Category Archives: News

Books for 02 – 2020

The Names of the Dead

Kevin Wignall

Book of the month, even if it is slightly flawed.

James Wesley, Wes, was a CIA operative, he was sent to jail when his team fouled up an operation and the wrong people got killed. He is towards the end of his sentence when his ex-wife has been killed in a terrorist attack in Spain. He also discovers that his young son, Ethan, is missing. But Wes didn’t know he had a son.

Given early release, Wes is picked up from his jail by the CIA. He escapes with his life and runs … desperate to find safety and his son.

He is helped by the men he left in prison and the orphan of a Yugoslav Warlord, who had died in the prison days earlier.

Maybe the CIA are a little late getting on his trail but that would ruin the story, flawed but not fatally.

A tense thriller.

5 Stars

The Baby Werewolf

Michael Beyer

Michal Beyer turns the attention of the Norwal Pirates on discrimination on grounds of visual difference. The Baby Werewolf is real, except he is not a werewolf. He is a boy with a difference. Once the Pirates understand this they are well on the way to solving several murders in a tale with more than a little mayhem.

The story bounds along at great pace, always keeping one foot in reality while everything else runs wild. Real young adult material

4 Stars

The Boy… Forever

Michael Beyer

Another great story from Norwall, this one gets wild with Chinese Vampire Magicians and a boy called Icarus Jones.

Icky is immortal, trapped in the body of a ten-year-old but immortal. His latest attempt at suicide brings him to Norwall. Followed by a cast of misfits, the dragon child, a general who is of great antiquity.

The Norwall Pirates become involved … well they would.

Young adult fantasy … at it’s best. Raising questions of right and wrong as it goes.

4 stars

The Ship That Rocked the World: How Radio Caroline Defied the Establishment…

by Tom Lodge (author), Steven Van Zandt (foreword)

Tom Lodge was a highly respected broadcaster in the early days of Radio Caroline. The man largely responsible for creating the success that Caroline became.

The book is limited to the Authors time and personal point of view of events – an autobiography – and, as such, a very different book to Ray Clarke’s biography of the radio station .

The writing is generally simple, interesting and engaging. It does however get a little repetitive.

A chalk and cheese job but if I had to choose … I’d go for Ray Clarke’s bigger picture.

3 Stars

Copper City Slag (Copper City Chronicles Book 2)

by Otha Foster (author)

Eric’s family decided to move back to Copper City after his father, a minister, has a crisis of faith. A teenager on the very edge of sexual awakening, Eric is torn apart from his almost girlfriend.

Arriving in Copper City, the place where his parents grew up, he soon finds himself embroiled with Alicia Martin, sex siren and trouble causer. The girl his parents and Aunt have warned him to stay away from .. Almost fitting the British slang ‘Slag’ but then …

Why have his parents told him to stay away from Alicia? Why is there bad blood between Eric’s father and Coach Martin? With the police involved, Eric talks to the Press, in the form of Bill Clark (the hero of Fifth Sun) owner of the Copper City Chronicle.

This is a convoluted story of family relationships and attempted murder, just a little to far fetched for me.

3 Stars

Who Told You That You Were Naked (Copper City Chronicles Book 3)

by Otha Foster (author)

A stronger story than Copper City Slag. It contains a real killing, that occurs on the day Eric Carvin is doing work experience with Bill Clark at the Copper City Chronicle. A prostitute is killed and Eric wants to get to the bottom of the story even if the police and sheriff are not.

A foster child known to PK, Eric’s little sister, knows may have clues to the back story of the dead girl.

Meanwhile, Eric is fast falling in love.

A pacy, well written story, well worth pushing through the slag for!

4 Stars

The Case of the Erotic Equestrian (Miles Grant)

by Jack Dearborn (author), Ellen Dearborn (editor)

Now too rich to have to work, Miles takes the odd case to keep himself busy. Out of the blue his wife’s family have a case for him, someone is leading their daughter astray . Miles and the family take a road trip to help out. Miles quickly discovers what is going on … then what is the solution? Miles doesn’t want to give advice!

