Books in Print

independent Australian bookselling since 1988

22 Jul 2015

BiP eNews

This week we are highlighting three wonderful new picture books. We hope you enjoy them.

Recommended for 5+

Trace Balla
March 2015 | Allen & Unwin | $24.99hb

“It’s like the world has stopped…even the birds are quiet…I listen…nothing…just breathing…”

If it wasn’t for the enthusiastic (see below) David Suzuki quote on the cover, or the animated conversation (prompted by Trace Balla’s lovely drawings) that Sue and Kristy were having about the joys of river holidays at the back counter one afternoon, I’m not sure I’d have noticed this book. What a shame, for this picture book is very special indeed.

Clancy isn’t looking forward to the canoeing trip that his Uncle Egg, a bird enthusiast with a deep love of nature, has organised. But the trip opens up a whole new world for 10-year-old Clancy and, in turn, to us as readers. They meet the locals while faffing around on the river, see the stars in crystal clear night skies and even spy – how cool! - a wallaby swimming. Shortlisted by the CBC in the Picture Book of The Year category for 2015, this treasure of a story book, complete with thoughtful, detailed drawings, is a celebration of our unique Australian river systems, specifically The Glenelg. I sincerely hope this book wins as its environmental message is presented in an affirming and delightful way. Timely, gently funny and very beautiful.

“All children need an Uncle Egg to open up the magical world of nature. We all need to get outside, away from the television, computers and mobile phones…a delightful story about the joys of the outdoors.” David Suzuki

Recommended for 4+

Miss Hazeltine’s Home for Shy and Fearful Cats
Alicia Potter and Birgitta Sif
July 2015 | Walker Books | $24.95hb

A tale with many tails, perfect for animal lovers of every hue! Full of scaredy cats, some terrified of mice, others frightened of birds; cats who can't pounce, cats who won't purr. Miss Hazeltine takes them all into her Home for Shy and Fearful Cats and teaches them everything she knows: 'Bird Basics', 'How Not to Fear the Broom' and how to "Hold your tails high! Arch your backs! Think good thoughts!". But under the bed hides nervous little Crumb...Will Miss Hazeltine be able to help the most shy and fearful kitty of them all? Stunningly illustrated by Birgitta Sif, this is a story about conquering your fears, being brave and finding your moment to shine.

8 Jul 2015

Harper Lee's long-awaited first novel

Go Set a Watchman
Harper Lee
14 July 2015 | William Heinemann | $45.00 HB     BiP price $32.95

Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was Harper Lee's debut novel which was never published and was assumed to have been lost. Lee's publishers were completely captivated by Scout and her childhood and asked Lee to focus on that part of the story. Thus To Kill a Mockingbird was written.

Go Set a Watchman is set during the mid-1950s and features many of the characters from To Kill A Mockingbird some twenty years later. Scout (Jean Louise Finch) has returned to Maycomb from New York to visit her father Atticus. She is forced to grapple with issues both personal and political as she tries to understand both her father's attitude toward society, and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood.

3 Jul 2015

BiP eNews

Crime and Mystery fiction is as popular as ever. We have listed below some of the best novels we have read recently, with locations which range from Italy, Japan, Mexico, Melbourne, and even, most unlikely of all, Wilmslow in England. We hope you find something to enjoy. If you would like more information about crime fiction, please drop in and talk to Deborah or Leonie.

BiP staff review by Leonie

The Dying Season
Martin Walker
July 2015 | Quercus | $29.99pb

In the eighth book in the Bruno, Chief of Police series, Bruno is thrilled to be invited to the ninetieth birthday celebration for his childhood hero ‘The Patriarch’, local war hero, ace pilot and astute businessman. The following day Bruno is called back to the chateau where one of the guests, a close family friend, has been found dead. At first it appears that the man has died of natural causes, but Bruno is not convinced, especially when the family cover up all traces of the tragedy and arrange for a speedy cremation. His day gets even busier after a fatal car crash is caused by local deer on the road. Secrets, lies, politics and a little bit of modern Russian history are interspersed with Martin Walker’s usual mix of French country life, delicious food and wine. What more could you want on a cold winter’s day?

BiP staff review by Leonie

The Ends of the Earth (3)
Robert Goddard
July 2015 | Bantam | $32.99pb

At last, part three of The Wide World Trilogy has arrived. When James Maxted was last seen he was about to be executed by one of spymaster Fritz Lemmer’s men. At the beginning of The Ends of the Earth Max’s friends are heading for Japan to track down his father’s killers, unaware of Max’s fate. They also intended to crack the German-Japanese spy network which had infiltrated the western security services. Japan in 1919 was a very different place from the Europe they knew. Who could be trusted? Long-kept secrets are at the heart of the trilogy and their revelation brings it to a satisfying conclusion. I really enjoyed all three books; Robert Goddard is a great storyteller. 

