Book Gifts for special people this Season

Here are three books available on Amazon as paperbacks or e-books worldwide you can gift to someone special


kukri not included - but featured in the true story


manuka honey not included - but it is in the story

The Way of the Bodyguard

with endless bodyguard shifts there is always another Red Bull.

Nick Spill on the radio The Public Storyteller

The Beginning of the Art Deco District 

and a Homage to Ira Lieberman

Below is a link to recent story I told on WLRN The Public Storyteller.

The Jaded Kiwi at the Miami Book Fair

Nick Spill will read The Jaded Kiwi at the Miami Book Fair

At the Miami Book Fair - Saturday November 19 at 2 pm - 3 pm Room 7128, Building 7 Miami-Dade College/Wolfson Campus, 300 NE Second Ave, Miami.
I will be reading from my new dark Kiwi noir novel THE JADED KIWI, answering questions and signing books. Please join me. Arrive early, the Books & Books reading was standing room only.

The Public Storyteller on WLRN

I will be telling a story about Art Deco Weekend, the early days of the Save the Art Deco District, my dear friend Ira Lieberman fighting Nazis and the meaning of "Cut more velvet!" On WLRN The Public Storyteller at 4 pm Sunday October 30th. I will post the url once its online, sometime later.

Local Author Luncheon Nick Spill @MBJCC September 21

See Nick Spill at Local Authors Luncheon September 21, Wednesday at 12 NOON.
Miami Beach JCC - 4221 Pine Tree Drive, Miami Beach
Register at  $15  -includes lunch.


Packing out Books & Books on a Monday night with The Jaded Kiwi

Books & Books reading of The Jaded Kiwi in Coral Gables

Thank you everyone for turning up and listening to the reading of The Jaded Kiwi. And for buying all the books!
Remember to support your local bookstore - in this case Books & Books - the leading independent  bookstore in South Florida - Coral Gables - Miami Airport, Miami Beach and Bal Harbor plus other locations.

Without local independent bookstores we would have not have such a diversity of books and book readings!


36 years ago - Simon Buis murder still unsolved

Simon Buis took a series of stunning photos of Louise Gibbs and I back in the 1970s in a back yard in Grey Lynn in Auckland. He was a brilliant photographer who came to a tragic end when he was murdered next to my old Rugby club in Mt Eden on the night of 04/04/1980. I was in Wellington at the time and arrived in Auckland the next day to hear of this.


Argentinian Death Squad Recipe

Argentinian Death Squad recipe

Slice avocado, dice it with sharp knife, sprinkle, no, pour in brown sugar and add as much whiskey as you can - let stand for say 10 seconds then eat. There is always the other half. Recipe given to me by grand daughter of Argentina's Chess grandmaster - she found out much later he taught the Death Squad chess so they gave his grand daughter a pass. All her University class mates disappeared. Tragic story with more twists with State Department unclassifying new documents here:
Also had an artist friend from Argentina who foretold his own death in a mail art piece he sent me and I exhibited in NZ. Could never get any answers from their Govt at the time.
Took me over 30 years before I could try this recipe. Bitter and sweet.


Boots - 02/2011 to 03/26/2016

Boots was born February 2011 and we rescued her and her three siblings, who were adopted by locals.

We found out Boots was a girl not a boy, otherwise we would have called her Nancy as in "These boots are made for walking."
She caught and ate snakes, lizards, squirrels and large rats. She also loved the cheapest dry cat food which she could throw up in large quantities.

Boots tried her hand at being a political pundit with ambiguous results. I do not know why she was sitting on Trump's face. But she was vocal about this.

She loved boxes and was a great promoter in her own way of my new novel The Jaded Kiwi.

Boots was killed in a hit and run on 43rd St and Post Ave, Miami Beach the night of March 26th, 2016.


Bob Adelman on Men In Blazers show silent homage

Bob Adelman

10/30/1930 - 3/19/2016

Who placed a photo of Bob Adelman on NBCSN's Men in Blazers show?

