Bestsellers

These are the Pulp Fiction bestsellers for the year 2019. Individual months’ bestsellers may be found on the Catalogues page.

Our annual bestseller lists may not look like any other bookshop’s. With us – it’s not just new releases. When we love books – we recommend them to our customers. And we’ll keep recommending them – year after year – because we believe others will love them as much as we do. So, it’s a fairly eclectic list – but there are a lot of gems here. Take note – and enjoy!

Jump straight down to the Crime and Mystery bestsellers

 

Bestsellers, Science Fiction & Fantasy: 2019

#1

All Systems Red (Murderbot Diaries 01)
Martha Wells
In a corporate-dominated, spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety. But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern. On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ’droid – a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though, never out loud) as ‘Murderbot’. Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone, long enough to figure out who it is. But when a neighbouring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth. This first in the series won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best Novella – and rightly so! So, love this – and its three sequels making up the quartet. Can’t recommend them highly enough! (Best to reserve your copies, though – they tend to sell out as soon as stock arrives!)
Science fiction novella | HC | $24.99

#2

Artificial Condition (Murderbot Diaries 02)
Martha Wells
Artificial Condition is the follow-up to Martha Wells’ Hugo, Nebula, Alex, and Locus Award-winning, New York Times bestselling All Systems Red. It has a dark past – one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself ‘Murderbot’. But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more. Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel, named ART (you don’t want to know what the ‘A’ stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue. What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks… This just won the Nebula Award for best novella – and if it’s possible – I think I love this even more than the first one (it’s the interaction between AIs – just great!) Really – you just have to read these! – Ron. Note that Artificial Condition won both the Nebula and Hugo Awards for Best Novella (just as the first one did!) in 2019. Congratulations, Martha!
Science fiction novella | HC | $24.99

#3

Exit Strategy (Murderbot Diaries 04)
Martha Wells
This is the fourth Murderbot book. (The publishers’ Oz distributor brings them in for us at a much better price than we could get them as an import – but they tend to sell out and takes a little while to get more. We always have extra copies on back order, tho – so reserve ’em!)
Science fiction novella | HC | $26.99

#4

Rogue Protocol (Murderbot Diaries 03)
Martha Wells
Our favourite antisocial AI is back on a mission. The case against the too-big-to-fail GrayCris Corporation is floundering, and more importantly, authorities are beginning to ask more questions about where Dr Mensah’s SecUnit is. And Murderbot would rather those questions went away. For good. Martha Wells’ Rogue Protocol is the third in the Murderbot Diaries series, starring a humanlike android who keeps getting sucked back into adventure after adventure, though it just wants to be left alone, away from humanity and small talk. Take the plunge and find out why Hugo Award winner Ann Leckie wrote, ‘I love Murderbot!’ We think you’ll love it too.
Science fiction novella | HC | $26.99

#5

A Murder of Mages (Maradaine Constabulary 01)
Marshall Ryan Maresca
The first book of the Maradaine Constabulary series blends high fantasy, murder mystery, and gritty urban magic… Satrine Rainey – former street rat, ex-spy, mother of two, and wife to a Constabulary Inspector who lies on the edge of death, injured in the line of duty – has been forced to fake her way into the post of Constabulary Inspector to support her family. Minox Welling is a brilliant, unorthodox Inspector, and an Uncircled mage – almost a crime, in itself. Nicknamed ‘the jinx’ because of the misfortunes that seem to befall anyone around him, Minox has been partnered with Satrine because no one else will work with either of them. Their first case, together – the ritual murder of a Circled mage – sends Satrine back to the streets she grew up on and brings Minox face-to-face with mage politics, he’s desperate to avoid. – publisher’s blurb. So – some customers recommended these to Ron – who now recommends them to everyone he can – and the debut novel in this particular trilogy (from 2015!) is on our bestseller lists, again. Sooooo good! And… there are already lots more Maradaine stories for you, after the first, and we usually have them all in stock!
Fantasy | PBK | $22.95

#6

Velocity Weapon
Megan E O’Keefe
‘A brilliantly-plotted yarn of survival and far-future political intrigue’ – Guardian. The last thing Sanda remembers is her gunship exploding. She expected to be recovered by salvage medics and to awaken in friendly hands; patched up and ready to rejoin the fight. Instead, she wakes up 230 years later, on a deserted enemy starship, called The Light of Berossus – or, as he prefers to call himself, ‘Bero’. Bero tells Sanda the war is lost. That the entire star system is dead. But is that the full story? ‘Dazzling space battles, deadly galactic politics and rogue AI collide in Velocity Weapon, an epic space opera from award-winning author Megan E O’Keefe…’ – publisher’s blurb. ‘Furious action sequences, funny dialogue, and a plot that will keep you guessing every step of the way’ – K B Wagers. And our regulars would seem to agree! (And, really – Ron knows you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover – but thinks it has a kick-arse jacket too!)
Science fiction | PBK | $22.99

