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Book club

13 November 2023
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Great new reads to please even the pickiest of bookworms.

Devil’s Breath
Jill Johnson | Allen & Unwin, $37
Inspired by her Māori heritage and her degree in landscape design, the now UK-based author’s plant-based crime thriller follows reclusive botanist Professor Eustacia Rose, who turns sleuth when her Hampstead Heath neighbour is abducted, and is drawn into a world of intrigue where people are as toxic as the plants she studies. With easily one of the most intriguing and unconventional book characters of recent times, this is a beautifully researched and compelling read.

Normal Women
Philippa Gregory | HarperCollins, $40
From multi-million bestselling historical novelist Philippa Gregory comes what’s being touted as the remarkable culmination of her life’s work, a “landmark work of feminist non-fiction that radically redefines our understanding of the extraordinary roles ordinary women played throughout British history”, from 1066 to modern times. In Normal Women, Gregory draws on an enormous archive of primary and secondary sources to rewrite British history, focusing this time not on queens but everyday women throughout periods of social and cultural transition.

Bookshop Dogs
Ruth Shaw | Allen & Unwin, $39
Dogs of all shapes and sizes visit Ruth Shaw’s “three wee bookshops” in Manapōuri in the far south. Local dogs, holiday house dogs, travelling dogs… Many have great stories, be they funny, sad, strange, bemusing, quirky or sweet. From the bestselling author of The Bookseller at the End of the World comes this charming collection of canine-inspired stories, with German shepherd Hunza – who worked with troubled teens alongside Ruth when she was a youth worker – starring throughout.

His Favourite Graves
Paul Cleave | Upstart Press, $38
From internationally bestselling, multi award-winning Christchurch-based writer Paul Cleave comes his twelfth book, His Favourite Graves. Desperate for reward money – and to rescue his marriage – an embattled small-town sheriff takes incalculable risks to find a missing boy. An edge-of-your-seat, twisted and twisty thriller from New Zealand’s ‘King of Crime’.

Click here to read this story in our digital issue of 03.

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