A light fluffy tale, a harmless poolside read.

3 Stars

Last Day

Luanne Rice

A strange book, a who dunnit that isn’t really interested in who dunnit.

The writing is beautifully observed, little details abound. The research into the art and artists is detailed and described in detail.

It starts so well, a murder described so vividly the electricity sparks and crackles off the page. The brutality, the violence and the pain for the people finding the body of a loved one. Then it loses pace,

The assorted relationships are all convoluted twisted and unsatisfactory. The detective, Connor Reid, is obsessed by the victim and her sister, after having released them from captivity that was part of a crime that killed their mother. Late in the book he wonders if he has been stalking them … yes! On the other side of the coin, he is blissfully unaware that the victim had other relationships, visited certain places and … I don’t want to get into plot spoilers.

Detective Reid also appears to be left alone by his bosses, no pressure, no other cases, to take months to deliver an arrest.

The main problem with the pace though is backstory, lots of backstory, the same backstory, repeated several times. So much well observed and beautifully detailed in the writing; signifying very little.

Nice writing style, plot and editing need work

3 Stars

Divergence: A group of naked girls interrupts a kayaking trip

by P.A. Choi (author)

Boys go canoeing , beginner falls out and is rescued by naked girls …

Not Classified

Sunny Mates and Murders: A Chinese Cozy Mystery (A Raina Sun Mystery Book 5)

Anne R. Tan

Everything goes wrong Raina … except it doesn’t it all seems to work out. Not my cup of tea … abandoned at about 50%

Not Classified

Books for January 20

Slim to None

Jenny Gardiner

Abbie is the Restaurant Critic for the New York Sentinel and she has the body to go with it, after a life time of indulging in the finest food available. So much so she is no longer able to go ‘undercover.’ The restaurants know her and she is starting to get special treatment!

As a result, she is replaced by Barry and demoted to a once a week column until she loses some of her identifying weight.

Why is she so addicted to food? Her Grandmother, Gigi, who taught her to cook to keep her away from her warring parents? Her parents? Social pressure?

Supported, sometimes indirectly, by the males in her life she sets about rebuilding herself.

A pleasant read, however I found the detailed recipes that ended many chapters an affectation that cost the book a whole star and her girlfriend, Jess just disappearing…

4 Stars – 1 for the cookery lessons.   

Love Lost in Time

Cathie Dunn

The stories of two women living centuries apart, but through the actions of others, in the same region of France.

It is apparent from the very beginning that both of the women are trapped. Only one has the power to set them both free and she doesn’t know it.

The older story set in the time of Charlemagne offers a tale of blood, violence, and feuding. The heroine, although loved by father and her future husband, is treated as a chattel battered to please the King. Forced into an arranged marriage to man she hardly knows sent across the country from Vaulun to the citadel of Carcassonne to marry the Count.

The other contemporary woman, Madie, has been left a house by her estranged. Francophile, mother. Not that she wants to keep it, do it up and sell it; get back to Newcastle and her life as an academic, that’s her plan. Her mother it transpires had other ideas. Trapped in the house, she finds herself the focus of attention from the locals, in more ways than one.

Then there is the mystery of her father …

Although she is best known as a writer of historical romance, the story set in contemporary time is an elegantly written and realistic romance.

5 Stars

Time to Time

Paul Kater

Paul Kater his written a delightful piece of time travel fiction. The main character Cordelia Brown used to (or is it, she will?) work for a company that makes time machines. Until, it all goes to pot one day and she escapes in an unfinished time machine. When we meet her she is building a new life in the past, has a boyfriend in a different country but in contemporary time.
All is going well until, agents from her time appear and … the rest you will have to read for yourself.
A fun uplifting tale, cleverly plotted.

5 Stars

The Real Story Of The Boat That Rocked

Ray Clarke

The story of Radio Caroline, written by someone who was there, for part of it. A well written book sprinkled with dozens of amusing, scary and totally mundane anecdotes collected from former DJs, the Owners, office workers and supporters of Britain’s first commercial radio station.

