Category Archives: Historical

The Forger and the Thief by Kirsten McKenzie – 2020

Florence 1966, a magnet for tourists and art students, a paradise full of art treasures, leaky buildings full of history, their walls displaying famous paintings, their hallways home to famous statues. Florence 1966, the war still present in the injured … Continue reading

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Remote Sympathy by Catherine Chidgey – 2020

“My Country, Right or Wrong” – the slogan that sits on the lintel above the gate to Buchenwald concentration camp in Remote Sympathy. But is it a call to blind patriotism? – the harbour for those ‘just following orders.’ Is … Continue reading

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Clearing of the Mist by Owen Clough – 2020

Clearing of the mist is the third part of Clough’s Whispers of the past trilogy. In the first part, best mates Bob, Shane, and Sam, get transported from 2014 to 1863 when they wander into a mist during a DOC pig-culling trip in … Continue reading

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The Manger, the Mikdash and the Mosque by David McGill – 2020

1975, Dan Delaney, now ‘damn near 60’, travels with his devout wife, Jas, and two daughters to ‘… this busy city on a hill in the middle of nowhere, the centre of everywhere’ – Jerusalem.  There he encounters kidnappings, bomb … Continue reading

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Josephine’s Garden by Stephanie Parkyn – 2019

What does it mean to be a woman in a time of revolution, a time of colonial expansion?  Was Rose de Beauharnais an extraordinary woman or a woman in extraordinary times?  She hailed from exotic Martinique, narrowly survived the reign … Continue reading

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The Unreliable People by Rosetta Allan – 2019

Identity is at the heart of this amazing novel, mainly set in post-perestroika Russia and Kazakhstan.  The Koryo-saram are ethnic Koreans, people Stalin termed The Unreliable People, descendants of those who fled to Vladivostok from Korea, who were then deported … Continue reading

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Death of an Agent by David McGill – 2019

We first met Dan Delaney as a young wannabe detective holding the fort on Somes Island in Wellington Harbour in 1935, then again back in Wellington after having been a POW in the Second World War, and then in Auckland … Continue reading

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The Vanishing Act by Jen Shieff – 2018

Art teacher Rosemary Cawley has been exiled to Auckland, New Zealand, due to her upper-class British family not coping with her accidentally-discovered erotic poetry; it is the 1960s – the Vietnam War, toothpick-skewered cheese and gherkins, an almost Victorian-era sex … Continue reading

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Shadows of the Mind by Owen Clough – 2018

Shadows of the mind is the second book in Clough’s Whispers of the past trilogy.  This installment follows the story of Samuel McInnes (Mack), who was bundled away from New Zealand on the HMS Esk while still unconscious after an … Continue reading

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Women in the Field, One and Two by Thomasin Sleigh – 2018

Ruth Bishops is an assistant art keeper toiling in the Fisher Gallery in early 1950s London, shy of relationships after losing her fiancé in the war.  She reluctantly goes to view some paintings by Irina Durova, an aging Russian artist, … Continue reading

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