Category Archives: Uncategorized

Early Summer Reading

Farewell To Summer (New Albion Book 3)

by Wallace Greensage (author)

This is Wallace Greensage’s 3rd New Albion book. I don’t say ‘story’ because it is lots of stories about lots of characters all cleverly woven together.

New Albion is an imaginary country in the mid-Atlantic. A bit like Britain towed south by a thousand ships. (Going South – Forever.) The climate is warmer and so are most of the people. Apart from a few gangsters who are seeking to use the convenient location for their own ends, who bring the edge to the story.

I really enjoyed this gentle relaxing tale of good people geting the lives they deserve!

Well worth the Full 5 stars

Mirror Gate (Harbinger Book 2)

Storm Glass (Harbinger Book 1)

Mirror Gate (Harbinger Book 2)

by Jeff Wheeler (author)

Take three girls, A princess, a pauper and a child of privilege. Add a few ghosts and some Muirwood, leering mediated magic, set the stories in a world with a huge gap between rich and poor and a narrow margin between success and failure. Add a bit of steampunk science and you have the Harbinger books.

They are well written and entertaining stories that in the end you walk away from. Harmless, without great significance and reading like one long book .

Pointless fluff

Three Stars

Hello from Another Time: A fun, yet poignant story about a modern girl adapting to life in a completely different era.

Hello from Another Time: A fun, yet poignant story about a modern girl…

by Tina K. Burton (author)

A story that starts promising but fails to deliver.

Emily is crossing the road, absorbed in her phone then she is in the care of her great aunt in 1930’s Bath. If the story had stayed there it would have been a wonderful piece of whimsy.

Sadly World War 2 approaches and Emily goes off the rails, panicking about the coming bombing … At the level where you’d imagine only a tiny percentage of the population were going to survive and the story sort of goes off the rails.

fun scenario, fun story for the first two thirds, let down by the final third.

Three Stars

Life Models

Life Models

by D.H. Jonathan (author)

A fun uplifting story of lonely Life Model, widower David, who becomes enamored with a new model on the rota at the Art College. Despite the difference in their age and social background they find common cause in the course of a project and …. I’m not giving away the plot.

We written with very believable characters (probably because DHJ has vast experience as a life model) I enjoyed this story from start to finish.

Five Stars

Elven Winter (The Saga of the Elven Book 2)

Elven Winter (The Saga of the Elven Book 2)

Elven Queen (The Saga of the Elven Book 3)

by Bernhard Hennen (author), Edwin Miles (translator)

I loved the original book The Elven and gave it 5 stars. Well sadly it has been down hill from there. The Elven Winter begins as quite an exciting tale that crackles with action and tension then slides into a quagmire of detail.

The third book seems to stay stuck in the same rut. I say seems I set it aside at about a fifth of the way in.

The Case of the Lascivious Lecturer

The Case of the Lascivious Lecturer

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

PI Miles Grant is back, This time trying to discover who is blackmailing the family of a young girl. How did they come by the images? Why can’t the victim remember? Methodical (plodding?) as ever Miles sets off to solve the mystery.

Meanwhile at home Miles’ wife is flirting with naturism or is it something else? Spending more time naked than dressed, to what purpose, is it just a passing phase? Or should they tell the children of the family what is going on?

This tale left a bit of a nasty taste in the mouth. To get his evidence another student is allowed to go through the same ordeal. i suppose it is historically correct but the young girls are left unsupported after being abused.

Unscored

A Thousand Devils (Max Heller, Dresden Detective Book 2)

A Thousand Devils (Max Heller, Dresden Detective Book 2)

by Frank Goldammer (author), Steve Anderson (translator)

Another case of I gave Book 1 five stars and book two fails to hit the mark. however it was a very high mark to aim for.

Set two years after air Raid Killer (the first Max Heller case) and Dresden is struggling to survive the bitter winter under Russian occupation when a series of bizarre killings involving the occupation forces arrives in Max Heller’s case load.

Are the murders related to a Nazi revival, desperation for food or are they as the Russians insist not related at all?

While it isn’t as good as the exceptional The Air Raid Killer, Im still going to give it more than four stars …. so that is

Five Stars

See-Through: An Emma Nelson Mystery by [Walker, P.Z.]

See-Through: An Emma Nelson Mystery

P.Z. Walker, (Will Forest editor)

It started when Emma accepts a candy from a stranger …

Unnerved by her new ability she confides in a friend, and then while drunk, another, a guy, a policeman. Suddenly she is attracting interest from the police. In more ways than one.