#7

Behind the Throne (Indranan War 01 (Hail Bristol 01))
K B Wagers
Former gunrunner-turned-Empress Hail Bristol was dragged back to her home planet to fill her rightful position in the palace. With her sisters and parents murdered, the Indranan Empire is on the brink of war. Hail must quickly make alliances with nearby worlds if she has any hope of surviving her rule. This set of military space opera series (Wagers’ current book, Down Among the Dead (TP, $33.95) is Hail Bristol’s fifth, overall) has been hugely popular here.
Space opera | PBK | $22.99

#8

The Cruel Stars (Cruel Stars 01)
John Birmingham
‘This jarring, engrossing story of a species-wide fight for survival is recommended for all science fiction readers.’ – Publishers Weekly (starred review). The galaxy was once terrorised by the Sturm, a group of ‘species purists’ intent on destroying any human with genetic or cybernetic enhancements. Fashioning themselves as the one true ‘Human Republic’, the Sturm cut a bloody swath across the stars, killing billions before finally being defeated and driven into the far reaches of Dark Space. Centuries of peace bred complacency. Everyone believed the Sturm had died out in the Dark. They were wrong. The enemy has returned and, with a brutal and decisive attack, knocks out almost all of humanity’s defences. Now, on the brink of annihilation, humankind’s only hope is a few brave souls who survived the initial attack: These five flawed, reluctant heroes must band together to prevail against a relentless enemy and near-impossible odds. For, if they fail, the future itself is doomed. Local-boy-made-good Birmo knocks it out of the park (again!) – really great feedback from customers – not just his devoted fans, either! Military space opera readers, take note!
Space opera | TP | $32.99

#9

The Goblin Emperor
Katherine Addison
The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an ‘accident’, he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir. Surrounded by sycophants eager to curry favour with the naive new emperor, and overwhelmed by the burdens of his new life, he can trust nobody. Amid the swirl of plots to depose him, offers of arranged marriages, and the spectre of the unknown conspirators who lurk in the shadows, he must quickly adjust to life as the Goblin Emperor. Yes, we know it came out several years ago, now – but Ron finally got around to reading it (a couple of years ago, now) and is obsessed and forcing copies upon anyone who will listen to him… (It’s very, very good!) Ignore the drab cover art! Ignore the lacklustre blurb! Just read it!
Fantasy | TP | $26.99

#10

The Consuming Fire (Interdependency/Flow 02)
John Scalzi
The Consuming Fire – the sequel to the 2018 Hugo Award Best Novel finalist and 2018 Locus Award-winning The Collapsing Empire – an epic space-opera novel in the bestselling Interdependency series, from the Hugo Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author John Scalzi – now, in paperback! The Interdependency, humanity’s interstellar empire, is on the verge of collapse. The Flow, the extra-dimensional conduit that makes travel between the stars possible, is disappearing, leaving entire star systems stranded. When it goes, human civilisation may go with it – unless desperate measures can be taken… Love it. Recommended!
Space opera | PBK | $18.99

 

Bestsellers, Crime & Mystery: 2019

#1

Metropolis (Bernie Gunther 14 & final!)
Philip Kerr
Summer, 1928. Berlin, a city where nothing is verboten… In the night streets, political gangs wander, looking for fights. Daylight reveals a beleaguered populace barely recovering from the post-war inflation, often jobless, reeling from the reparations imposed by the victors. At central police HQ, the Murder Commission has its hands full. A killer is on the loose, and though he scatters many clues, each is a dead end. It’s almost as if he is taunting the cops. Meanwhile, the press is having a field day. This is what Bernie Gunther finds, on his first day with the Murder Commission. He’s been taken on because the people at the top have noticed him – they think he has the makings of a first-rate detective. But not just yet. Right now, he must listen and learn… Metropolis, completed just before Philip Kerr’s untimely death, is the capstone of a 14-book journey through the life of Kerr’s signature character, Bernhard Gunther, a sardonic and wisecracking homicide detective, caught up in an increasingly Nazified Berlin police department. In many ways, it is Bernie’s origin story; and, as Kerr’s last novel, it is also, alas, his end. Sob. Bye, Bernie. Thanks, Philip.
We will miss you – both.
Noir | PBK | $19.99