The book covers the heady early days of the Station in the 1960 through the low times, the shipwrecks being impounded, to the modern day.

Radio Caroline still transmits to the East of England, 24 hours a day- everyday,  on the medium wave and to the rest of the world via DAB and the Internet. They use the Radio Caroline ship, the Ross Revenge (a record breaking trawler before she became a broadcast ship) for a monthly broadcast under the guise of Radio Caroline North.

The book is illustrated with a selection of photographs, many of which unless you are a transmitter-mast nerd, look much the same.

I found it to be an interesting read.

4 stars

Soulfarm

David Toft

Two worlds are suddenly linked, ours and one where the Church has developed mental powers. Powers that they need tortured souls to sustain. Guess who’s souls they are after.

A Murder and a spate of disappearances bring Detective Chief Inspector Seamus Brogan to a remote part of the countryside outside Dublin. Where he finds himself driving off the road, literally the road has disappeared. He has crossed into the other world.

Can he save himself, the rather attractive woman who was with him and the rest of our world?

A cleverly constructed tale. I enjoyed turning the pages.

4 Star

A Friend in Need

Elizabeth M. Hurst

A second story set in the same village and involving characters we met in Siren Spirit.

Once again we have a well written and engaging story of spirits trapped in a place beyond their time, while people try to deal with the issues in their own lives.

The representation of Selena’s depressive illness and behaviour is one of the best I have encountered in fiction.  

A likeable story, a good fireside read for a cold winter’s evening … or maybe on a sun lounger by the pool.

4 Stars

A Wife and a Bisexual Husband

Martin Brant

A novel, written in a woman’s voice, about her coming to terms with her husband’s admission that he is bisexual. Not only is he bisexual he is also impotent, which of course brings, Kate, the wife’s sexuality into play.

This is a patchy exploration of the doubts and uncertainties Kate experiences along the way to her new life. Some of her internal conversation repeats several times, others are almost glossed over. While in her life she struggles with some small steps and at other times she makes huge bounds almost without thought.

For the patchy nature.

3 Stars

Who Kills a Nudist

Paul Whybrow

A complex story of interwoven crimes in the English county of Cornwall, a spiritual home of smuggling of all types.

The trigger for the tale is the death of rather gentle pensioner, a man who was found naked in the sea. He had been sexually assaulted and violently killed. (That is about it for nudists as far as this story is concerned!)

Enter Detective Chief Inspector Neil Kettle, a man with enough on his plate already. Widower of 3 years, his only real friend his father-in-law who was also a heroic thief taker in his days in the police.

A plot that has more elements than the periodic table (not really but it is a busy story) the Cornish Detective could be a series to follow.

4 stars

A Village by the River

Martin Brant

A story from the Nudist Series that Marin Brant has created.

Jonathon, a born hiking enthusiast, decides to abandon his damp, clingy clothes, one afternoon when out hiking and has an epiphany.

The rest of the book concerns his relationship with Patricia, a girl he encounters while on a naked ramble and trying to get his friend Timothy, to join him.

A very American book, many of the cultural references … factory dormitories, for instance, are outside of British experience. So learnt something as well as enjoying a gentle stroll through Americana with out my clothes.

4 Stars

December ’19 Reads

A bunch of unrelated books (except 2 by Michael Beyers) that might tempt you

Sky Diving Naked: A Murder of Crows

Michael Gunner

Set in the Australian outback. A light easy read tale of hitmen taking out people stupid enough to steal from a drug dealer. The police remain at a loss

If you have a couple of hours to kill … Enjoy

3 Stars

Siege and Sacrifice (Numina Book 3)

Charlie N. Holmberg

A difficult read, to start with. The series has been much darker and Ms Holmberg’s lightness of touch is less evident. The two main characters are rather flat the rest of the cast are completely two dimensional – apart from a  scene near the end of the book which saves the whole project.

That said this book is the most compelling of the three-book series. The narrative finally comes to life and the (sketchy) characters fall in line to deliver a gripping finale a few chapters from the wind down end of the book.

