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Friday 12th April, 7pm
61 Bridge Street, Ongaonga

A panel of the three 2023 Ngaio Marsh Award winners, Charity Norman, Michael Bennett and Steve Braunias, will entertain us with tales of crime and mystery, led by local author Catherine Robertson, in the delightful c1911 original country store in Ongaonga. 

Ex-barrister Charity Norman was born in Uganda, raised and worked in the UK, and nowadays calls Central Hawke’s Bay home. Her seven novels include BBC Radio 2, Richard and Judy and World Book Night titles, Ngaio Marsh and Ned Kelly Awards finalists, and have been translated into various languages. Her latest, Remember Me, won Best Novel in the 2023 Ngaio Marsh Awards. Her eighth, Home Truths, is scheduled for release later this year. As well being Patron of the Between the Lines Festival, Charity has three almost-grown children, and lives by the Tukituki river with her husband and indomitable tabby cat. 

Michael Bennett (Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Whakaue) is an award-winning New Zealand screenwriter and author whose films have been selected for numerous festivals including Cannes, Berlin, Toronto and New York. He is best known for his excoriating documentary on the Teina Pora case, The Confessions of Prisoner T, and the award-winning non-fiction book he wrote about the case, In Dark Places, which was adapted into the movie of the same name. His debut crime novel Better the Blood is set in Tāmaki Makaurau, with Māori in lead roles and the trauma of colonisation viscerally close to the surface.  Winner of the Ngaio Marsh 2023 Award Best First Book this novel has been described by Ngaio Marsh Awards founder Craig Sisterson as “the first crime thriller about a Māori detective, written by a Māori author”.  Michael lives in Auckland, New Zealand, and is Head of Screenwriting at South Seas Film School.

Steve Braunias is the author of ten books, including Civilisation: 20 Places at the End of the World (Awa Press), Madmen: The Weirdest Election Campaign Ever (Luncheon Sausage Books), The Scene of the Crime: 20 True Stories of Crime and Punishment (HarperCollins), and Cover Story: 100 Strange, Beautiful and Frankly Incredible NZ Record Covers (Oratia Press). He works as a staff writer at the NZ Herald, and literary editor at Newsroom. He has a long romantic association with Waipukarau.

Catherine Robertson is a bestselling New Zealand author, and co-owner of Good Books in Te Aro, Wellington. In 2020, she was the CNZ/International Institute of Modern Letters Writer in Residence. Catherine is a regular guest on Jesse Mulligan’s Book Critic slot on RNZ, and is Chair of the Hawke's Bay Readers & Writer Trust and on the board of Verb Wellington. This year, Catherine made her debut as a romance writer, with the worldwide release of the first two books in her Flora Valley contemporary romantic comedy series. She's lived full-time in Haumoana since 2021.

So much talent in one room, this is not an event to miss!

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