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Author of the Month for October is Attica Locke. In Bluebird, Bluebird she again delivers a deep novel full of emotion. Her prose stands above many other writers, a true master of her craft.

Fresh Blood has hoped across the water from Australia to New Zealand in October. Having read only a few writers from that part of the world it is great to find hot new talent coming out to other parts of the world. I am slightly over anything Scandinavian, so maybe we should all be reading more Australian/New Zealand crime where it is ‘slightly’ warmer!

Red Herring by Jonothan Culinane was a book I discovered as a honoured judge for the Ngaio Marsh Awards for New Zealand Crime Fiction. The winners of the Best Crime and Best Debut Novels will be announced later this month. Red Herring was one of those novels that really stood out for me and so asked Craig Sisterson who coordinates the awards if I could have Jonothan as my Fresh Blood which he whole-heartedly agreed to as part of the Ngaio Marsh Blog Tour. I do not know who has won either of these awards, but whether Cullinane has won or not, Red Herring is definitely one to check out.

We have a bumper number of fantastic Reviews coming this month.

Classic Crime continues the New Zealand flavour with the best know crime writer to come out of N.Z… Ngaio Marsh to celebrate the re-issue of The Nursing Home Murder the third Alleyn’s novel. Marsh was one of my favourites growing up as a teen. As with many other readers, I went on from Christie to Marsh. I loved Marsh’s talent for serving up the most bizarre scenarios, murders and characters. Every book of hers I read singed off the page… and I am still enjoying her books today as I re-read them. Alleyn was always the calm eye of the storm as everything around him became chaos. He really was the most wonderful foil for Marsh’s theatrical plots. Harper Collins now celebrate her third book with a gorgeous re-issue. In case you didn’t know, fellow New Zealander, Stella Duffy has been commissioned to write an Alleyn book from Marsh’s discarded notes. It will be intriguing to see the results of that labour in 2018.

The news has majorly covered the terrible Battle of Passchendaele. As we commemorate those who lost their lives in those muddy and hellish fields in France, William Brodrick has written a sensitive and eye-opening piece about how reading about this terrible time led him to write his Gold Dagger winning novel, A Whispered Name. If you haven’t read this book, reading it now would make it even more poignant as we remember those brave and young men who gave their lives for their country. Events

The Penguin microsite features Fiona Neill and her gripping family drama, The Betrayals. This book which has just be published has been added to the Richard and Judy Book Club Pick 2017.

‘None of them would forget that week on the wild Norfolk coast. Best friends Rosie and Lisa's families had always been inseparable. But that summer, Lisa had an affair with Rosie's husband Nick. And now, after years of silence, she sends Rosie a letter begging for help. A letter which exposes dark secrets. Daughter Daisy's fragile hold on reality begins to unravel. Teenage son Max blames himself for everything that happened that long hot summer. And Nick must confront his own version of events. There are four sides to this story. Who will you believe?’

Penguin Microsite

Top Ten will next feature Christmas crime books for the proverbial stocking. However, I am not that mean and won’t be putting it on until November. Even I am not ready yet for all things Christmas!

To check out all our past reviews use the Review Archive. Search under author surname and author Christian name if you can’t recall the surname. And for good measure you can also search under the title of the book. Simply click on the box at the top of the page and then click on to the letter of the author/title you would like to find. As you will see, we have reviewed a huge amount of books during's twelve years. Have a wander round our archives and I hope you will find something you might have missed first time around!

If you have any comments or have a particular author you would like to see highlighted on this website please e-mail me at

Chris Simmons
Online Editor.