Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Reviewed by Rob Poole

Despite the effect of texting and the wide-spread acceptance that the ‘younger’ generation are out of touch with the ability to express themselves well on paper, Kiwis continue to be one of the most published peoples in the world and Mangawhai numbers several authors in a variety of categories.

One of the most recent releases is a novel by Roy Vaughan. One would think after 20 years as a journalist for a major newspaper enough was enough, but a break reignited the creative juices leading the production of the novel entitled The Mereleigh Record Club tour of New Zealand.

In a plot where life imitates art, ex-pat Vaughan brings to life a group who, as teens from the Home Countries, were members of the Marlow record club in the 60s immersed in Buddy Holly, Cliff Richard and the emerging Mersey sound from which came the Beatles.

Fragmented by life, love, children then grandchildren, divorces and business dealings both legal and illegal, the group gather, 35 years on, for a reunion trip to New Zealand where one of their number now resides.

Our author owns his own travel company in Auckland so the itinerary of our intrepid travellers includes all the usual tourist spots plus, of course, Mangawhai. However, it soon moves from being just a fun trip as an element of rivalry and intrigue creeps in and an undercurrent of international deceit pervades. This quickly turns into a police sting operation where neither reader nor characters quite know the goodies from the baddies but where unsung heroes gradually rise to the occasion.

The Mereleigh Record Club tour of New Zealand is an easy read, rarely stodgy, and one to which readers in the mid 50-plus age group will easily relate, and while it appears to come to a somewhat dramatic yet satisfying end, is that really the case?

This book is the first of a trilogy so while readers may finish this issue with a satisfied sigh, our cast are set for more adventures as they expand their horizons through travel to other parts of the world where, again, all is not plain sailing.

Some good night time entertainment here.

At your local bookstore.

- Rob Pooley


This review was first published in the Mangawhai Focus newspaper earlier this year, and is reprinted here with kind permission.


Do you like the sound of THE MERELEIGH RECORD CLUB TOUR OF NEW ZEALAND? Of crime fiction with some 'older' protagonists? Of mystery fiction incorporated with travel? Or music? Thoughts and comments welcome.

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like a great book to me. I'll have to get hold of a copy. I like idea of a mystery with a strong travel element. I can't say I've ever really been too concerned about the age of protagonists in books. Good characters always appeal regardless of age.