The Sound of Butterflies by Rachael King

The Sound of Butterflies

It is 1903 when Thomas Edgar says goodbye to his young wife Sophie and embarks on a journey to the Amazon, where he dreams of finding a mythical butterfly that will make both his name and his fortune. His dreams change, however, soon after his arrival in Brazil …

Months later, Thomas arrives home, thin, sick and, worst of all, unable – or unwilling – to speak. Frustrated by his silence, Sophie takes increasingly drastic measures to uncover the truth about what happened to her husband while he was away. But as she sorts through Thomas’s diaries and boxes of exquisite butterflies, it becomes clear that the truth may not be easy to bear.

The Sound of Butterflies fuses Edwardian gentility with obsession, murder and a glimpse of the giddy excess of the Brazilian rubber boom … Told in prose as opulent as one of Thomas’s specimens, it’s a convincing debut’ Observer

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Magpie Hall by Rachael King

Magpie Hall

A gripping and powerful novel from the author of best-selling The Sound of Butterflies.

“There were two rumours surrounding my great-great-grandfather Henry Summers: one, that his cabinet of curiosities drove him mad; and, two, that he murdered his first wife.” Rosemary Summers is an amateur taxidermist and a passionate collector of tattoos. To her, both activities honour the deceased and keep their memory alive. After the death of her beloved grandfather, and while struggling to finish her thesis on gothic Victorian novels, she returns alone to Magpie Hall to claim her inheritance: Grandpa’s own taxidermy collection, started more than 100 years ago by their ancestor Henry Summers. As Rosemary sorts through Henry’s legacy, the ghosts of her family’s past begin to make their presence known.

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The Last Letter by Kirsten McKenzie

The Last Letter

The thrilling sequel to Fifteen Postcards

Disappearing from her antiques shop amid a spray of bullets, Sarah Lester leaves no body, only questions.

Sarah’s friends are left to deal with the aftermath of her disappearance, including questions about the dubious provenance of her antiques which threaten to crush the business she’s brought back from the brink of failure.

Sarah struggles to reunite with her father while continuing the search for her mother, unaware that England’s violent colonial past has followed her to the present, putting herself and those she loves in danger. From the remote shores of New Zealand, through India’s hill-country stations and onto the streets of Victorian London, Sarah must determine whether family bonds are strong enough to reach across the centuries.

The Last Letter is peopled with reticent soldiers, conniving clergymen, fanatical collectors and commission-hungry auctioneers, taking you on a spectacular journey through time.

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Fifteen Postcards by Kirsten McKenzie

Fifteen Postcards

History shapes those who travel through it

Following the unexplained disappearance of her parents, and in a last ditch attempt to save the antique store she has inherited from financial ruin, Sarah Lester takes on a deceased estate. Amongst the estate is a collection of vintage postcards which lead Sarah on a journey through time.

Sarah is unprepared for what these postcards hint at about their reclusive former owner, and soon they complicate her life in unimaginable ways, transporting her to Victorian London, colonial New Zealand and to the British Raj in India. Sarah has to fight her twenty-first century instincts, and a century of emancipation, to survive.

Traversing three continents and two centuries, where tiger hunts and ruby necklaces are irrevocably entwined with murders and mysteries, auction houses and antiquities, Sarah is drawn into the enigma that could solve her parents’ disappearance, and the question of should she stay or should she go, gets harder and harder to answer, the deeper she delves into the past.

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The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

The Luminaries

‘There was this large world of rolling time and shifting spaces, and that small, stilled world of horror and unease – they fit inside each other, a sphere within a sphere.’

It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the West Coast goldfields. On the night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous sum of money has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky.

From the author of the award-winning global phenomenon The Rehearsal comes a breathtaking feat of storytelling where everything is connected, but nothing is as it seems.

‘Every now and then you get to read a novel that elevates you far beyond the bric-a-brac of everyday routine, takes you apart, reassembles you, and leaves you feeling as though you have been on holiday with a genius.’ Paula Green, review of The Luminaries in NZ Herald, 28 July 2013.

