The Spinoff's summer reading list of local crime books


'Crime fiction dominated the most-borrowed or circulated books in 2023, according to information provided by a sample of Aotearoa libraries (thanks to Far Northland District Council, Auckland Council, Wellington City Council, Waipa District Council, Marlborough District Council and Christchurch City Council)

In the spirit of Auckland Council Libraries’ epic local books success, we offer a compilation of Aotearoa’s own crime and thrillers to gift wrap or for that well-deserved gift-to-self pile.

Downfall: The destruction of Charles Mackay by Paul Diamond (Massey University Press)

The 1920 attempted murder of young gay poet D’Arcy Cresswell by the then Mayor of Whanganui, Charles Mackay, is an extraordinary story and Paul Diamond’s meticulous unravelling of why it happened, and the aftermath, is exceptional work.

The Crewe Murders: Inside New Zealand’s most infamous cold case by Kirsty Johnston & James Hollings (Massey University Press)

On 17 June 1970 David and Jeannette Crewe were shot dead in their home in Pukekawa. With the killers still not discovered after two trials, two appeals, and a royal commission that found police corruption, it is impossible for this story not to have you pinned to the deck chair. Johnston and Hollings have done a huge amount of work. This book is a must-read and we suspect we’ll see it on the Ngaio Marsh Awards nonfiction list next year.'

Read the entire list here.