Sunday, March 10, 2024

On My Radar: Michael Bennett's Return to Blood!


Michael Bennett's first book featuring Māori police detective Hana Westerman, Better the Blood, was one of my Best Reads last year, so when I found out that the second in the series was going to be released, you'd better believe I went out to the driveway and did my little three-wheeled happy dance. I'm looking forward to immersing myself in the landscape of New Zealand and the Māori culture once again.

Let me tell you more about this new book!

Available May 21, 2024!


"After the perils of a case that landed much too close to home, Hana Westerman turned in her badge and abandoned her career as a detective in the Auckland CIB. Hoping that civilian life will offer her the opportunity to rest and recalibrate, she returns to her hometown of Tātā Bay, where she moves back in with her beloved father, Eru. Yet the memories of the past are everywhere, and as she goes for her daily run on the beach, Hana passes a local monument to Paige, a high school classmate who was murdered more than twenty years ago and hidden in the dunes overlooking the sea. A Māori man with a previous record was convicted of the crime, although Eru never believed he was guilty.

When her daughter finds another young woman’s skeleton in the sands, Hana soon finds herself awkwardly involved. Investigators suspect that this is Kiri Thomas, a young Māori woman who disappeared four years earlier, after battling years of drug addiction. Hana and her daughter Addison are increasingly captivated by the story behind this unsolved crime, but without the official police force behind her, Hana must risk compromising her own peace and relationships if justice is to be served.

Expanding the range of vivid characters who made Michael Bennett’s first book, Better the Blood, so appealing, and offering a shocking twist at the end, Return to Blood takes readers further into Māori culture and traditions as it engages us more deeply into the story of Hana Westerman."


Return to Blood sounds like another winner, doesn't it? I can't wait to get my hands on a copy! If you're an armchair traveling sleuth like me who likes to immerse yourself in another place and culture and you haven't read Better the Blood yet... now's the time. You don't want to get too far behind in this series!


  1. I had the privilege of being on the Ngaio Marsh Awards judging panel, Cathy, so I read Better the Blood - and really enjoyed it! I'm just as eager for this one as you are!

  2. I think I better add this one to my reading list!

  3. I remember you sharing about the first book in the series and I meant to pick it up. Will try to do so before this one comes out. ;-)

  4. I love books that take you to other places and into other cultures like this one! And I haven't read many books that involve the Maori.

  5. I recommended the 1st one for my book club. Everyone appreciated it, and we had a very good discussion, so this one has been on my radar too :)

  6. Cannot wait to get my hands on this book. I not only loved it, but sent it as gifts to several women and recommended it to others. Will email out your review. Love this series and Ilearn so much.

    1. I knew you'd be on the lookout for this book, Kathy. :-)

  7. May 21? Two months away? Not fair.


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