If you are a fan of Charlie N. Holmberg’s other works… The series awaits

If you are stuck on book two… Siege and Sacrifice is worth reading on for

If you are thinking about it … Start with the first book and if you love it,  it is worth continuing if you don’t click don’t bother.

4Stars

One O’Rabbie’s Bairns

James Gault

A very funny story once you get into the Scottish argot used throughout.

I am a Suverner, I can do cockney if you need me to, however I made sense of the entire story.

Set in 2030. Brexit has happened. IndyRef2 has happened and a thriving Scotland has re-joined the EU.

Willie Kemp, Minister (not his real title) of Finance, decides to prepare his autobiography with the help of an English journalist  …

Very funny

4 Stars

Snow Babies

Michael Beyer

Michael Beyer says this is the best book he has written, I’m not sure I agree with him.

Point number one: Even though the covers might suggest this is a book for children, it is very definitely a book for adults, that is safe for children to read.

It is a very well plotted and written story. Once again, we find ourselves in the Iowa of town Norwell. While the Norwell Pirates, members of the famous softball team, feature in this story, other than Valerie, they take the back seat to the adults this time.

Set before ‘Sing Sad Songs’ which I reviewed last month, Snow Babies tells the story of the arrival in Norwell of four orphans, a witch, a social worker and a man called Catbird. Oh yes and a rather severe snowstorm, probably the worst in living memory.

Having assembled the ingredients, mix well season with a few deaths and …

A very good read.

Beyer’s best? Maybe, but I still think ‘Recipes for Gingerbread Children’ (reviewed in May) might just have the edge… read both and decide for yourself.

Another great story!

4 Stars

A Beginner’s Guide to Free Fall

Andy Abramowitz

An absorbing and well written tale in which nothing much happens but I couldn’t stop reading.

Davis almost has it all, good job he enjoys, loving wife, a daughter he dotes on and a sister that worships him. Then in a matter of hours it had all gone, except his sister.

Alone in a squalid bachelor flat he has to rebuild his life. He does get help from his sister and a couple of other unlikely sources.

I am glad I picked this story the Kindle Firsts list … a lovely read.

Book of the month

5 Stars

The Bicycle Wheel Genius

Michael Beyer

Another outing for the Norwall Pirates, several years further on from the Snow Babies. Former leader Mary is long gone, Valerie is handing over leadership just as the new tale starts.

A mad scientist, a mad (psychotic) killer, killer humanoid robots, a government out of control, aliens, time travel, sexual realignment and the rest of the population of Norwall.

A fun story, although at one point there are too many characters with names beginning with D … and once or twice it becomes a little difficult to follow the narrative. No, you don’t lose the thread it just a bit tangled, then it is that type of non-linear story.

Did I mention the Rabbit called Milles?

4 Stars

Book Reviews November ’19

Wow another month dashed by … a few more books read, most of them well worth reading!!

Sing Sad Songs

Michael Beyer

What a sad song, a sad young man and yet he brings so much joy to a dysfunctional Norwall family.

Arriving as an orphan, his French family wiped out in a car accident Francois brings something special to his Uncles Family and his new adopted brother, Billy.

He is accepted as one of the Norwall Pirates, a softball team and investigators of weird crimes. Rapidly a relationship between Francois and Valerie, a fellow Pirate, develops … all looks wonderful until the Teddy Bear Killer hits town. Even allowing for the strange dreams and the clowns …. had I mentioned the clowns? Or the dreams?

Weird and Wonderful 5 Stars

The Secret Chapter (The Invisible Library series)

Genevieve Cogman

Another fun instalment in the adventures of Irene the librarian and book redistributor and her sidekick the elegant dragon Kai. This time they need to deceive the man who leads the gang formed to steal the picture that … It makes more sense the way Genevieve Cogman has written it. Even if you got bogged down mid-series it is well worthwhile reading this little gem!

