“For the past several years, I’ve read all the novels from the shortlist for the Ngaio Marsh Awards, literary awards presented annually in New Zealand. But this year, several things conspired to prevent me from doing so. Still, I was determined to at least read the books picked as the best novel and best first novel. So, that’s how I came to pick up a copy of ‘For Reasons of Their Own’ by Chris Stuart, the Ngaio Marsh Awards 2021, recipient for the best first novel.
Stuart was quick to lure me in and before I knew it, I was hooked. She offers a strong female lead – both likeable and complex – but a woman at a tough place in her life for several reasons.
I’ve read some truly exceptional crime fiction books in 2021, but For Reasons of Their Own is easily my favourite of the year. Anyone who enjoys reading excellent crime, mystery, and thriller writing will love this book. I’m left eagerly anticipating what Stuart will do for an encore after writing such a brilliant and extraordinary debut novel.”
“For Reasons of their Own is a thrilling debut novel that announces a major new writing talent to the world.”
“Just finished reading this book after going to the launch at the weekend… what a page-turner. Highly recommend. Chris is a talented new writer exploring some grunty themes of culture, ethnicity, courage, ethical dilemma, relationship – she’s woven a very compelling story.”
“From Plinkers, and I thought she didn’t want to play ukulele anymore but she has holed herself away to write her debut novel. Written in Nelson but set in Melbourne – it transported me right to Melbourne and the convention centre in the first few pages. The nearby semi-rural suburbs hinted at locales yet to be discovered.”
“This book is an atmospheric murder mystery set in the heat of an Australian summer. It raises the issues of refugees and the agencies that are supposed to look after them. Not only did it make to want to know who did it, it also made me care about DI Gray and her colleagues. A good read.”
“Chris has certainly lived an interesting life. This really comes thru in her writing and she’s not scared to say it like it is. It’s refreshing.”
“Chris Stuart is an exciting writer who is making waves on the New Zealand Crime novel scene. Highly recommend!”