This Whitcoulls is the only bookstore in that mall. Along with magazines, cards, stationery, and non-fiction books, the medium-sized Whitcoulls in the has one decent-sized wall of fiction - divided into an "A to Z", "New" and "Whitcoulls Top 100". It also has a few small aisles of bookshelves, for categories such as "NZ fiction", "NZ non-fiction and biography", "Science Fiction & Fantasy", "Business" and others. There is no specific crime/thriller fiction like in their flagship Queen Street store, but a big percentage of the "New" and "A to Z" books are crime/thriller fiction. The store seems fairly well stocked, given its medium size, for that genre.
However, here are my findings in relation to NZ crime/mystery/thriller fiction:
- There were a couple of copies of recent New Zealand crime title, Alix Bosco's CUT & RUN, on the top eye-level shelf of the 'New Zealand fiction' section (front-facing) (GOOD/GREAT);
- There were a couple of copies of Dorothy Fowler's WHAT REMAINS BEHIND in the New Zealand fiction section, with a nice front facing (GOOD/GREAT);
- There were a few copies of Lindy Kelly's #1 NZ Adult Fiction bestseller BOLD BLOOD, spine-facing in the A-Z section (GOOD);
- There was one copy of Vanda Symon's 2nd book, THE RINGMASTER, spine-facing in the A to Z section (OKAY/GOOD);
- There was one copy of Andrea Jutson's debut SENSELESS, spine-facing in the A to Z section (OKAY/GOOD); and
- There were no copies of any Joan Druett, Paul Cleave, Neil Cross, Paddy Richardson or Michael Green title (all of whom have released at least one crime/thriller title in the past year or two) (POOR).
Still, it would have been nice to see some other Kiwi crime/thriller authors in stock, or more copies/titles from, and/or better highlighting of, some of the authors they did have (Jutson and Symon). Especially as the store had a lot of older titles from many international crime/thriller authors.
So, overall, I give Whitcoulls Dowtown (Auckland) 2.75 out of 5. Better than the other Auckland Whitcoulls stores thusfar, but could do more. Thoughts? Comments? Am I being fair? Or am I expecting too much from NZ bookstores, especially large chain stores?