#2

The Body in the Castle Well (Bruno, Chief of Police 12)
Martin Walker
A missing art student. An international investigation. A secret that will shatter the village of St Denis. Bruno, chief of police, faces a dark reckoning with France’s past in this gripping mystery. A rich American art student is found dead at the bottom of a well in an ancient hilltop castle. The young woman, Claudia, had been working in the archives of an eminent French art historian, a crippled Resistance war hero, at his art-filled chateau. As Claudia’s White House connections get the US embassy and the FBI involved, Bruno traces the people and events that led to her fatal accident – or was it murder? Dollars to doughnuts, it’s murder. And you just know our hero will solve the case. Amidst the most beautiful scenery, and the best food and wine, imaginable! So, simply lie back and let rural France overwhelm you – you know you want to!
Mystery | TP | $32.99

#3

Unto Us a Son is Given (Commissario Brunetti 28)
Donna Leon
As a favour to his wealthy father-in-law, the Count Falier, Commissario Guido Brunetti agrees to investigate the seemingly innocent wish of the Count’s best friend, the elderly and childless Gonzalo, to adopt a younger man as his son. Under Italian inheritance laws, this man would become the sole heir to Gonzalo’s substantial fortune, something which Gonzalo’s friends, including the Count, find appalling. For his part, Brunetti wonders why they’re so intent on meddling in the old man’s business. Not long after Brunetti meets with Gonzalo, the elderly man unexpectedly passes away from natural causes. Old and frail, Gonzalo’s death goes unquestioned, and a few of his oldest friends gather in Venice to plan the memorial service. But when Berta, a striking woman and one of Gonzalo’s closest confidantes, is strangled in her hotel room, Brunetti is drawn into long-buried secrets from Gonzalo’s past. What did Berta know? And who would go to such lengths to ensure it would remain hidden? It’s like a holiday in Venice – you’d swear you’re breathing Venetian air and eating fantastic food! – without needing to use a passport and board a plane. Lovely. Now in paperback. Recommended!
Mystery | PBK | $19.99

#4

Berlin Noir (Bernie Gunter 01–3 omnibus)
Philip Kerr
Ex-policeman Bernie thought he’d seen everything on the streets of 1930s’ Berlin. Then he went freelance and each case he tackled sucked him further into the excesses of Nazi subculture. And even after the war Bernie uncovered a legacy that made the wartime atrocities look lily white, by comparison… Omnibus of the first three in the series – and we just keeping recommending it and selling it. Great stuff!
Noir | TP | $29.99

#5

Black Roses (Clara Vine)
Jane Thynne
Again, a first in a series – recommended mercilessly. Clara Vine is an English, German-speaking, minor aristo, let loose on UFA film studios, in Berlin, in the ’30s… and proves to be one of British Intelligence’s most able recruits… (Those high-ranking Nazi wives do gossip so! They give the best intel!)
Mystery/suspense | PBK | $19.99

#6

The Golden Tresses of the Dead (Flavia de Luce 10)
Alan Bradley
The latest in the long-running series… A finger in a wedding cake is only the beginning in this deliciously-shocking mystery featuring Flavia de Luce, ‘the world’s greatest adolescent British chemist/busybody/sleuth’ (The Seattle Times). Although it is autumn in the small English town of Bishop’s Lacey, the chapel is decked with exotic flowers. Yes, Flavia de Luce’s sister, Ophelia, is at last getting hitched, like a mule to a wagon. ‘A church is a wonderful place for a wedding’, muses Flavia, ‘surrounded as it is by the legions of the dead, whose listening bones bear silent witness to every promise made at the altar.’ Flavia is not your normal 12‑year‑old girl. An expert in the chemical nature of poisons, she has solved many mysteries, sharpening her considerable detection skills to the point where she had little choice but to turn professional. So, Flavia and dependable Dogger – estate gardener and sounding board extraordinaire – set up shop at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, eager to serve; not so simple an endeavour with her odious, little, moon-faced cousin Undine constantly underfoot. But Flavia and Dogger persevere. Little does she know that their first case will be extremely close to home… beginning with an unwelcome discovery in Ophelia’s wedding cake: a human finger. Lots of fun! Imagine if one of the more amusing Mitford sisters had taken to sleuthing, at an early age – and you’ll get the idea…
Mystery | PBK | $22.99

