It has been a busy period, has December and November 2018. What with the new covers for the Uncovered Policeman books having to be done, uploaded and approved by Amazon.
Then there was finishing The Uncovered Policeman:THE LONG ROAD in time for the publication date 23rd December … so two months reading in a single post. Buy it
The Body in the Dales is an interesting whodunnit. Featuring a taciturn, cultured, separated DCI who has a reputation for solving complex cases by taking the path less travelled. A new DS joins the team and they set off to solve the murder of a thoroughly disliked potholer. The caver’s body has been found at the bottom of a cave complex but since he was dead before his body dumped. Lots of suspects with motive, but the means and the opportunity?
The Quartet Murders once again features DCI Oldroyd and DS Carter and starts with a violinist being shot on stage while the DCI is watching and the disappearance of the very valuable Stradavarius at the same time takes the story into the murky world of collectable musical instruments.
Lots of suspects with motive, but the means and the opportunity? (sound familiar) Lots of description of another DCI’s sweet eating habits, the violin is always called the ‘Strad’ no variation, The Violin, the instrument, the precious antique whatever.
Security expert Logan Kennedy flies into Schiphol airport to be met by Marianne and the first moments of a romance starts. The story is set mainly in the Rotterdam area against the background growing extremism, From Environmentalist, Radicalised Muslims and Right Wing Political Parties. Logan is here to protect an oil company from attack.
The other two girls are from the Muslim tradition, one very westernised the other trying to escape a strongly orthodox family.
So there are the ingredients for the story.
The plot weaves its way in and out of the characters lives, the oil company which they all work for providing the link until it reaches its conclusion. There is very little tension in this easy to read novel so it is a romance, with social comment rather than a thriller
A Good Read 4 Stars****
Joe Murray, Cafe Owner, Curmudgeon, Divorcee, President of the Stanford Third Age Club and Amature Detective, gets involves in the hit and run killing of a member of his club. The killing has left a space on the Club’s weekend trip to Filey. A space Eddie Dobson is keen to fill. Then things get worse.
On the downside, the characters, especially Joe, failed to engage me and I never developed an interest in them.
I picked this because the whole series was high in the Amazon charts. It turned out to be a bit of a potboiler whodunit, with no tension in the story. I’m not going to be reading the other 15 books in the series.
Well, others like it 2 Stars**
The follow up to the original Unsworth Manor story starts at the other end of world war 1.
The Manor is up for sale and American War Hero Avery Montague is looking for a new home in the United Kingdom. A match made in heaven?
Well, it is after Avery finds a document left by the late Lady of the House.
A full on Cosy International Crime story, with a sprinkle of a Romance (or two, you old dog “War Hero!”)
It would benefit from another run through by the author.
Great Story, Could read better 4 Stars ****
The latest instalment of the tales from the Invisible Library has been on my pre-order list for months. I was slightly disappointed in the end. The characters are all there, Irene the Librarian, Kai the Dragon princeling, Vale the human detective and Silver the Fae. Once again they all meet in a world that is foreign to them all. This time they are there to save a peace conference between the Fae and Dragons.
The plot is well mapped out and keeps you engaged throughout but where has the quirky humour, that had silverfish attacking Irene in book one, gone? All the threats to the lives of the heroes were all too real. Hopefully the absurd will be back for book 6.
A Slightly below par Good Read 4 Stars ****
When you open an Andrew Calow book expect to find a convoluted story littered with classical music references and a smattering of incidental social nudity.
This book is no different, it ties together the Holding Briefs loose ends and the Brothers Head with many of the characters from Requiem for a Page Boy.
It is a well-crafted story, that twists and turns as much as the River Thwait on its way to Kingsthorpe Harbour, past a repurposed pub and on the North Sea.
Yes I enjoyed the book, even as it swung into areas that in the end had nothing to do with the story … this time
December Book of the Month 5 Stars *****
Tales from ships with tall masts. Stuart Vincent worked as a radio engineer on several pirate radio stations during the 1980s. The book is his recollections of his time with the Voice of Peace, Radio Caroline and Laser. The author is a radio engineer so not surprisingly, if a little sadly, we learn more about RF Modulation than we do about the personalities of his shipmates, what they ate, how they lived and how they stayed sane for periods of up to twenty-nine weeks stuck on a ship in the Northsea with irregular supplies of … well, everything. These things are touched on but never developed.
It is an interesting, if slightly chaotic, account of one man’s experiences. Sadly that is the downfall of this book as a read. It is very poorly edited, stories begin in one chapter and then again in another, only this time with an ending. Still if like me you are an Offshore Radio nerd it is an important record of the time and the technicalities of the ships.
An Interesting Read if you are Interested 3 Stars ***
The slightly magical stories of the Watchmakers Daughter, Londoner, India Steele and her struggle with her magic, her employer American (or is he an English Lord) Matthew Glass’s uncertain future and the romance between them. Matthew has to find Chronos another magical watchmaker the only person who can stop him dying. However, Chronos has disappeared and there are other people in pursuit of Matthew. They are seeking to take revenge on him for other actions in his past. No wonder the romance is in denial!
