young children dealing with loss and violence in small-town New Zealand, each included a rich cast of diverse characters, and each expertly blended lighter moments with dark events in tense tales that could make readers gasp and laugh.

The Murder Club
Book Number (in series)
3
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Whatever it Takes
Author
ISBN
9781988516271
Publisher
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Girl From the Tree House
ISBN
B07QNG9P66
Book Number (in series)
1
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
The Wild Card
Author
ISBN
9781988595030
Publisher
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Auē
ISBN
9780995111028
Publisher
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Not Bad People
Author
ISBN
9781460756171
Publisher
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
The Strength of Eggshells
Author
ISBN
9780473474201
Publisher
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Cryptobyte
Author
ISBN
9780473489045
Publisher
Book Number (in series)
9
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
The Girl In the Mirror
Author
ISBN
9781760876739
Publisher
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Tugga's Mob
ISBN
9780648556770
Publisher
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
The Lost Dead
Author
ISBN
B07V1T13RF
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Shadow of Doubt
Author
ISBN
B07TZQZP8F
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Life Before
Author
ISBN
9781760529314
Publisher
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
The Sisters' Lover
ISBN
9781798151082
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
The Fell
ISBN
B07PW1XQLW
Publisher
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
The Unreliable People
Author
ISBN
9780143773566
Publisher
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
The Ash, the Well and the Bluebell
Author
ISBN
9780995119123
Publisher
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
The Great Divide
Author
ISBN
9781760685829
Publisher
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
The Gulf Between
ISBN
9780143773313
Publisher
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
The Alexandrite
Author
ISBN
B07YHQ23P3
Publisher
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
A Madness of Sunshine
Author
ISBN
9781869714253
Publisher
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
The Jaded Spy
Author
ISBN
B07YYL5WVC
Publisher
Book Number (in series)
2
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Death of an Agent
Author
ISBN
9780992262297
Publisher
Book Number (in series)
4
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Spiked
Author
ISBN
9780473465858
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Dead Man Singing
ISBN
9781393699316
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Take Down
Author
ISBN
B07YQ38ZYG
Book Number (in series)
1
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Murder in Doubt
Author
ISBN
9780473478841
Book Number (in series)
3
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Lokahi's Triangle
ISBN
B07MXBWLBM
Book Number (in series)
4
Kanaloa's Betrayal
ISBN
B07W2WDP89
Book Number (in series)
5
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Into the Void
ISBN
9780473502621
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
The Chinese Proverb
Author
ISBN
9781483596563
Publisher
Book Number (in series)
1
One Single Thing
Author
ISBN
9780473477141
Publisher
Book Number (in series)
2
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Would She Be Gone
ISBN
B07ZGKP6DL
Book Number (in series)
1
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Hide
Author
ISBN
9781925227581
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Not the Faintest Trace
ISBN
B078TL6XS4
Book Number (in series)
1
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Rain Fall
Author
ISBN
9781760296834
Publisher
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Outlaw
Author
ISBN
9780995106413
Publisher
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Make A Hard Fist
Author
ISBN
9780473421878
Publisher
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
This Mortal Boy
Author
ISBN
9780143771807
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
The Stakes
Author
ISBN
9781760632755
Publisher
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
A Stolen Woman
Author
ISBN
B078WZYPLF
Publisher
Book Number (in series)
3
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
The Quaker
ISBN
9780008259914
Publisher
Book Number (in series)
1
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
The Vanishing Act
Author
ISBN
B07BGXGB9S
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Wedlock
Author
ISBN
9780473421861
Publisher
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Sharks With Lipstick
ISBN
B07HXVV9QN
Publisher
Book Number (in series)
1
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Last Seen Leaving
Author
ISBN
B07G491N4D
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Murder in Paint
Author
ISBN
B079HJNKW9
Book Number (in series)
1
Murder in Mud
Author
ISBN
B07KP14DPX
Book Number (in series)
2
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Qubyte
Author
ISBN
B07LBCB9NZ
Publisher
Book Number (in series)
10
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Revenge is a Self Inflicted Wound
Author
ISBN
B07KMNKWCL
Publisher
Book Number (in series)
4
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Hey You, Pretty Face
Author
ISBN
B07JHNNCFX
Publisher
Book Number (in series)
1
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Dark Service
Author
ISBN
B07CBTT4VJ
Publisher
Book Number (in series)
4
One Last Hit
Author
ISBN
B07FNXS2TG
Publisher
Book Number (in series)
5
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
I Only Killed Him Once
ISBN
9780765379221
Publisher
Book Number (in series)
3
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Between
ISBN
9780995106420
Publisher
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
The Carlswick Mythology
Author
ISBN
B07JM1RN7W
Book Number (in series)
5
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
One for Another
Author
ISBN
B07DCLTZBP
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
The Nancys
ISBN
9781760527334
Publisher
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Karen Chisholm
2019 Ngaio Marsh Awards Longlist

Young offenders, criminal histories:

Ngaio Marsh Award longlist revealed

An extraordinary literary tag-team is among several tales inspired by historic events to be named today on an eclectic longlist for the 2019 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Novel.