Bob was my next door neighbor since he moved to Miami Beach from New York. He wrote the most thoughtful inscriptions on his books that he gave to Joy and me. He idolized Joy. He was always considerate and talkative. Getting out of my car after work he would be on his bicycle and stop and engage me in a wide ranging conversation that would never end. I miss these conversations.

We took our grand kids to the opening of "The Movement" exhibition at the NSU Art Museum in Ft Lauderdale and they were blown away by his photos. They had been studying the Civil Rights Movement at school and were thrilled when Bob took time to talk to them. They poured over every one of his photos.

He encouraged me to keep writing - in fact he insisted I start writing my first book The Way of the Bodyguard and was thrilled when it came out.

I had been playing phone tag with him the last two weeks as I wanted to give him a copy of my new novel The Jaded Kiwi. Our book shelves are full of the books he published.

We held vigil for him last Saturday when we found out he had died in his house, across the street.

So there is one mystery unsolved. Who placed a photo of him at the back of the Men in Blazers set that was shown on NBCSN last Monday?

For those who do not follow English soccer, Men in Blazers in the funniest most erudite and entertaining sports commentary show on TV.

When I recently asked Bob about this photo he said he walked backwards all the way to Selma.

Bob, we miss you and pay homage to you, your determination, guts and great eye for some of the most compelling images ever captured.


The Jaded Kiwi - one sick twisted crime story

The Jaded Kiwi is now available on Amazon. A twisted crime tale set in New Zealand in 1976 at the start of the War on Drugs and two couples who try to make sense of events that are out of control.


Search and Seizure of New Zealand Marijuana and the start of the War on Drugs

Search and Seizure of New Zealand Marijuana and the start of the War on Drugs 

Huey helicopter at Evergreen Aviation Museum, Oregon 
My new novel The Jaded Kiwi opens with a Huey helicopter carrying a net full of seeded marijuana plants over a forest in New Zealand. This sets the stage for a bumper harvest of wild marijuana plants the following year amidst a severe marijuana drought in the summer of 1976 in Auckland. For the record, there was a marijuana drought last year as well.

Two couples, a gynecologist and a physicist together with a violinist and an actress meet by accident in a pub and help a charismatic Maori activist evade the police.

A group of Maori plans to deliver a truckload of cannabis to Auckland.

A Chinese family has harvested four greenhouses of enhanced sensimilla.

A criminal mastermind plots to start a drug war.

A police Inspector tries to find a fugitive Maori and solve a mysterious murder and abduction.

The War on Drugs in New Zealand starts to go terribly wrong.


The Jaded Kiwi available for pre order on Amazon

The Jaded Kiwi is now available as a  paperback and e-book. You can order The Jaded Kiwi here.

Two couples, a kung fu happy gynecologist and theoretical physicist meet a classical violinist and an actress in a pub in Ponsonby one Friday night. They stumble upon a Maori activist and help him escape a Police dragnet only to become engulfed in a series of conspiracies beyond their control. There is a false flag kidnapping, the sickest torture scene with a lawnmower ever written and a disturbing rape scene. A cockney criminal mastermind and a creative Police inspector stalk each other and start what becomes the war against drugs in New Zealand.

Set in 1976 Auckland, New Zealand over 10 days, this is a love story and a twisted crime mystery with intense action sequences. Available on Amazon here.


My first boss Pat Day 1923 - 2016

self portrait from 1948

Melvin Day died on January 17th, 2016 in New Zealand. He was my first boss. He had been the Director of the National Art Gallery in Wellington, New Zealand and the first Kiwi to graduate from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London.

When I first arrived as Exhibitions Curator at the Gallery I discovered a "School of Poussin" painting, uncatalogued and hidden away having been a victim of a botched restoration. I informed my new boss who suggested I write to his old friend Anthony Blount. I sent the Queen's curator a color slide of the painting and a description. Blount wrote back that the slide was too small and we should send an 8 x 10 print. (And he was trained by the KGB!) He promptly identified the painting and referred us to an old Burlington magazine where we were able to ascribe its provenance and real title. A few years later Anthony Blount was identified as a Russian Spy and part of the Cambridge Five or Six, depending on how well you can count.