Weird and wonderous 5 stars

The Human Trials: And the Thrill of Being Watched

Ava Lee Mosley

Ava, got into a conversation with me on Twitter, I said I’d read one of her erotic stories. I touch of mild sexploitation, other wise a gentle, consensual sex story. Not badly written, No surprises. No problem. No excitement.

Nothing to get excited about 3Stars

The Church of the Undressed: Paradise Regained

Theo Theodora

A rather lacklustre priest’s wife inherits a run-down naturist resort, with a few wacky members. We going to sell it, her husband decides. Then she has a revelation, God’s work is best done naked. A new church starts. The new church attracts lots of on line coverage and the attentions of the police.

Liberally sprinkled with biblical quotations the story treads that fine line between titillating fiction and worthy polemic and generally manages to keep its balance.

I am not sure who the target audience for this book is, the naturists know this already and the unconverted are unlikely to start the story.

A pleasant enough read.

Well written Well balanced and Well … 4Stars

The Salt Path

Raynor Winn

An absorbing and almost overwhelming story of a couple beset with problems. Just little things, his health is failing, being made homeless, bankrupt, jobless … easy stuff really (NOT!). With nowhere else to go decide to walk the Salt Path, around the coast of Cornwall, rough camping. There only means of support, Social security of about £50 a fortnight.

The book describes their painful adaptation to their new lifestyle, acceptance and finally … read it and find out. The writing is sometimes a little self-indulgent, but the narrative thread was sufficiently strong to pull me through these rare patches.

The best non-fiction I have read this year.

Compelling … 5 Stars

Return of Uncovered Policeman

Yes the Uncovered Policeman, Rags, is set to return in a new adventure! LIVE, LOVE and LAUGH is the eleventh story in the series featuring the unclad copper.

The new story is released on Thursday 21st November 2019. The Kindle edition is available for pre-order on Amazon from …. NOW!!

The paperback is already available to purchase on the Amazon website. Whoo – Hoo!

The front cover of Live, Love and Laugh
The return of the Uncovered Policeman

Rags is back with a new adventure set, in part, on the island of New Albion. A place created by Wallace Greensage for “Who Is This Naked Lady?: And What Have They Done With My Wife?

Rags finds himself surrounded by strong, caring and supportive women; most of them strongly influenced by Bea. All wanting the very best for a man they all view as someone very special, Bea’s influence at work again?

If you remember how he left the after party following the final, farewell performance of the Unknown Twins. How he returned to his hotel and he sat and talked the night away. Then you might have an idea where this story starts.

If you don’t, well, this might be a good time to read or re-read The Uncovered Policeman: The Long Road!

October 2019 Book Reviews

Death Beside the Seaside (A Lady Hardcastle Mystery Book 6) by T E Kinsey (author)

Tiny Flo’ and Lady Hardcastle are back!

On holiday in wonderful Weston, the dynamic duo find themselves embroiled in a multiple murder, spy, hotel mystery.
Lots of murders, most of the guests at the hotel involved in espionage and the biggest mystery … who are Chub and Perch or is Antelope and Gazelle? Maybe Flo was correct to name them Leftie and Rightie after their gun hands.

An other rollicking adventure, revealing more of the past adventures of Lady H and her tiny companion, that bustles along like a hat in the breeze along Weston Promenade. At least it prevented Flo’ getting bored waiting for the tide to bring the sea to her!

As ever another fun read, just pipped to book of the month.

A fabulous read 5 Stars


The Reed Ferguson Series: Books 1-3 & Books 4-6
by Renee Pawlish (author)

A couple of box sets, the start of at least 18 stories featuring “not quite a rich boy anymore” detective Reed Ferguson. (Book 5 reveals why!)

The cast of characters are laid down in book 1 and they remain very true to themselves throughout, no sudden super-powers … then with Goofball Brothers as main support players; you wouldn’t expect them too.
The plots are all different even if Reed’s technique, a bit like Dick Francis’s detective Sid Halley’s “crash about a bit until someone beats me up”, approach.

I found them to be easy to read and kept me turning the pages.