Very well written and very engaging main characters I read the first three of the seven stories on the bounce. I’ll be reading the rest soon, I expect
Joint November Best Read 5 Stars *****
but it does give you time to plan, order and gift wrap these fun books (or you could just tick the Gift Wrap option!)
Between now and 15th December 2018 I have taken £1.00 off the price of all my paperbacks
Give someone the gift of naturist fiction,
An ideal Secret Santa present! Laugh when you see how the recipient reacts … or doesn’t!
September has been a strange month, still very hot here. Lots of writing being done too. So the list of books for September is quite restricted. The books this month have in general been rather weak reads too!
Why did I do it? I mean reading the whole ten book box set and then book 11?
Well despite the appalling lack of accuracy about English life and the nature of small Cotswold villages, they are fairly engaging characters. OK, there is death, multiple deaths where ever Julia goes. Even a simple birthday party for her new man results in a killing! And it is not the first illegal death in the family. Julia’s baking must be pretty fantastic, otherwise, the whole population of Peridale would have moved out to escape the Grim Reaper.
Book 11 sees an actress, a diva, buying the remains of Barker, the boyfriend’s, house damaged in a storm (and uninsured) to build a modern monstrosity on the site. Until murder takes a hand!
All very silly but easy reading
Ah, that is why! Mr Walker has come up with an inventive set of stories for his heroine Shelia, the modern day Crow nation Shamen, her friends and her spirit guide. At least four different storylines intertwine their way through the book, some light-hearted others potentially darker.
A fun light read. I loved it, even the sometimes idiosyncratic use of English!
Mentioning darker plots … I was tempted by a low-cost edition of book one of the Inspector Banks series (the first of twenty-four, it could be expensive). On the other hand, it was not a strong book.
Written in the 1980’s which I managed to pick up from the smoking in public buildings and one mention of synthesiser and drum music, some of the plot devices had not stood the test of time. The opera-loving hero and the Radical Woman character. Some of the writing was very repetitive ‘Banks lights another cigarette!” Headlines in the Eastvale Herald. Many of the characters are very one dimensional, all the women are stunningly attractive, the bad guys are irredeemably evil, petty but evil.
If I was going for a post-Rebus detective … Derek Fee’s character Ian Wilson is far better. Definitely in the
I gather there is a TV series based on these books. Reviews indicate they might get better so I may try another.
Another dark and nasty American murder psycho-drama with a twist in its tail, story. I am struggling with this book. So much so I re-read the Lady Hardcastle mysteries to avoid it.
I have been fortunate to be given permission to use the images from Andrew Chambers to use as the cover art for the Rags to Riches (the Uncovered Policeman) books.
Andrew, who was the creative talent behind Chamber Cards and now runs Chambers Concrete, making concrete candle in Byfleet in the UK. Sounds whacky but take a look, I recommend them for that ‘awkward’ gift purchase. https://www.chambersconcrete.com/
So the New Covers
Starting with the original story ….
We meet PC Adiscombe and he meets Beatrice Johnson
The Second Story
A holiday in the South of France … Hand luggage only?
The third story
Back to some real police work
I was busy doing a lot of writing in February, see the previous post! The Uncovered Policeman: Made for TV
I managed a rather fun series of fantasy books. I probably started in the wrong place, although I might not have done … So I’ll review as I read it
by KF Breene
This is the one that might have been out of sequence, but it appears to have a sequel in preparation.
We meet Penny Bristol, a young woman with known but suppressed magical talent, standing outside a church in New Orleans. She is supposed to be attending a magical retreat. Somehow the dates have gotten confused. Preparations for a battle between good and evil are underway. The question is who’s side should she be on?
After having accidentally helped to turn a coven of witches into zombies she ends up hiding in a cupboard while a pitch battle rages around her. Being found by a self declared ‘good guy’ another young woman dressed in leather armed with a gun and sword she survives and is taken into the care of an older couple of ‘mages’ (magicians).
From then on we follow her tale as she tries to return to her old life, correcting the grammar on public notices with her friend Veronica, for example. However, her magic won’t let her and soon the corrupt Magicians Guild of Seattle have her in their sights.
Pace, humour and a strong internal logic hold this well written story together. A very entertaining read I’ll give it
A Good Read
I then followed back to the parent series, starting with;
By KF Breene
The lead character in this series is a certain leather clad, sword wielding, female Super Natural Bounty Hunter, Reagan. As you may have surmised this is the same self proclaimed ‘good guy’ who appears in Natural Witch.
There is far more to Reagan, as learn across the rest of the series …
and that is a problem with trying to do a review of a series like this. The books are pretty well continuous and to review Fused in Fire without giving spoilers on the earlier stories is rather tricky. So I won’t go there other than to say that the journey to the Cracks of Doom in Fused in Fire is very derivative of the Lord of the Rings, not that that is a bad thing in its self!
If you enjoy magic, dragons, vampires and unicorns with a bit of violence and a twist of humour …. You should find the whole trilogy worth the read!
Three Good Reads!