A Fun poolside read from a prolific pen of Paul Z Walker.

Five Stars

Love…From Both Sides

Nick Spalding

A very forgettable book … I had to check on my kindle that I had read it. I recognised the last few pages. I dipped back through a few pages and I remember that it is a piece of nothing – Boy meets girl, makes an idiot of himself in a food poisoning episode and eventually gets her back – As usual it makes for a great read by the pool or in the airport waiting for a delayed flight.

Three Stars

Lies Sleeping: The New Bestselling Rivers of London novel (A Rivers of London novel Book 8)

Ben Aaronovitch

The New Bestselling … I hate that sort of subtitle doubly for the repetition. The cast is all here again as PC Peter Grant chases down the bad guys of magic in a complex narrative that finally moves the Rivers of London series forward after a couple of rather static books. Nightingale, Beverley and even a gentler Leslie play their roles, as finally we discover more about the Faceless man …

This is by no measure a stand alone read you have to read the enjoyable first couple of stories and wade through the fifth and sixth books for this one to make sense. Even Amazon are confused calling it book 8 of a seven book series.

Three Stars

The Uncovered Policeman: THE LONG ROAD

The Long Road

Ready for pre-order the Uncovered Policeman: THE LONG ROAD is the tenth book featuring Rags the Uncovered Policeman in the Rags to Riches series.

There are huge changes afoot at L’Abeille Nue. The naturist resort in the South of France that Rags and Bea Adiscombe opened on the site of a failed riding stables many years earlier.
Now Rags is on a mission at the behest of Bea.  It could have been a lonely mission.  Fortunately, he has a network of friends and family to help him along the way.
Some are new to the story, like Horse, who takes him along the length of the most famous road in the world.
On the way, there is still time for him to find the normal mix of sun and laughter … a general lack of clothing

This is a stand-alone story but is most definitely better read in the sequence set out in the series.

A perfect Christmas Read for all ages!

October 2018 Reading

October a holiday month here at Bun Towers,

A holiday and a bit of time to get into some reading. The thing is I got stuck into a series of long books. Which meant a few sleepless nights!

The Series?

  • Separation (A World War Two Chronicle Book 1), 

  • Change (A World War Two Chronicle Book 2),

  • Love (A World War Two Chronicle Book 3), 

  • Deception (A World War Two Chronicle Book 4),

  • Retribution (Lives Apart: A World War Two Chronicle Book 5) 

by

Carole McEntee-Taylor

Separation
Separation

The story of three families and several other individuals told in short vignettes interwoven with each other. Each book covers a year of the war (well roughly) as the character fall in love and face dangers and deprevations of wartime across England, France, Poland, and into Spain.

There is an amount of sexual violence as well as physical violence in the story.

The other problem is one of historical facts.

Like using a Bren gun to stop a tank, one of several slight slips about the hardware of war. Another is the amount of car use by private citizens. However, these little slips don’t matter much in the storytelling .

I read all five one after another … often reading late into the night!

A Great series 5 Stars across the piece 

buy it here

Checking Out

Nick Spalding

Checking Out Cover
Checking Out

Checking out is the story of a great musician who by accident has created a hit series of singing vegetable songs (think Teletubbies or the Herbs if that helps) Who manages to sell the franchise so he can move on … just as the symptoms of a brain tumour start to effect his behaviour. His strange stammer and language difficulties help lose his girlfriend … but he finds another. The thing is, is it fair on her to let her fall in love? Should he tell her? Can he tell her?

Varying from laugh out loud to deeply saddening it is a really well told story.

 

A Great Read,  5 stars

Buy Checking Out

The Girl from Berlin: Standartenführer’s Wife

Ellie Midwood

The Standartenfuhrer's Wife
The Standartenfuhrer’s Wife

 

I was going to start on the World War Two Chronicals, when I opened this book in error. I’m glad I did. A captivating read about a young lady Annalise, the want to be ballet dancer daughter of a family of “hidden” Jewish refugees in Berlin in the 1930s. The story gets darker as the power of Nazi Party grows.  Strangely Annalise finds love in the arms of Nazi officer the “Standartenfuhrer” of the title. The twist and turns mount as we discover that the Standartenfuhrer is not just a Nazi with friends in high places.

Great Read 5 Stars

Buy The Standartenfuhrer’s Wife

Montana Cherries (The Wildes of Birch Bay Book 1)

Kim Law

 

A bit of slushy Romance to finish the list. Fun, light and bit of psychology about narcissistic personalities. The story centres around the Wilde family. A family of cherry growers (originally) torn apart by their narcissistic (late) mother.