Good reads 4 Stars


See You at the Bar (A Harry Gilmour Novel Book 5) by David Black (author)

Harry Gilmour continues to fight his war beneath the waves of the Mediterranean. Except in this story he is on the surface of the sea much of the time.
His would be nemesis, The Bonnyboy, is still trying to kill the one and only officer who knows the truth about his final patrol.

A less tension riddled tale than earlier books. Instead you worry for poor Harry’s mental and physical health and that of his crew as the submarine is pushed well beyond the normal deployment.

A bit weaker than normal from David Black

A final fling, 3 (+1/2) Stars


The Prisoner’s Key (Glass and Steele Book 8)
by CJ Archer

This is really a Steele and Steele book, picking up the story soon after Matt and India return from their honeymoon.
A metal magician wants to work with India to create new spells, then he becomes embroiled in a murder. India, Matt and the rest of the crew set out to provide the police with the identity of the real killer.

If you have enjoyed the previous seven stories, you’ll like this one too. It doesn’t, however, give you a reason to read on if you have lost enthusiasm for the series.

A fun read 4 Stars


The Last Dance (The Near-Earth Mysteries Book 1)
by Martin L. Shoemaker

The Captain of a ship on an endless voyage is charged with mutiny by the military forces under the control of BIG money.
The very junior Inspector General, Park Yerim, is the only inspector available in the narrow time frame available to conduct an independent investigation.

Park gathers testimony from the diverse crew, painting a complex picture of Captain Aames’s character: his heroism, his failures, even his personal passions. As the investigation unfolds, Park finds herself having to hold off powerful interests, each pushing and pulling her in a different direction to the one she wants to pursue.
Corruption, conflicting loyalties, and clashing accounts make it nearly impossible to see the truth in fifty million miles of darkness, and Park faces danger from every direction. All eyes are on her: one way or another, her findings will have astronomical implications for all involved

A classic country house style mystery, just the country house is missing. A well-told, enthralling story.

Undoubtedly The Book of the Month 5 Stars


Other Halves (Hannah series Book 2)
by Nick Alexander

A typically well crafted book by Nick Alexander. A marriage falls apart when Hanna leaves husband Cliff for his brother James. Cliff then has to struggle, coming to terms with suppressed feeling from his teenage years.
In the middle of this turmoil is Luke, the only child and weapon of choice for the warring couple.

A clever well written and absorbing story.

A good read 4 stars

September Books

Several books that were not so good this month … and one blindingly good one (at the bottom of the page)

The Case of the Nudist Numismatist

by Jack Dearborn (author), Ellen Dearborn (editor)

Another case for American detective Miles Grant, this time he has to solve the disappearance of a very valuable coin. The investigation progresses in an orderly manner, eliminating possibilities in a logical manner.

As usual Miles engages his wife as his sounding board which brings his family situation into the scope of the story. This opens up a family conversation about the rights and wrongs of the naturist life style some members of his family have adopted.

Not great literature but it is a fun read.

Fun 4 Stars

The Protest

by P.A. Choi (author)

Light fluffy short story about a naked protest on a college campus., from the prolific pen of PA Choi.

Fine if you want to read it.

Short and Signifying Nothing 2 Stars

A Dress the Color of the Sky

by Jennifer Irwin (author)

I wanted to enjoy this book … I didn’t.

There is nothing wrong with the writing. The plot is a little far fetched; a sex addict in therapy, trying to save a relationship with a man who is planning to marry another woman.

The voice didn’t work for me and coupled with the plot issues, I couldn’t read more than a few pages at a time … until I gave up.

NOT FINISHED – No rating

They Rang Up the Police (Inspector Guy Northeast Book 1)

by Joanna Cannan (author)

This a wonderful little detective story was actually written in 1939 and reflects the social mores of the period.

Out of favour Detective Guy Northeast is sent from Scotland Yard to investigate the disappearance of one member of a household of women, which turns into a country house murder. Before he can make progress he has to overcome the class prejudices of the era.

A rather well crafted book.