The Second Grave
Author
ISBN
9780473427702
Book Number (in series)
2
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Money in the Morgue
ISBN
9780008207137
Publisher
Book Number (in series)
33
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
The Plot to Kill Peter Fraser
Author
ISBN
B06XGBBGMF
Publisher
Book Number (in series)
2
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Tess
ISBN
9781776561001
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Painted
ISBN
9780473398439
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
The Contest
Author
ISBN
9780473399177
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Hot Flush
Author
ISBN
9780473389550
Publisher
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
The Hidden Room
Author
ISBN
9780349007908
Publisher
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
The Easter Make Believers
Author
Publisher
Book Number (in series)
3
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
A Suitable Time for Vengeance
Author
ISBN
9780995100206
Publisher
Book Number (in series)
7
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
The Lost Taonga
Author
ISBN
9780994130464
Publisher
Book Number (in series)
6
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
The Empty Coffin
Author
ISBN
9780473388959
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
A Greater God
ISBN
9780648393801
Book Number (in series)
4
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
The Carlswick Deception
Author
Book Number (in series)
4
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Straight and Level
ISBN
9780473398200
Book Number (in series)
2
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Terror of the Innocent
Author
ISBN
B071KYTF8M
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
The Jaws of Revenge
Author
ISBN
B071Y48T5K
Review Written By
Karen Chisholm
Karen Chisholm

Lots and lots of noise about this one.

From the Blurb:

For the past two weeks, seventeen-year-old Kate Bennet has lived against her will in an isolated cabin in a remote beach town--brought there by a mysterious man named Bill. Part captor, part benefactor, Bill calls her Evie and tells her he's hiding her to protect her. That she did something terrible one night back home in Melbourne--something so unspeakable that he had no choice but to take her away. The trouble is, Kate can't remember the night in question.

Karen Chisholm

Backcountry mystery outshone big city crime at WORD Christchurch Festival on Saturday evening as Alan Carter and Jennifer Lane were named the winners of the 2018 Ngaio Marsh Awards.

Karen Chisholm

Having just posted a media announcement on the 2018 Ngaio Marsh longlist (the media announcement is here), now for a few personal comments. Firstly and most importantly, if you've been standing by waiting for a review to be posted (especially if your book was in the submissions list), this is the reason for the delay.

Karen Chisholm

Turned into the perfect read for a hot Saturday afternoon.

From the Blurb:

Amy is a store detective at Cutty’s, the oldest and grandest department store in the country. She’s good at her job. She can read people and catch them. But Cutty’s is closing down. Amy has a young baby, an ailing mother, and a large mortgage. She also has a past as an activist.

Karen Chisholm

One from the weekend's pile

From the Blurb:

Detective Ngaire Blakes is back on the case when a skeletonized murder victim is discovered - a crime that took place during the Springbok Tours of 1981. A period that pitted father against son, town against city, and police against protestors.

Karen Chisholm

Another from the currently reading pile.

From the Blurb:

Former Special Forces soldier Jeff Bradley is meeting with the mafia in Bari, Italy, to discover the whereabouts of his nemesis—criminal overlord Avni Leka—when he receives a message from an old friend. Barry is on board a tourist bus that has been hijacked by terrorists near Istanbul. Strapped with explosives, it is racing across Turkey to the northern borders of Syria, Iraq and Iran.

Karen Chisholm

Another from the New Zealand pile read over the weekend.

From the Blurb:

Karen Chisholm

Particularly intriguing one from recent day's reading.

From the Blurb:

Cassy blew a collective kiss at them. 'See you in September,' she said. A throwaway line. Just words, uttered casually by a young woman in a hurry. And then she'd gone.

It was supposed to be a short trip - a break in New Zealand before her best friend's wedding. But when Cassy waved goodbye to her parents, they never dreamed that it would be years before they'd see her again.

Karen Chisholm

Another from the weekend's New Zealand piles.

From the Blurb:

"In the silence she could hear the oncoming hum, like a large flock approaching. She didn’t want to hear his story; she’d had enough of them."

Tess is on the run when she’s picked up from the side of the road by lonely middle-aged father Lewis Rose. With reluctance, she’s drawn into his family troubles and comes to know a life she never had. 

Set in Masterton at the turn of the millennium, Tess is a gothic love story about the ties that bind and tear a family apart.