In an article I wrote for a catalog of Conceptual Art at the Christchurch Art Gallery in 2000, The Art of the Heist, I referred to Pat as he gave his blessing for our stint as curators for the National Students Art Festival. 

"Our Director, Melvin Day ... liked to be called Pat and our job was to make him look good while also challenging just about everything he stood for. Pat was a solid Art History scholar, a product of the Courtauld Institute of Art at the University of London and a relic of a wonderful but bygone era; the gentleman art history scholar who wore perfect hand tied bowties and told charming and witty anecdotes. In the tiny but brutally politicized world of art politics in Wellington, he was ill served by his many masters, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Academy of Fine Arts and the NAG Council. He also, and this is where I really sympathize with him, had to deal with us, Andrew and Nick, the terrible duo."

With the many exhibitions we staged and the increase in attendance at the National Art Gallery, I like to think we made him look good. There was not a bad bone in Pat's body and he was a perfect gentleman with his conviviality, scholarship and decency.

When I finally had the grand opening of  a new traveling show I had curated "Three Contemporary Maori Artists" that had taken a long time to organize and involved speaking on many Maraes around the country, Pat received huge accolades for the show. I recall standing to one side and witnessing every VIP patting him on the back and praising him for the exhibition. He deserved it. (More on this show and how it relates to The Jaded Kiwi in a later post.)

Pat Day, after he left the National Art Gallery, went on to continue exploring his painting as well as his art history research. He received the recognition he deserved and I regret I never got to see him again. He was a great boss. 


THE JADED KIWI proofs arrive

Usually writers post their newly arrived proofs next to their smiling faces.
My cat was too excited about my new novel, The Jaded Kiwi, due to be released March 1.

One of the best films of 2015 THE DEADLANDS

The Dead Lands

The Dead Lands, released on DVD, is an instant classic that can be compared to Akira Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai”. It is also a challenging film for its portrayal of violence and the warrior code. Maori warriors and samurai venerate their ancestors, believe in honorable death through combat and have sophisticated and deep beliefs. This action packed film is both extremely violent and deeply mystical. The plot points keep changing and the dialogue embraces a Shakespearean majesty that elevates the ensuring story and its inevitable bloodbath.

Set in “pre-contact” times, before Europeans arrived, the film is spoken in Maori with English subtitles. Every detail looks authentic from the elaborate vocabulary, the style of dress and weaponry to the cosmological beliefs Maori lived by. The filmmakers are the first to admit they created an imagined world, as we do not know how Maori looked or acted in the 16th century. Although early European artists clearly articulated certain aspects of Maori, including their hand to hand combat weapons.

Maori close combat tools, war clubs drawn by John Frederick Miller, 1769-1770.

John Frederick Miller drew various types of Maori war clubs after Captain Cook’s voyage to New Zealand in 1769-1770, made from wood, stone and pounamu (greenstone). Most violent encounters involved close quarter fighting with such weapons. Maori had no access to metals before the coming of Europeans. Maori had a highly evolved form of martial arts developed in isolation. Such fighting style was similar in concept to Bram Frank’s edged weapon techniques and Filipino blade fighting that demonstrate the universality of proven methods. The warriors who triumph went on to teach another generation of their successful ways. It’s a fighting style that works. There are no fake martial arts schools. You either can fight effectively or you die in battle.

The previews make the film look extremely violent. But the resulting shape of the film is both mythical and pragmatic, like Maori cosmology, the film embraces the sublime and magical yet appears very authentic and humorous at times. It helps if you have slept on a marae, know a little about Maori culture: utu, tapu, maketu, who a Tohunga is and what a Maori burial ground means, but the film stands on its own just like a sophisticated Samurai film by Kurosawa.

It is a must see film for any visitor to New Zealand, student of Maori history, martial artist or edge weapon enthusiast, or plain admirer of Samurai films.

Nick Spill is the author of “The Way of the Bodyguard – knowledge not gossip” and

He is about to release “The Jaded Kiwi” on March 1, 2016 as a paperback and e-book, everywhere.