On the 16th March, Laim McIlvanney and I attended the opening of the above exhibition at the Reed Gallery at the Dunedin Public Library, and the accompanying talk by Victoria University student Margie Michael, currently completing a PhD on New Zealand crime fiction, looking particularly at the use of place, placelessness and beyond.

Michael took us on a journey through time and politics in the company of some of our finest, and lesser known, crime writers.

Afterwards we took a look at the Exhibits;  New Zealand crime books displayed in glass specimen cases, everything from The Mystery of a Hansom Cab first published in 1886 to Twister, published in 2015.

From old-fashioned ‘penny dreadfuls’ through sophisticated ‘whodunnits’ to modern psychological thrillers, the art-work alone is worth a view. Obviously, Dame Ngaio Marsh features and fans of Marsh will recognise the inspiration for the exhibition title.

The gallery have included any writer who was born in New Zealand as well as those who grew up or spent a substantial period of their life here. With a strong emphasis on contemporary writers the Gallery hopes to draw more readers into what they call the fascinating world of crime and detective fiction.

Click here for links to the books on display.