Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bronwyn Sell to discuss her new book LAW BREAKERS & MISCHIEF MAKERS at Takapuna Library later this month

As part of its series of events helping celebrate New Zealand Book Month in October, the Takapuna Library (which has recently hosted international crime/thriller writing luminaries such as Linwood Barclay, Tom Rob Smith, and Gregg Hurwitz), is holding an event with local writer Bronwyn Sell.

Sell, now based on Auckland's North Shore, is an award-winning journalist turned freelance writer. Her latest book, released this month by Allen & Unwin, is LAW BREAKERS & MISCHIEF MAKERS: 50 NOTORIOUS NEW ZEALANDERS, which provides details of some real-life 'characters' from the last 200 years of Europeans exploring and then settling in these lands.

As you can imagine, many of the stories relate to true crime, from murder to mischief, but none of it mundane. The book is full of highwaymen, charlatans, crooked politicians, swindlers, and love rats - proving that although New Zealand was something of a settler's utopia, there was still an 'underbelly' populated with rogues and renegades.

Examples include: Charlotte Badger, a pistol-wielding English thief who launched a mutiny on a Tasmanian convict ship in 1806 and sailed over to hide amongst the Maori in the Bay of Islands (north of Auckland); Amy Bock, a conwoman who masqueraded as a man to marry the daughter of her wealthy landlady in 1909; Baron Charles de Thierry, the French colonist who believed he was the sovereign chief of New Zealand; and the Burgess gang, who committed the infamous 'Maungatapu Murders' near Nelson.

Sell is the former editor of New Zealand News UK, and has worked for the New Zealand Herald, On Holiday, and New Zealand House and Garden. The event at the library is open to the public (details below).


Where: Takapuna Library, North Shore
When: 12pm, Thursday 22 October 2009

Price: $5 for the general public, $2 for Friends of the Library. Drinks and nibbles will be provided.

The event is thanks to Allen & Unwin Book Publishers and the Takapuna Library, in association with The Book Lover bookstore.

Please RSVP to Helen Woodhouse at
HelenW@ShoreLibraries.govt.nz or ph 09 486 8469.

I have been to several of the recent events at the Takapuna Library, and I can see why publishers, bookstores and authors continue to hold their events there - they are very well run, and get solid crowds. I will certainly be attending, and I encourage any of you in the area to do so as well.

Thoughts? Comments? Do you enjoy 'anthology'-style books such as this, exploring history with some crime and thrills? Would this kind of book interest you? What do you think of NZ Book Month? Are you (local readers) going to any/many events?

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