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Intriguing New Zealand Mystery Novel October 2022

Tranquil Bay
by J P Ganley

Emily, eight months pregnant, and her partner Cam return to Tranquil Bay, a small seaside town in New Zealand, to attend her dad’s 60th birthday bash. She hasn’t been back home since the tragic death of her younger sister Sarah ten years earlier.

The town and old friends she’s lost touch with have moved ahead, but her parents seem to be stuck in a time warp. Emily is shocked to see Sarah’s bedroom like a shrine; it’s obvious her parents haven’t dealt with their grief – but why not, after so long?

What’s more shocking is that Lou, Sarah’s best friend, tells Emily she doesn’t think her death was an accident. At the time, the police concluded it was. But what if someone had wanted to harm her sister? Who? And why?

Coming home turns out to be less than a relaxing holiday and more an excavation of the past. The deeper Emily looks, the more she realises something isn’t right.

About the author

J P Ganley lives in a quiet town on the west coast of New Zealand where she enjoys reading, writing, art therapy, cooking nutritious food, spending time with family and generally taking good care of herself. She has a BA in psychology and a Diploma in Advanced Applied Writing.

Stunning in Every Detail, This Book will be Another Top Seller

Passion – Living, feasting and writing deep in the Marlborough Sounds
by Marion Day

Marion’s inspiration often comes from the natural elements surrounding her, and it is that which led to this book being written. It is presented in seven parts: From the Past, From the Land, the Sea, the Sky, the Mountains, the Garden and finally, the Heart – a union of ‘living, feasting and writing’.

Marion is a talented amateur photographer, and the majority of the photos are her own. The book presents beautiful land and seascapes, with their moods, along with images that portray her way of living, with family and community. Intermingled with the main narrative and photography are wonderful anecdotes, short stories and poems, and titbits captured in diary entries, along with a selection of scrumptious recipes – Marion’s favourites – using local natural ingredients caught, or grown, on her doorstep.

Throughout, the back-to-nature concept involves a simpler, more relaxed life lacking normal everyday communication with the outside world. The book aims to share her story with all New Zealanders and visitors so they too can enjoy life in a small, isolated community. We hope it may become part of the area’s history and also showcase the broader culture of our country. A Kiwi treasure.

I was very lucky to have a sneak peek at Marion Day’s latest project. Marion has independently published several children's, young adults and adult titles. This latest book “Passion”, again independently published by AM Publishing New Zealand, is stunning in every detail. The topic is her lifestyle, as of now, in the Marlborough Sounds. It contains recipes using local produce from the sea and land, and her day-to-day life in the Sounds. Marion has the knack of reaching her target audience with uplifting text and magnificent photos and detail. This is another example of her attention to detail, and I expect this coffee table publication will be another top seller for her. As always, I'm happy to sell it; it’s another good one.

Jenny Johnston, owner and manager, Paper Plus Opotiki.


This magnificent production is a very special book, totally different to any other on the market. It can be purchased now from Marion’s website ( and is available from all good bookshops. This will be a top seller, so get in early. It contains 375 photographs, 52 recipes, diary entries, anecdotes and 20 short stories and poems. An ideal present for Christmas, or as a gift for yourself, this book really comes alive in your hands. It’s hard to put down. A book to treasure for many years to come, and I doubt there will ever be another quite like it.

About the author

Marion lives in an isolated settlement in the Marlborough Sounds. She has written 13 full-length books and many short stories and poems. Her work includes young teen novels (mainly in the hunting/fishing genre, to assist boys in developing their reading skills), short stories for children, and a series of children’s picture books based on NZ flora and fauna. AM Publishing New Zealand has published six of Marion’s books, as well as editing for her.

Marion has also had short stories published and won numerous prizes and awards for her work, including being shortlisted in the 2011 Storylines Joy Cowley Text Awards, and winning the National Rural Women New Zealand and Ministry for Primary Industries International Year of Family Farming Photo and Short Story Competition in 2015. Her two bestseller biographies, Injun Joe and Blood Brothers, both about helicopter-based deer hunters, achieved top-10 status and sold several thousand copies each.