Good Read – 4 Stars

Death in Dulwich (The London Murder Mysteries )

by Alice Castle

The main character is a thirty-something single mum Beth Haldane. She has a young son, haughty cat, a fringe with a mind of its own and lots of bills to pay, as she struggles to keep up with the yummy mummies of the rather affluent Dulwich .

She starts a new a job and on her first day her immediate boss is murdered. For some reason she decides that she must be the main suspect and sets to clear her name.

A cozy crime story, pleasant enough if some of the characters are not much more than ciphers. Others I found to be a bit artificial. Read it or not, it isn’t going to change your world.

Cozy Reading 3 Stars

Hide and Seek PARIS-SXM

Valérie Lieko

I picked up the publicity for this book in a resort shop on St Martin, and didn’t get round to reading it for years. Thankfully.

Alternate chapters tell the story from either side of a dysfunctional romance. Dysfunctional because both characters are not who they claim to be. He is an undercover cop. She is on holiday and has created a more colourful persona for the event.

However, I found the double point of view story telling slow and often uninspiring. You know the factual basis of the second of each pair of chapters before you read it, although you might get a better understanding of the motivations and perceptions … it wasn’t enough.

I ended up skipping chunks and the entire last third of the book because to be honest I didn’t care enough about the characters.

NOT FINISHED – No rating

The Man with No Borders: A Novel

by Richard C. Morais (Author)

It is a time of reckoning for José María Álvarez, an aristocratic Spanish banker living in a Swiss village with his American wife. His has led a long and very interesting life, which includes a lot of salmon fishing. Or butchery of salmon by the hundred. Which he sells to hotels four or five days later, ungutted, no refrigeration, in Spain? Just as well it is fiction and an allegory.

That said this is the best book I read this month by a country mile. Well written, imaginative and engaging. You know the ending from the very start of the book. However, the narrative twist and turns like an alpine road, to the left, to the right and the doubling back to where you began, well almost.

I loved Richard C Morais earlier book The Hundred Foot Journey, I think that this is an even better book

The full 5 Stars And Book of the Month

July and August Reads

Reviews July August

Giant Problems, Naked Crow 8

PZ Walker

Naked Crow 8 - Giant Problems by [Walker, P.Z.]

P Z Walker’s Naked Crow, Sheila, and her friends (Jeremy, Josey, Wendy & Mike) are faced with a ‘giant’ problem at the Mighty Oaks Resort. All while caring for a group of young, native American artists.
Meanwhile, Owners Vinnie and Alice have their own problems to contend with.
Could they all be linked?
A great, rather bloody, romp at the interface of naturism and the ancient magic of the Tribes. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and was held captive by the great characters,

It is in need of a bit of tidying but I forgave that.

5 Stars

Siren Spirit

Elizabeth M Hurst

Siren Spirit (Lost Souls Book 1) by [Hurst, Elizabeth M.]

A short book, but it is the right length for the plot.

I enjoyed reading this tale of two timelines and two romances. There are no great messages or keys to the hidden mysteries of life, the universe etc.

The characters are likeable, the erotic content is gentle and the ghost scares nothing apart from the cat.

Overall a light and pleasant quick read.

4 Stars 

Broken Veil (Harbinger Book 5)

Prism Cloud (Harbinger Book 4)

Iron Garland (Harbinger Book 3)

Jeff Wheeler

Broken Veil (Harbinger Book 5) by [Wheeler, Jeff]

The third to fifth parts of this very popular series while perfectly readable and enjoyable did not add much to the story.

It kept me quiet, I paused and put the Kindle down and went and did something else for a bit, came back and read a few more pages.

3 Stars

No Where Girls

Teuta Metra

Nowhere Girls by [Metra, Teuta]

Nowhere Girls is at one level quite a dark read, corruption and crime form the overarching background to the whole story. However, it is a wonderful story of the will to survive.

Superimposed on to this gloomy backdrop is the story of three girls attempts to escape and lead a better life. The girls drive and determination to escape the gravitational pull of Albanian society takes them along different paths. Paths that intersect from time to time enabling changes of storyline to flow smoothly.