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A Sea of Green Unfolding by Lizzi Tremayne

Sea of Green

BOOK THREE IN THE LONG TRAILS SERIES, FOLLOWING THE HILLS OF GOLD UNCHANGING.

In the multiply-awarded A Long Trail Rolling, Lizzi Tremayne told the story of Aleksandra Lekarski, a trapper’s daughter who finds herself alone—and running to prevent her father’s killer from discovering their family secret. The tale continues in The Hills of Gold Unchanging

The third story, A Sea of Green Unfolding,finds Aleksandra and Xavier in California.

1862, Rancho de las Pulgas, San Francisco Bay
Tragedy strikes in Aleksandra and Xavier’s newly-found paradise on their California Rancho. Their friend, von Tempsky, invites them on a journey to adventure and a new life in peaceful New Zealand, but change is in the wind. When they reach Aotearoa, they disembark into a turbulent wilderness—where the land wars between the European settlers and the local Māori have only just begun.

AWARDS FOR THE LONG TRAILS SERIES

This is the third novel in the series of historical romantic suspense sagas following Aleksandra and Xavier from the wilderness of 1860 Utah to Colonial New Zealand.

With Book One, A Long Trail Rolling, Lizzi Tremayne was: Finalist 2013 RWNZ Great Beginnings; Winner 2014 RWNZ Pacific Hearts Award; Winner 2015 RWNZ Koru Award for Best First Novel plus third in Koru Long Novel section; and finalist in the 2015 Best Indie Book Award.

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The Hills of Gold Unchanging by Lizzi Tremayne

Hills of Gold

BOOK TWO IN THE LONG TRAILS SERIES, FOLLOWING THE MULTIPLY-AWARDED A LONG TRAIL ROLLING.

In A Long Trail Rolling, Lizzi Tremayne told the story of Aleksandra Lekarski, a trapper’s daughter who finds herself alone—and running to prevent her father’s killer from discovering their family secret. The tale continues in The Hills of Gold Unchanging.

1860, Utah Territory

No one will stand in their way—and live.

As the Civil War rages, secessionists menace California. Trying to get back home, Aleksandra and Xavier journey through the mining camps of 1860’s Nevada and California, the Sacramento floods and Old San Francisco to Xavier’s Californio Rancho de las Pulgas
Embroiled in the Confederates’ fight to drag the new state from the Union and make it their own, can Aleks and Xavier survive? The secessionists mean business.

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A Long Trail Rolling by Lizzi Tremayne

A long trail rolling

Escaping her father’s killer, Aleksandra rode the Pony Express—full speed into the middle of the Indian Paiute War.

She didn’t expect to become a target…
but she is one now.

Aleksandra is alone and running to prevent her father’s killer from discovering their family secret.  Disguised as a Pony Express rider in 1860’s Utah, she winds up in even deeper trouble when she rides full speed into the the Paiute Indian War. Can she and Xavier, her Californio boss, escape the Indians on the warpath, as well as evade the man who’s already killed Aleksandra’s father—and set his sights on her?

AWARDS FOR THIS DEBUT NOVEL:
Finalist 2013 RWNZ Great Beginnings; Winner 2014 RWNZ Pacific Hearts Award; Winner 2015 RWNZ Koru Award for Best First Novel plus third in Koru Long Novel section; and finalist in the 2015 Best Indie Book Award.

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Southern Gold by Jude Thomas

Southern Gold

A story of colonial New Zealand and the mystery girl who rose from the slums to become a force to be reckoned with.

It is 1858 in boom town Dunedin. Dreamers and vagabonds are pouring into the new colony to seek their fortune in the province’s goldfields. A newborn baby is found abandoned on the road. She finds acceptance in the notorious and close-knit community of Maclaggan Street. But at six years old, the spirited Billie is faced with making her own way in the world of pubs and prostitutes, commerce and chance.

Why is the elegant gentleman so interested in Billie’s sketchy past and future prospects? What does the Irish charmer want with a girl who detests him?

This exciting saga twists and turns through some of New Zealand’s historical events, with staunch pioneer characters strongly evoking Otago’s gold fever days. From muddy city streets to wild-west shootouts, Southern Gold is a story of courage and survival.

And out of adversity, it is a story of enduring love.

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