Karen Chisholm

Another from the weekend's pile of New Zealand fiction, the second in the Raymond Electromatic trilogy.

From the Blurb:

A blend of science fiction and stylish mystery noir featuring a robot detective: the stand alone sequel to Made to Kill

Karen Chisholm

One from a weekend's reading catch up on the New Zealand / Ngaio Marsh piles.

From the Blurb:

A SUICIDE. A MURDER. A CONSPIRACY. 

DIGGING UP THE PAST CAN BE DEADLY . . .

A thirteen-year-old boy commits suicide.

A sixty-five-year old man dies of a heart attack.

Dan Forrester, ex-MI5 agent, is connected to them both. 

And when he discovers that his godson and his father have been murdered, he teams up with his old friend, DC Lucy Davies, to find answers.

Karen Chisholm

Another from the New Zealand piles.

From the Blurb:

How do you protect your family when you can't remember who's hunting them? A gripping international thriller, perfect for fans of Lee Child and Mason Cross 

A family in England is massacred, the father left holding the shotgun.

PC Lucy Davies is convinced he's innocent

A sleeper agent in Moscow requests an urgent meeting with Dan Forrester, referencing their shared past.

His amnesia means he has no idea who he can trust.

Karen Chisholm

Starting off with this one over the Easter long weekend.

From the Blurb:

Army veteran Hunter Grant thought he had left war behind in Afghanistan – a conflict that left him with physical and psychological scars. But finding an unconscious girl in the Northland bush and gradually untangling her story involves him in a war of a different kind in his own country.

Karen Chisholm

From the current reading pile.

From the Blurb:

SUPERPOWERS SHOULD NOT BE WASTED ON THE YOUNG

Euphemia Sage watched helplessly as Jane, covered in blood, clutched her precious jewelry and was bundled into the Mercedes. Just a few days earlier she’d discovered that Alison, her mousy receptionist at Sage Consulting, had been working as a loan shark on the side. And now Alison, her husband and those thick-necked men in the cheap suits wanted the money back.

Karen Chisholm

Another from the weekend pile

From the Blurb:

If art can capture a soul, what happens when one of those souls escapes?

When art appraiser Anita Cassatt is sent to catalogue the extensive collection of reclusive artist Leo Kubin, it isn’t only the chilly atmosphere of the secluded house making her shiver.

Karen Chisholm

From the current pile.

From the Blurb:

When Mickey got out of the fiasco that was Lehman Brothers, he thought he had left high-risk finance behind. Now he passes his days driving a London black taxi and filling in with the occasional domestic private investigation. 

Karen Chisholm

One from the weekend's pile.

From the Blurb:

Peter Fraser was our greatest prime minister on the international stage. He proved it as World War Two was ending and he played a major part in shaping the United Nations. In the process he made enemies. He is back in New Zealand, where a plot is under way to kill him. If it is successful, New Zealand’s influence on the international stage ends and the country descends into chaos, a divided country ripe for international manipulation.

Karen Chisholm

Another from the weekend's reading pile.

From the Blurb:

A stranger just put Kelsey’s boyfriend in a coma. The worst part? She asked him to do it. 

Karen Chisholm

From the NZ piles about the place - an historical novel set in Dunedin.

From the Blurb:

Karen Chisholm

Second from the reading pile from yesterday.

From the Blurb:

Karen Chisholm

An enforced day off yesterday with the power out for maintenance meant some reading catching up.

From the Blurb:

Police sergeant Harry Brent, working in Queenstown, New Zealand is accidentally shot by a hunter. While still on light duties he is posted to the Christchurch office to work on cold cases. 

What does the difference between the shadows mean? Who is the body in the trench at Tekapo Military Camp? Harry’s eye for detail and his need to know set him on the path to answering these questions. 

Karen Chisholm

A novella squeezed in amongst other things. Okay other things I should have been doing but still...

From the Blurb:

Sixteen-year old Heidi has always dreamed of being a society photographer for the rich and famous. Instead, her first film project plunges her into a world of subterfuge as she joins a courageous group of teenage protesters committed to saving orangutans in the wild. 

Karen Chisholm

Another from the staggeringly varied #yeahnoir pile

From the Blurb:

It's Broadway in Reefton, the new, booming 1870s gold town.

Suspiciously, Gordon Trembath, a naive young police constable has been left in charge over Christmas and New Year. He is immediately faced with investigating a murder carried out by sly-groggers in the valley.

In the meantime, the town has been invaded by "a collection of scamps, card sharps, liars and chats who have come to town for the pickings available in the holiday season."

Karen Chisholm

From the was reading pile, this is fascinating.

From The Blurb:

Minnie Dean: the first – and only – woman to be hanged in New Zealand. Baby farmer and child murderer, or hardworking wife and mother, supporting her family by caring for unwanted children in a society that shunned her?