Fall of Man in Wilmslow: The Death and Life of Alan Turing
David Lagercrantz
May 2015 | Maclehose | $29.99pb

Leonard Corell, a detective sergeant in the sleepy town of Wilmslow, is disillusioned with his lot. Tasked with investigating the suicide of a local recluse, Alan Turing, Corell is torn between admiration for the dead man's genius and disgust for his sexuality. In the face of opposition from his superiors, Corell continues to investigate the open-and-shut case, stumbling across forbidden knowledge about the marvels of Bletchley Park, and the horrors of its hero's downfall. As this succession of remarkable discoveries drives Corell to examine his own prejudice, he is rocked by two startling developments. His much-loved Aunt Vicky is exposed as a lesbian, and his increasingly hostile bosses are demanding he investigate rumours of homosexual activity in Wilmslow. To make matters worse, it seems Corell's questions might be answered sooner than he imagined. His curiosity takes him far out of his depth and he soon realizes he has much to learn about the dangers of forbidden knowledge.

David Lagercrantz was engaged by the estate of Stieg Larsson to continue the Millennium series. The Girl in the Spider’s Web will be published on 28th August 2015.

The Cartel
Don Winslow
July 2015 | William Heinemann | $32.99pb

The Cartel is a gripping true-to-life epic of power, corruption, revenge and justice from the internationally best-selling author of the acclaimed novel The Power of the Dog.  It is now 2004 and DEA agent Art Keller has been fighting the war on drugs for thirty years in a blood feud against Adan Barrera, the head of El Federacion, the world's most powerful cartel, and the man who brutally murdered Keller's partner. Finally putting Barrera away costs Keller dearly - the woman he loves, the beliefs he cherishes, and the life he wants to lead. Then Barrera gets out of jail, determined to rebuild the empire that Keller shattered. Unwilling to live in a world with Barrera in it, Keller goes on a ten-year odyssey to take him down. His obsession with justice becomes a ruthless struggle that stretches from the cities, mountains and deserts of Mexico, to Washington's corridors of power, to the streets of Berlin and Barcelona. Keller fights his personal battle against the devastated backdrop of Mexico's drug war, a conflict of unprecedented scale and viciousness, as cartels vie for power and he comes to the final reckoning with Barrera that he always knew must happen. The Cartel is true-to-life story of power, corruption, revenge, honour and sacrifice, as one man tries to face down the devil without losing his soul. It is the story of the war on drugs and the men and women who wage it.

The Unbroken Line
Alex Hammond
June 2015 | Michael Joseph | $32.99pb

The violence of the past casts a long shadow – a dark legacy with lethal consequences. When defence lawyer Will Harris is attacked by masked men with a clear message to back off, he has no choice but to listen. If only he knew what they were talking about. Under siege as his fledgling law firm struggles to get off the ground, Will agrees to defend the troubled son of a family friend. But the case is far from clear-cut and the ethical boundaries are murky. Instead of clawing his way out of trouble, Will finds he's sinking ever deeper. At the same time, his search for his attackers unearths an unexpected source that points him towards Melbourne's corridors of power. But motives, let alone proofs, are hard to find. It is only when those close to him are threatened that Will realises how near he is to the deadly truth. Gripping, sophisticated and strikingly atmospheric, The Unbroken Line creates a remarkable portrait of power, revenge and corruption, rooted in a vivid and unmistakably Australian setting.

The Unbroken Line is the sequel to Alex Hammond’s debut novel Blood Witness.

BiP staff review by Leonie
The Slaughter Man
Tony Parsons
June 2015 | Century | $32.99pb

After a cracker of a debut in The Murder Bag Max Wolfe is back in the gritty sequel The Slaughter Man. Still living alone with his gorgeous little daughter Scout, Max is doing his best to juggle a good home life for her with the demands of his job. The murder team is called out on New Year’s Day to the particularly brutal murder of four members of a wealthy family near Highgate Cemetery in London. Not only do the team members have to hunt for the murderer, but they must also search for missing four-year-old Bradley, who was not with the rest of the family. The similarity of these killings with a case from many years before gives a definite lead to the killer. There are ruthless and desperate men involved both with the murders and the missing boy. Many of the team are badly injured during the pursuit, and Max nearly dies, with only his love for Scout giving him the will to survive. The Slaughter Man is gripping British crime fiction at its best. You will not want to put it down.

2 Jul 2015

Top Ten Crime and Mystery

Our current Top Ten Crime and Mystery books

1. Girl on the Train
    – Paula Hawkins $32.99pb

2. Falling in Love
    – Donna Leon $29.99pb

3. I Am Pilgrim
    – Terry Hayes $19.99pb

4. The Lady from Zagreb
    – Philip Kerr $26.99pb

5. Certain Admissions: A Beach, a Body and a Lifetime of Secrets
    – Gideon Haigh $32.99pb

6. Memory Man
    – David Baldacci $29.99pb

7. Murder Bag
    – Tony Parsons $19.99pb

8. Disclaimer
    – Renee Knight $32.99pb

9. Slaughter Man
    – Tony Parsons $32.99pb

10. The Lost Swimmer
    – Ann Turner $29.99pb