Currently the Ngaio Marsh Award judges are considering New Zealand-written crime novels released last year for two awards: the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel and the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best First Novel (the latter being a new category this year).
This week Whanganui artist and poet Christodoulos Moisa, one of the debutant crime writers in this year's Best First Novel category (for THE HOUR OF THE GREY WOLF), has released his sophomore crime tale, OVERCAST SUNDAY. It sounds like an intriguing story - a murder mystery set in post-war Wellington, delving into issues of immigrant life and the effects of that global conflict. Here's some more information from the author and publisher.
Overcast Sunday is set in April 1950 in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. It describes events that occur over a twenty-four-hour period after a young woman is discovered murdered in an inner city alley outside the Greek Club. The police, already having a similar unsolved murder on their books are keen to make quick progress and apprehend the killer to avoid panic.
The prime suspect is Jimmy, a veteran of Abyssinia, Dunkirk, Greece, and Crete, who works as a chef in a local hotel. He is also a champion ballroom dancer and has a reputation as a ladies man. Jimmy's friend Hari, who is also a veteran of some of the same battlefields, is also implicated. Hari has been trying hard to find some semblance of balance to give meaning to his life in his new homeland. He is working at a tailor's to put himself through university, simultaneously trying to cope with the demons bequeathed to him by the war.
With the murder, tensions arrive in the Greek community, who value their special immigrant status in the city. The novel explores the lives of an immigrant community in Wellington after the Second World War, and through it, society as a whole. It explores a clash of mores as outer and inner communities try to adjust to a violent near past and a prospering post-war economy.
If that sounds like something you're interested in, you can get the book here.