This story focusses on the daughter Dani Wilde and the changes in her life that happen when her first and only real lover returns to Montana.

At times very frustrating as they dither and dance around each other but still

A fun read. 4 Stars  

August Reading

August …

The month of heat and reading in the pool. Loving the August reading experience.

Silent Deception: A Paranormal Gothic Romance Novella by Cathie Dunn

Dark Deceit
Dark Deceit

 

4 Stars a Good Read

The Forgotten Summer by Carol Drinkwater

The Forgotten Summer
The Forgotten Summer

This one really didn’t work for me.
The mystery was so obvious that I had resolved it about a third of the way into this story.
Likewise the sub-plot, why is Mother-in-law so horrid, was pretty easy to work out.
That made the reading of the rest of the book heavy going.
The digression into wine and olive oil production whilst informative added little. As did the description of the towns and villages and the mention of the swimming pool being cleaned …. no body even goes in the pool.
An inventive story padded to novel length instead of edited to a short story.
Just a  Fair Read

Oh! To be in England & A Little of What You Fancy by H E Bates

A very painful read in more was than one. There is the pain of Pop’s heart attacks … Ma’s refusal to recognise how much she was contributing to his problems.
The relationship between the Vicar, Mr Candy, and Primrose is worrisome to. Last time we met them she was just 14! The period of time elapsed since is never clear but Oscar is now at school so several years. Phew!
Then you get the casual racism of Ma’s disapproval of bare-breasted black women on TV. The narrow minded anti Common Market slogans bandied about . All very uncomfortable stuff written 7 years after Oh! To be in England but actually not the England it was.

A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge

 

Skinful of Shaddows
Skinful of Shaddows

A Young Adult fiction story of a young girl growing up with her runaway mother in Poplar just before the English Civil War.
Makepeace is not a normal girl, she has a space for ghosts inside her …
A very cleverly plotted story, spoilt slightly by the use of different fonts to differentiate the different voices.
 Four stars and a  GOOD READ

Time, Tide and Trouble.  Sun, Sand and Secrets.  Rocks, Roses and Riptides by Carolyn L Dean

Three more cosy crime stories set in the Oregon sea side town of Ravenwood Cove.
Amanda gets involved in solving murders with her boyfriend James the detective. All very gentle and as comfortable as a room at the Ravenwood Inn and as sweet as the cakes served in the towns café.
Gentle  EASY READING

Varied Traits by Patrick Brown

Varied Traits
Varied Traits

The first book featuring Salem Reid.  A private vigilante . This story revolves around the ‘adult entertainment’ industry as a background to crimes of sexual violence and extreme violence. How on earth Salem gets away with the trail of death and mayhem is beyond my belief. On the other hand it is a readable page turner. The excitement keeps the pages turning, even if smacking the head of a bad guy against the pavement until his skull is pulp tends to push the other way.

A three star Fair Read

Magic Vodka Wardrobe by Sheila Patel

Insanity, in a young woman’s wardrobe is a vodka only disco bar from the 1970s.
Shaz, her sister and her aunt are the only customers. They get blasted, dance to old disco and have failed relationships with assorted blokes, who sit on a sofa outside the corner shop.
I had volume 2 on Kindle Unlimited, I sent it back unread … nuff said!
No picture, no link, don’t go there unless you like strange alternate urban realities, vodka and YMCA!

Best Seller

New House …New Neighbours

A new runaway best seller in my collection New house …New Neighbours. Out selling everything else I have published by a country mile!

New House ... New Neighbours
New House … New Neighbours

http://getbook.at/NewHouse

Number 609 best seller on the Amazon UK > Kindle Store > Books > Literature & Fiction > Humour & Satire > Literary Humour Chart!!!

It is a dream …
You’re going to retire from work and buy a house in the south of France.
You search the French countryside
Eventually, you find the right house, in the right location, at the right price!
You put in an offer.
The vendor says yes.
The legal process grinds through all the necessary steps.
The place is yours!
Suddenly, you own the right house, in the right location
What you have forgotten is, that with a new house, you get new neighbours!
Will they be good neighbours? As Jerry and Fran move into their new house in the village of Las Lilas, they are about to find out!!