Karen Zelas explores the trials of Minnie Dean using a myriad of voices, including Dean’s own, from her childhood in Scotland to the gallows in Invercargill, 1895.

Karen Chisholm

Another from the past overdue for mention pile.

From the Blurb:

Martin Fallaway is dying. With no family to whom he can leave his surplus fortune, he holds a contest on his tropical island, where ten families compete to be the last team left in order to claim the prize of thirty million dollars.

Karen Chisholm

Another from the previously reading pile.

From the Blurb:

When Dean Bradley is brutally murdered for his new shoes, undertaker Ken Tamati does a lovely job on the corpse — but next morning, the body has vanished from the funeral parlour.

That day, a mysterious figure — witnesses give wildly conflicting descriptions — begins rescuing victims of assault all over Auckland and healing their horrific injuries with a dazzling light. They call him the Rainbow Man.

Karen Chisholm

And we're caught up for the moment - currently reading this one.

From the Blurb:

On Sundays peace was restored. He would lie down, dream and remember. He would enjoy. And later on the bell would ring. He would get up and walk downstairs. He would open the front door. And his life would come to an end . . . 

Garda Inspector Michael McLoughlin is trying to enjoy his retirement – doing a bit of PI work on the side, meeting up with former colleagues, fixing up a grand old house in a genteel Dublin suburb near the sea. 

Karen Chisholm

From the piles of reading, sod all blogging I've been doing recently.

From the Blurb:

Karen Chisholm

From the wonderfulness that is the pile of New Zealand Crime fiction.

From the Blurb:

‘Cynthia can understand how Anahera feels just by looking at her body.’

Karen Chisholm

It's that time of the year where posting becomes erratic and reading consumes every spare moment. Sometimes life is hard ;)

From the Blurb:

“There was Polly’s tokotoko on the ground. Carved and polished, with its eel head, the snout inlaid with pāua. Alexia picked it up and cracked it across the cop’s shoulders. She raised it again and hit and hit. She would stop this.”

Karen Chisholm

Started this over the weekend - new crime fiction after a long break from Stella Duffy.

From the Blurb:

Life is good for Laurie and Martha. They have three great kids, a much-loved home in the countryside, and after years of struggle, Laura's career as an architect is taking off at last. Everything's perfect.

Except, it isn't.

Someone is about to walk into their happy family and tear it apart.

Karen Chisholm

Diving into my New Zealand piles at the moment, this one became this weekend's reading for no particular reason.

From the Blurb:

He’s lost his wife, his job, and his mana. So what now? A PI? He really couldn’t get used to it. Traipsing around after unfaithful wives and little old ladies’ lost dogs? Was this the future for Carlos Wallace? And what of the beautiful matakite? Wasn’t it a sin to fall in love with your cousin? 

Karen Chisholm

A two sitting read from 2017 Ngaio Marsh Award winner. There's something about this author's work ...

From the Blurb:

Karen Chisholm

Another from New Zealand - this time set in a small town hiding lots of old secrets.

From the Blurb:

The body of missing tourist Bethany Haliwell is found in the small Coromandel town of Castle Bay, where nothing bad ever happens. News crews and journalists from all over the country descend on the small seaside town as old secrets are dragged up and gossip is taken as gospel.

Among them is Miller Hatcher, a journalist battling her own demons, who arrives intent on gaining a promotion by covering the grisly murder. 

Karen Chisholm

One from the more recent piles because it intrigued, and now it's really compelling.

From the Blurb:

Karen Chisholm

There’s fresh blood aplenty in the local crime writing ranks and the usual suspects were nowhere to be found as the 2017 Ngaio Marsh Awards finalists were named on Monday.

Karen Chisholm

Late in mentioning this one, particularly as I've been reading and re-reading it a couple of times now.

From the Blurb:

Murder, political intrigue, bent cops and the fate of a nation - a thriller set in the murky underworld of 1951 New Zealand.

A man overboard, a murder and a lot of loose ends ...

In Auckland 1951 the workers and the government are heading for bloody confrontation and the waterfront is the frontline. But this is a war with more than two sides and nothing is what it seems.

Karen Chisholm

A new series from Ned Kelly winning author Alan Carter, this time set in New Zealand.

From the Blurb:

Nick Chester is working as a sergeant for the Havelock police in the Marlborough Sound, at the top of New Zealand’s South Island. If the river isn’t flooded and the land hasn’t slipped, it’s paradise. Unless you are also hiding from a ruthless man with a grudge, in which case, remote beauty has its own kind of danger. In the last couple of weeks, two local boys have vanished. Their bodies are found, but the Pied Piper is still at large.