Passion by Marion Day
Passion by Marion Day

ISBN: 978-0-473-47152-1
Publisher AM Publishing New Zealand
Publication Date: October 2019
Format: NZ photo essay book, hardcover, 320 pages, 375 photos, 205 x 260 x 25 mm

Book Preview PDF

Vicky Adin’s latest book, a dual-timeline sequel continuing the family sagas of Brigid and Gwenna, is now available from her website (

The costumier’s gift
by Vicky Adin

1903 - Jane is the talented principal costumier at Auckland’s Opera House in its Edwardian heyday. She thrives in this place where she can hide from her pain and keep her skeletons to herself - until the past comes back to haunt her. Brigid, her beloved foster mother, and her best friend Gwenna are anchors in her solitary yet rewarding life. As the decades go by, the burden of carrying secrets becomes too great, and Jane must pass on the hidden truths.

Today – Katie seeks refuge from her crumbling personal life with her grandmother, who lives in past with the people in her cherished photographs. All too soon, Katie learns she must identify the people behind the gentle smiles - including the Edwardian woman to whom she bears a remarkable resemblance - and reveal generations of secrets before she can claim her inheritance. She meets the intriguing Jared, who stirs her interest, but she’s not ready for any sort of romance, so is shocked when she learns that he holds the key to discovering the truth.

Although this is a follow-up to two earlier books, you can read it as a stand-alone. The story is rich in strong women and the determination mixed with love that helps them through the hardest times. Living 100 years apart, Jane and Katie face their own challenges, but their stories twine together in a captivating tale. A must-read for anyone who loves historical fiction, or who is interested in how the past affects today.

Goodreads reader, 5 out of 5 stars. In the footsteps of the past. July 7, 2019.

Vicky Adin has once again shown her mastery of the historical fiction genre. She draws the reader into the world of theatrical costumes and life backstage, full of glamour, glitz and greasepaint. The book is a layered experience, weaving present-day Katie’s dilemma with that of her ancestor, the wonderful Jane. There is also the drawing together of threads woven in past books that make this such a rich and entertaining read.

Jenny Harrison, New Zealand author.
Vicky Adin - TheCostumier's Gift

ISBN 978-0-473-47726-4
To purchase the book email

New Book Hailed as a Must for Anyone with a Brain Injury

Seeing through a cloud - A long journey back to living after a brain injury
by Paul Ogilvie-Lee

After a successful Auckland launch, and an inspiring interview with Paul by Leighton Smith on Newstalk ZB on Friday 13 July, this book is set to become one of New Zealand's best on the effects of a brain injury and how one man, a doctor who was about to become a neurosurgeon himself, has overcome them to win back his life.

View a video file of the interview, with still pictures

The book can be purchased at the following stores, or ask at your local bookshop:

You can also ask your library to order it in.

Full details in the posting below.

Paul was a doctor about to specialise in neurosurgery and would undoubtedly have become one of New Zealand's top neurosurgeons, when he was knocked down by a car in Melbourne in 1994 and his life completely changed in seconds. Within 48 hours, hospital staff said he was not likely to survive, due to the severity of the injury.

In his book Seeing Through A Cloud, Paul tells the inspiring story of how he coped with all the changes and challenges he faced on his long journey of recovery following a severe brain injury. The doctors had little hope, but with the strength of his family, Paul worked on his physical recovery and regaining his memory and, eventually, his life. He tells us of the strategies he used to help his memory in everyday circumstances. As a thirty-year-old qualified doctor, Paul has had to go from total incontinence, without any memory of his past or present life, back to a thinking, feeling adult. It has been a very long journey.

The aim of the book is to help others in similar situations, to get their lives back and succeed in living, as Paul has done. Of course, we can all use these strategies to help our memory, but they are especially useful for anyone who has undergone trauma such as Paul suffered.