Reviewer author Jim Gault wrote;

New House New Neighbours by Ted Bun

Ted’s latest is a slight departure from his usual, both in subject matter and in style. This is not another episode of his successful Rags to Riches series; instead we are introduced to a completely new set of characters. Sunshine, wine and naturism feature as you would expect, but there are new and different themes. As the newcomers to the South of France battle to get themselves up and running in their local community, we are treated to some amusing insights into husband-wife relationships, local customs, and the problems of battling with overgrown gardens using inadequate tools.

There are a couple of interesting stylistic developments in this novel. Ted has chosen to write this one in the first person, but alternating the narration between Jerry, the husband, and Fran, the wife. This device allows the author to exploit, in a good natured way, the comedy of the differences between their own view of themselves and that of their spouse. The author’s wry humour defines this book, whether he’s poking gentle fun at French rural life or the vagaries of technology.

As always, the story is bathed in happiness and optimism. There is no dark side here, just good fun.

 

http://getbook.at/NewHouse

 

November Reading

November was a busy month on the writing front, so rather less reading. Nothing was stand out brilliant either.

Holding Briefs, Without Prejudice and Duty of Care

by Andrew Calow

http://author.to/AndrewCalow

Three  stories in an almost continuous narrative, set in either a Barristers Chambers or a Naturist Swim, depending on your point of view.  The main tale revolves around a very slowly developing romance between two of the legal eagles. While interesting little plot lines bubble along in the back ground.

This is the second time through these books, the first time I really enjoyed them. This second time around I felt that the main romance develops frustratingly and unrealistically slowly. That said they are a great read. Watch out for more references to then on this site soon!

Hippie Hollow: Murder on a Nude Beach: A B.B. Rivers Mystery Series Book One

by Denniger Bolton

http://mybook.to/HippieHollow

A well written little detective story, that had precious little to do with a nude beach.

BB (Bilbo Baggins) Rivers is a failed cop. He is in a romantic relation with Patricia. Patricia’s uncle needs someone to take a look at a five year old murder case … and the story begins. BB aided by several rather larger than life characters, Lucinder the rich aunt of one of the victims, Max the psychic and T.Rex the journalist.

They take an absurd trip around the Austin and its environs in pursuit of a hit man … and the perfect Chiles Relleno (Whatever they are!)

Really good fun romp!

Clothing Optional

by Larry L. Evans

http://viewbook.at/CO

A very short story
A trivial story
Woman decides to join a gym with a Clothing Optional zone, and doesn’t like it based on a dream from the night before.

Autumn Reads

More reviews

I’ve been so busy this autumn  getting A Spring Break at L’Abeille Nue ready for publication so this has gotten a little behind.

Gaviota: The Nude Beach Murders

by Robert Josephs (Author)


Not a bad book nor a great yarn.
Death and mayhem on a Nude beach. A beach that provokes massive anger in the rich men around the area. That commands great loyalty from the dozen or so users.
No grounding in reality … but fun all the same

The Collective

by Olaf Danielson (Author)

What A GOOD READ!
The story of a an American man whose European roots turn out to be rather different from their day to day life is also found in Anders Zorn; Unveiled.
This variation is slightly more ‘Magical’ a giant …. human sacrifice all set in a magical location on the NE coast of the island of Ireland. A very enjoyable read.

The Redemption of Anna Petrovna

by James Gault (author)

A GOOD READ

An excellent tale set in the corrupt world of a city in a former socialist republic. A world run on graft, bribes and favours where who you know and who they own are your passport to success.

In this city is Anna, a young woman with a life plan … for it to work out she needs to avoid coming to the attention of the gangsters. Will she succeed? Will her plan come to fruition? …. Could ever have?

The Naked Witch (A Wendy Woo Witch Lit Novel Book 1) The Orphan Witch: (A Wendy Woo Witch Lit Novel 2)

by Wendy Steele (author)

Light fluffy rubbish. The main character spends an inordinate amount of time in tears (mainly of self pity) and in turning down offers of definite lust and possible love ….

Pendragon

by Mary Fitzgerald (author)
 

A GOOD READ

I followed the link in an advert and rather glad I did … I mean a book called Pendragon has to have something going for it!
I discovered a well written Fantasy Romance novel,
Newly married Rowan discovers Pendragon home of the very dysfunctional Caradoc family over the generations. At Pendragon she finds herself involved in a romance that has run through the centuries … and involved her family in the past.

Well written with good characterisation and a strong narrative.

