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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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 .
Hello from Another Time: A fun, yet poignant story about a modern
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Lies Sleeping: The New Bestselling Rivers of London novel (A Rivers of London novel Book 8)
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.
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 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!
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)
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!
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.
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.
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
The month of heat and reading in the pool. Loving the August reading experience.
Silent Deception: A Paranormal Gothic Romance Novella by Cathie Dunn
Beautiful, feisty young heiress arrives to claim her inheritance.
A haunted manor house on the wild Cornish Coast.
The only man prepared to help is a handsome hunk.
Is he what he seems? That is the question in Minnie’s mind, as manners are honoured only in the breach!
A short read but the right length for the story. Perfect for a train journey from Oakham to London.
4 Stars a Good Read
The Forgotten Summer by Carol Drinkwater
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
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
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!
A new runaway best seller in my collection New house …New Neighbours. Out selling everything else I have published by a country mile!
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.
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
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!)