#7

The Spotted Dog (Corinna Chapman 07)
Kerry Greenwood
Intrepid baker and erstwhile investigator Corinna Chapman returns triumphantly in her first adventure in seven years. When a distraught Scottish veteran from Afghanistan is knocked unconscious, waking up to find his beloved ex-service dog missing, Corinna and her lover, Daniel, find themselves inextricably drawn into the machinations of a notorious underworld gang of drug runners. Corinna and Daniel need to pull together all the strings to find the connections between their wandering Scottish veteran, his kidnapped dog, a student dramatic society that’s moved into Corinna’s building, burglaries and the threatening notes that begin to mysteriously appear in Corinna’s apartment. Between her forays into danger, there is still time in Corinna’s life for tender encounters as the delicious aromas of newly baked breads, muffins and treats waft out of Corinna’s bakery, Earthly Delights. Now in paperback.
Mystery | PBK | $19.99

#8

The American Agent (Maisie Dobbs 15)
Jacqueline Winspear
Beloved heroine Maisie Dobbs, ‘one of the great fictional heroines’ (Parade), investigates the mysterious murder of an American war correspondent in London during the Blitz, in a page-turning tale of love and war, terror and survival…publisher’s blurb (somewhat hyperbolic!). Sometimes, blurbs just sound turgid and soapy. So, in a nutshell: A well-connected American war correspondent is found murdered – and through various twists and turns – our favourite servant-girl-turned-sleuth is brought in to investigate. Think Phryne Fisher – only not as frock-and-party oriented. And, whereas Phryne is doomed to forever dwell in the light-hearted late twenties, Maisie has moved on a couple of decades… So many regulars love this series – it’s always a big deal when the new one arrives!
Mystery/suspense | PBK | $19.99

#9

The Corpse at Crystal Palace (Daisy Dalrymple 23)
Carola Dunn
Another one of those latest-in-a-long-running-series novels, of which we sell a bucket-load! April 1928: Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher is visited in London by her young cousins. On the list of must-see sites is the Crystal Palace. Discovering that her children’s nanny, Nanny Gilpin, has never seen the Palace, Daisy decides to make a day of it – bringing her cousins, her three-year-old twins, her step-daughter Belinda, the nurserymaid, and Nanny Gilpin. Yet, this ordinary outing goes wrong when Mrs Gilpin goes off to the ladies’ room and fails to return. When Daisy goes to look for her, she doesn’t find her nanny but instead the body of another woman dressed in a nanny’s uniform. Meanwhile, Belinda and the cousins spot Mrs Gilpin chasing after yet another nanny. Intrigued, they trail the two through the vast Crystal Palace and into the park. After briefly losing sight of their quarry, they stumble across Mrs Gilpin – lying unconscious in a small lake inhabited by huge concrete dinosaurs. When she comes to, Mrs Gilpin can’t remember what happened after leaving the twins in the nursery-maid’s care. Daisy’s husband, Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard, finds himself embroiled in the investigation of the murdered nanny. Worried about her children’s own injured nanny, Daisy is determined to help. First, she has to discover the identity of the third nanny, the presumed murderer; and, to do so, Daisy must uncover why the amnesic Mrs Gilpin deserted her charges to follow the missing third nanny.
Historical mystery | PBK | $22.99

#10

My Sister, the Serial Killer
Oyinkan Braithwaite
A short, darkly-funny, hand grenade of a novel about a Nigerian woman whose younger sister has a very inconvenient habit of killing her boyfriends… ‘Femi makes three, you know. Three, and they label you a serial killer.’ Korede is bitter. How could she not be? Her sister, Ayoola, is many things: the favourite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And, now, Ayoola’s third boyfriend in a row is dead. Korede’s practicality is the sisters’ saving grace. She knows the best solutions for cleaning blood, the trunk of her car is big enough for a body; and she keeps Ayoola from posting pictures of her dinner to Instagram when she should be mourning her ‘missing’ boyfriend. Not that she gets any credit. Korede has long been in love with a kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where she works. She dreams of the day when he will realise that she’s exactly what he needs. But when he asks Korede for Ayoola’s phone number, she must reckon with what her sister has become… and how far she’s willing to go to protect her. ‘Sharp as nails and full of deadpan wit, Oyinkan Braithwaite’s deliciously deadly debut is as fun as it is frightening’ – publisher’s blurb. Ron LOVES this – Recommended!
Noir | PBK | $19.99