A very different take on a similar theme to James Gault’s The Redemption of Anna Petrovna.

I just wish that the main character, Sara, wasn’t such an ‘Eeyore’ character.  

4 Stars

Turn Left at Istanbul, Escaping Shirley

Richard Savin

Turn Left at Istanbul: ESCAPING SHIRLEY - The ultimate, mad, sixties road trip by [Savin, Richard]

Time it was,
And what a time it was
It was . . .
A time of innocence
A time of confidences
In writing a humourous memoir of a 1969 road trip Richard has accidentally written a wonderful eulogy for a bygone age of innocence, freedom and a world (more or less) at peace.

This is the story of his (and his travelling companion) first task in a new job. To drive his boss’s brand new Jaguar car from London to Calcutta.
They cross borders that are closed today, they pass ancient relics that are now lost to the world. They shop for a wing mirror, meet a drug lord, eat fabulous regional food (& some dross) and buy bits of the Taj Mahal from a small boy with a knife.
You couldn’t do this trip, this way today. Yes, it is funny but it also made me feel wistful for that era of optimism.

5 Stars

A Charmed Life

Paul Rouse

A Charmed Life by [Rouse, Paul]

This is the story of a young Australian news cameraman/T.V. Journalist told by the people around him at various points in his life. His ex-girlfriend, a cousin, his agent and several others all contribute to this tense story, mainly set against the wars in Iraq and the Kurdish independence struggle.
A well-plotted tale, stylishly written. That is where the star got lost.
While the multiple points of view approach enables the author to see all the events through the eyes of a direct observe it means that the timeline, while generally moving forward, shuffles around quite a lot.
We also never really get inside the head of the hero, we just get to hear the remembered speech through other people’s personal filters.
That said the book kept me engaged to the final scene.

4 Stars

A Flower in the Wind

James Gault

A Flower in the Wind: A thriller about Love and Politics by [gault, james]

Our star crossed lovers meet…
Hoa is a young Vietnamese girl sent to school in Singapore where she meets and falls for political activist Tim, a young American of Asian descent.
The group of activists they join are a strange little group of non-activists. They crave more action and well one thing leads to another. Then things get strange.
The tale is tightly written, maintaining a tense atmosphere throughout.
The two main characters are engaging if a little naive.
The plot while holding together pushes credibility more than a little towards the end. However, so does Romeo and Juliette. If Shakespeare can get away with it, maybe it is not an issue.

4 Stars

The Catnapped Lover

Rue Allyn

The Catnapped Lover

The story starts with an annual challenge between two very successful and wealthy young men. The company they run selects its’ CEO on the basis of this challenge from the current junior to the existing post holder.

This year Adam is challenged to survive without access to his money and business connection for eight weeks.

Meanwhile Dierdre is in the process of getting herself sacked from her job helping the disadvantaged.

Adam’s clunker of a loan car overheats in the Michigan wilderness. While he is searching for water, he finds a sick cat. Moved by the cat’s plight he carries in his arms as he searches for help, for the two of them.

With no job, and thanks to her ex, Paul, who had betrayed her trust and run off with her money, no savings.  Dierdre needs somewhere to take stock and rebuild her life.

The two meet on the porch of Aunt Shea’s farm and animal refuge. It is a long way from love at first sight.

The story is one of disdain and dislike turning to longing and lust but where will it end?

The story is essentially about the interactions between these three characters, Adam, Dierdre and Shea. With three minor characters in support. Oh, and the cat, well sort of.

The story is well written, and it is possible to empathise with the characters as they pass from trial to tribulation. However, I found a number of unresolved threads, sub plots that appear and disappear, a little distracting. As a matter of personal taste, I found Dierdre lack of willingness to talk honestly and Adam’s determination to win the bet frustrating.

Overall, despite these nit-picks, it is an enjoyable read, great for a summer’s day in the garden or an autumnal read in the sun lounge.    

I’ll give it 4 Stars for being a pleasant piece of non-taxing fluffiness.

 books2read.com/u/ba2KBx