I recall the lakes and puddles of white which seemed to almost overwhelm the grey. I wondered how Paul survived at all. I wondered how he would recover - which bits of that intelligent, caring and funny man would come back. Now we know. After more than 20 years, Paul has written his story of recovery and it is remarkable and inspiring. That he has written a book at all is extraordinary, but it is a very good and important book. Had he become a Professor of Neurosurgery, giving lectures on major brain injuries and teaching generations of medical students, we would have learnt less about major brain injuries than we can learn from his story of recovery.

Dr Mike Ardagh, ONZM, PhD, MBChB, DCH, FACEM, Professor of Emergency Medicine, University of Otago Christchurch. Emergency Medicine Physician Canterbury District Health Board.

At med school, Paul was certainly one of the more socially active classmates. He loved to party and play up. A few friends spent the occasional afternoon bunking class and going to his parents' home… to swim or watch videos. He loved his cars, and loved his driving too. He would think nothing of taking his Alfa GTV for a quick drive down the three- or four-kilometre stretch of the Christchurch motorway. Fast-forward to 1994, and Paul's life changed. After his accident, he spent weeks on a ventilator and many months in rehabilitation in Melbourne. His recovery, while not complete, has been remarkable to witness.

Murray Beagley, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon MBChB, FRACS(Plast.), Dip Hand Surg (Euro).

Having shown great fortitude and stubbornness through the last 24 years, Paul is now able to live a near-normal life with great support from his wife and family. He no longer has the career he loved, but he spends much of his time now helping others in a similar position, and even coaching basketball and speaking at events. He has lost his old life but gained a new one, and his great hope is that his book will encourage others to keep trying and never give up. His book is being circulated around the many groups and associations devoted to helping and looking after those who have sustained a brain injury, such as Headway: Brain Injury and OPTIONZ Brain Rehabilitation & Recovery Trust, and to help them fund-raise. Ninety New Zealanders sustain a brain injury every day! It is a huge issue for our country and Paul hopes the book will be a great support to many of those people.

Seeing Through a Cloud

ISBN 978-0-9951000-9-1

A Piece of My Heart - Surviving the death of a son or daughter

Stories from a Bereaved Parents Support Group

A book launch was held on 5 October at The Booklover bookshop in Milford for this sorely needed collection of thoughts, memories and feelings people have when they are grieving. It has been written by seven parents, for whom the worst has happened - a beloved child has died - although it applies to any person who has lost someone. These parents were able to normalise their experiences and find friendship, understanding and hope in a bereavement support group. In writing down their journeys, they hope other grieving parents will realise that they are not alone, that they are not 'going mad' and that they can learn to 'live again'.

There are no pat answers or experts' theories here. These ordinary women have written a book that is different: it is raw, it is honest. They write about the daily struggle to rebuild shattered lives and mend broken hearts. Join them as they describe how they coped with the loss and grief which changed their lives and their families forever, and learned to live with their loss and, in time, to celebrate life again.

It is not in the true nature of things that we should outlive our children. When the unbelievable happens - the loss of a child, or a sibling - the grief can be overwhelming for the whole family. This book traces the courage of a group of parents who lost a child and how they coped in various ways with their changed world. It is an uplifting account of how people survive the unexpectedness of the death of a child. Each writer met their agony bravely, and their stories are written with poignancy and love.

Rae McGregor, New Zealand author

In this sorely needed book, bereaved parents bravely give voice to their own stories of loss and grief… An invaluable source of support for bereaved parents, it is also a unique resource that I hope will engender much greater understanding of the worlds of bereaved parents by professionals and within our wider communities.

Margaret Nelson Agee, ONZM, PhD, Member of the International Work Group on Death, Dying and Bereavement
A Piece of My Heart

ISBN 978-0-9941305-6-3
For information and to order copies of this book please visit