Friday, July 18, 2008


More unsolved missing persons cases in New Zealand
Scott Bainbridge - Penguin - $37

I found myself feeling a little guilty at the way in which I became totally engrossed in this chunky and compelling title. I thought to myself I'll just read the author's introduction and the first case to get a feel for the book. Yeah right. Three lengthy sessions later and I had read all sixteen cases.

There is something especially unsettling reading about people who have disappeared in mysterious circumstances and yet I couldn't stop reading.One can't imagine what it must be like to have loved ones simply vanish without trace.

This is Bainbridge's second title on the same subject, his first being Without Trace , (Reed, 2005) with the major difference being that in the first book the cases were all very well known, probably the most infamous in NZ's history whereas in this title, with the exception of Mona Blades and Iraena Asher, these cases are not generally klnown or remembered.

After publication of Without Trace the author received numerous communications from people with information about the stories he had covered. Details of some of these are covered in the Epilogue to this new title. I'm sure, and I certainly hope, that following publication of Still Missing (4 August), the same thing will happen again.

Teach Yourself Etiquette and Modern Manners
Edward Cyster & Francesca Young
Hodder Education - $25.99

The essential guide on how to behave in a vast array of situations providing a clear path through every social and professional minefield. Chapters headings include mobile phone etiquette, ( a young woman at a cafe I was at earlier toiday should have read this one!), work etiquette, public speaking, special occasions, dining etiquette and much more. It even includes a heterosexual's guide to homosexuality. Invaluable, give one to the kids as they leave home!

The myth & reality of traditional Maori cannabalism
Paul Moon - Penguin - $40

Not published until 4 August but this book has already attracted a lot of attention which I guess given the subject is not surprising. The author, Professor of History at the Faculty of Maori Development at the Auckland University of Technology, already has a number of highly rated titles on Maori subjects to his credit and in this latest work he provides a study of this subject from its Polynesian origins through to its concluding phase in the early 19th century. It is a detailed and impressive piece of scholarship, is surprisingly readable, has extensive endnotes, a 22 page bibliography and a thorough index.

Martin Hawes - Longacre Press - $29.99
Hawes is NZ's best-selling financial author and this is a new and completely revised edition (the 6th) of his best-selling title which tells you all about family trusts - what they are, how they work, how you set one up, and how you fortify it against attack. In essence a family trust offers you the benefits, use and control of your assets and doesn't penalise you for owning them. This bookbook brings together everything you need to know on the subject with real-life examples and answers to all the commonly asked questions.

OFF THE TRACK - More Tales from the New Zealand Bush
Big Al Lester - Raupo - $37

South Islander Lester has always been a hunting & fishing man and this his fourth book is full of yarns of experiences with his larrikin mates. Good Fathers Day gift for the man who has a sense of humour, (think Barry Crump), and likes a good read about the inevitable trials and tribulations of being out in the wilds with a gun or fishing rod. Complimented by colour phtos and line drawings.

THE BOLTER - Idina Sackville - the woman who scandalised 1920s society

Frances Osborne - Virago -$37.99

The true story of the author's great-grandmother who shocked a generation and was Nancy Mitford's inspiration for the charcater The Bolter. She was divorced a total of five times and was renoned for her powers as a seductress she was painted by William Orpen and photograp[hed by Cecil Beaton. dazzlking portarit of 1920s British high society. Includes her marriage chart (!) and black & white photos.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm a former police detective in the US who blogs at about missing persons and unidentified found bodies. I will have to grab a copy of Missing Persons, even though I don't know a lot about NZ's legal system. You are right about how many people vanish each year and are never heard from again. For the families there is no greater heartbreak than to never know what happened to them. Thanks for the recommendation.

Carole Moore