Pancakes and Corpses (Peridale Cafe Cozy Mystery Book 1)

by Agatha Frost (author)

Light and Fluffy like the cakes the heroine bakes in her cake shop ….
I get the impression although the Author claims “She lives in a quaint village in a sleepy corner of England,” that she is not English. Her grasp of the financial realities of buy a house and a shop in a Cotswold village is missing! 
I’m not sure about a CID DI being based in the village Police Station is authentic either, but in a buttercream world everything is possible.
Easy reading if you can suspend reality!

Death a la Carte (Black Horse Inn Series Book 1)

by Lucinda D. Davis (author)


My third book by Lucinda D Davis in the past few weeks, and probably the best of them, a full 3 stars! Although I am still not convinced about “Police Process” for example it finishes with a grand reveal ….
Good little plot, well written let down by the poor research and depth of characterisation … I hope Alice (the Black Horse Inn’s resident ghost) has a bigger role in the rest of the stories as she was the most interesting character.

Murder on the Rocks (Boddington Bay Cozy Mystery Series Book 1)

by Lucinda D. Davis (author)

I get the feeling I was over generous with my Amazon review, Fair plot idea poor delivery.
This short book didn’t work for me.
I thought there was no explanation of why the heroine wanted to become involved in the investigation.
A slip in the timeline, with a day getting lost
A complete miss-representation of how a law enforcement agency would deal with ‘innocents’ on the edge of an operation – false imprisonment ?
Shame that silly mistakes have wasted a nice idea, good use of language but ….

SEA, SKY, and SKELETON: A Ravenwood Cove Cozy Mystery

by Carolyn L. Dean (author)

A neat little Cosy Mystery …. I am started to get a little jaded with this series and they are getting a little ‘samey’. So I’ll take a break before reading more

Death in Devon: A Coppin’s Locks Mystery

Mark of Fire (The Endarian Prophecy Book 1)

by Richard Phillips (Author)

An Amazon Kindle first offering … I got it for nothing and sadly that is what it is worth. A sword and sorcery type story with lots of strange names and unrevealed hidden powers for the baddies to suddenly wield … Stopped reading after a hundred or so pages and not planning to start again.

POOR

Another Complete Series Read

I have read my way through another series the four books that make up the Hidden Academy series.  Overall the Hidden Academy stories start off very bright and action packed page turners. However over the series they become harder to read and ultimately less rewarding as I went on.

The Hidden Academy
by Jon Rosenberg

The Series start brightly as we meet troubled Guardian, David Ash trying to deal with a manifestation of a Unicorn. A Guardian? A member of the Hidden Academy, a trained Summoner {Magician of sorts) who is responsible for protecting the public from dangerous intrusions of magic creatures from other realities. David has help from a thousand year old Welsh dwarf, Llew. The story gets deeper from there as the cast grows. But who is the love interest … Jenny the American Summoner? Alanza, the tempestuous neice of a Spanish Summoner? or maybe Titania the Fairy Queen and wife of Oberon?

The Cast of characters gets bigger with the addition of Techie dwarves the Svartalfar and an AI entity Alpha. There is more trouble from Puck and Oberon. As David, Llew and Jenny (plus a little help from Titania) do battle with a mythical Wolf . Does AI Dream of Digital Wolves?

The Series starts  getting rather samey, with fewer active members of the Academy involved, the same type of action scenes …. as David Ash heads into Hell to do battle with assorted deities and demons.

A struggle if you are less than up on mythology.

Romans, roman gods and David Ash …. most of the development in the story is internal discussion set in Ash’s head and the head of Queen Titania of the Fey. I found it a slow read with a very disappointing ending. If it was a country house murder mystery, you’d be crying foul!

Family Album

The Uncovered Policeman – Family Album

 

Cover
The Uncovered Policeman – Family Album

 Out on Kindle Friday 30th June

The family Album is the 7th Rags to Riches story featuring Rags the Uncovered Policeman.

The story starts where the Caribbean Blues finished, featuring almost all of the cast of the series to date as Rags and Bea find themselves embroiled in a plan to reconcile Bea’s Mum, Sylvia, with her brother Dave.

Dave of course is better known as Canadian rock star, Lucifer (Luke) Lightning.

Will it be a happy reunion or will fur fly?

Whichever, Rags, the Uncovered Policeman will be there with his camera to record it all for the Family Album.

 

Amazon.co.uk  http://amzn.to/2tdliRl

Amazon USA     https://www.amazon.com/Uncovered-Policeman-Family-Album-Riches-ebook/dp/B071XMQRDC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498463603&sr=8-1&keywords=Uncovered+Policeman