Category Archives: Historical

The Imaginary Lives of James Pōneke by Tina Makereti – 2018

“Wanderer, freak, sailor, philosopher, Native boy in English costume, English boy in native costume. Exhibitionist, lover, clown, Maori boy, Man of the world.” – Hemi (James) Pōneke is recuperating in a house in Victorian London – and recording his story … Continue reading

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This Mortal Boy by Fiona Kidman – 2018

Albert Black has been accused of murder, and the death penalty stands, “Will goodness and mercy prevail?” – alas no, not in 1950s New Zealand, not with the shadow of the Second World War affecting how politicians make decisions, and … Continue reading

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Sleeps Standing Moetū by Witi Ihimaera and Hēmi Kelly – 2017

“You didn’t know about the women and children at Rewi’s last stand?”  Sadly, no – the bravery and technical brilliance yes, but not the stories of sacrifice by all the defenders, regardless of age or gender. Sleeps standing Moetū is … Continue reading

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Rotoroa by Amy Head – 2018

Rotoroa is the story of three quite different people who all end up in the same place for a while. The time is significant: New Zealand in the 1950s, post-war, emerging rock and roll, six o’clock swills, the bridge going … Continue reading

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Money in the Morgue by Ngaio Marsh and Stella Duffy – 2018

Dame Ngaio Marsh wrote the first few chapters, the title and the timeframe for this novel, which is set in New Zealand during the Second World War, and Stella Duffy has solved the crime and completed the novel for publication.  … Continue reading

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Into the World by Stephanie Parkyn – 2017

Into the World is an historical adventure on the high seas with great characters and an interesting plot.  From the beginning of the novel, when Marie-Louise Girardin brands herself and her infant son before leaving him to the fate of … Continue reading

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Murder on Broadway by John Rosanowski – 2017

Murder on Broadway is a rollicking wild West Coast goldfields tale of murder and mayhem.  When the obnoxious Reefton Police Sergeant Mackworth Snyder leaves Reefton in the hands of his new Constable Gordon Trembath, in the days leading up to … Continue reading

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