All four KF Breene stories are free for Kindle Unlimited.
Just to prove that not everything gets a rave review
By Giles Curtis
I should have know from the title – I mean – A Raucous Comedy by The Author? As part of the title?
This just didn’t work for me.
I found the premise absurd rather than witty and the humour rather desperate.
A biochemist has made a (presumably) genetically modified drug producing banana. Some klutz confuses another klutz for the biochemist and I lost the will to turn to the next page …
Far from ‘Raucous’
And for something a little different
By Paul Mathews
Start with the concept, London, 2044. Britain is a Republic. President Jan Polak has vanished overnight from Buckingham Palace, just weeks before an election.
Howie Pond – the President’s official spokesperson is determined to find out what has happened- as soon as he’s eaten his breakfast.
A very British comedy, occasionally a slightly desperate comedy, ensues. Cue failing technology, robotic security systems that mal function. Yep British comedy!
Not badly written but nor is it a book to stop you putting it down and going to sleep either.
I might read more of the “We have lost …” books. They are part of Kindle Unlimited .. so nothing lost!
By PZ Walker
The third Mirror Earth series from the prolific pen of Paul Z Walker.
This tale of travel between largely benign friendly worlds, all called Earth takes a twist and arrives at the beginning.
Meanwhile the wicked Prof Holgar, the principle of the Laboratory where we started (on ‘our’ Earth) is still in pursuit of his dinosaurs that live on the first Mirror Earth.
Add in strange ‘going ons’ at Ayers Rock, flowers with power and data, a few Aliens and we are dashing across curved, distorted time and Space with out rockets or pockets!
Another great yarn from PZ!
A Good Read
Yes, I managed to do quite a bit over the Christmas Holiday period, and through into early January.
The Kingdom of Kingsfountain which was plunged into confusion after the mysterious loss of the great wizr (Wizard of sorts) Myriden and the disappearance of the King’s Champion is further weakened by loss of Sina the Kingdom’s other trained wizr. This leaves just the young Trynne and her force of Oath Maidens and the Daughter of the deposed king as wielders of magic to defend the nation. There are doubts about the loyalty of people close to King Andrew. Time is ticking as Gahalatine is due to restart his war against Kingsfountain after the one year truce declared to enable King Andrew to select a new champion.
Confused …. You should read the first four books in the series then it all makes sense.
An exciting Young Adult read,
This appears to be the final instalment of both the Kingsfountain and Muirwood (no you don’t need to read these too but you could do worse!) stories, bring together the storylines. Written in Jeff Wheelers normal softly spoken manner there is less civil stie between the kingdoms as Trynne takes on the darker forces that have been manipulating history. An enjoyable conclusion to a very absorbing series of what are essentially sword and sorcery stories.
T E Kinsey
A Good Christmas Holiday Read
A short story. A Christmas special featuring the cast of the three previously reviewed Lady Hardcastle Mysteries follows the traditional stolen jewelry in a country house formula or does it? Another amusingly written story, with a great twist!
A return to form for Ms Cogman after a slightly weak book 3. This the fourth Invisible library story is a fabulous read. Set against a background of a power struggle in the world dragons, one of the three groups spanning many parallel universes along with the fae and the librarians. Librarian Irene and her assistant are sent to sort a mess caused by a single book in a world that resembles prohibition era America, complete with the wide lapels and gangsters. While avoiding getting the Invisible Library tangled up in the politics of the Dragons. An entanglement that might be seen to upset the delicate neutrality of the Library in the greater power struggle between the forces of Chaos (the Fae) and the forces of Stability (the Dragons).
Barbara is a thief working Salt Lake City, until she hears a tale about huge wealth readily available to a professional in Motherlode, Montana. With the cops suddenly close she heads off in search of the promised riches.
Suddenly caught up in a murder investigation she finds shelter in the Oak Grove Physical Culture Centre where she is befriended by Ned Nackero and Carola Szegy, two of the residents and advisors to the Sheriff. Then Barbara becomes a crime fighter … well of sorts.
A clever plot is off set stilted dialogue and bad formatting, Given an edit it would be so much better
Featuring Ned Nackero and Carola Szegy from book 1, Ned’s nephew, Tim, is brought into Motherlode to help solve a historic crime, a five-year-old murder that is about to be reopened on appeal.
A very complicated plot. Lot’s of twist and turns, maybe too many. Tim is an eighteen year old and even in the early 1960’s should have been a little more worldly-wise about his landlady’s wants.
Quite funny in places and rather stiff in others.
A three-star pot-boiler of a country house murder with a couple of twists …
Actress disappears, no body found, police not interested. The rich guests, some of them very rich want resolution so they send for Scottish Legal Eagle Rex Graves to find the killer.
Then the twists
The first of which is the location a naturist resort on the island of St Martin.
Number 2 Rex does not …. that would spoil the tale.
Marks lost because Ms Challinor failed to research the setting for her story or naturism particularly carefully.
Rubbish … Listen to the Janice Ian song “At Seventeen” same story told better.
A well written account of the longest recorded continuous walk by one man. An almost solo walk from the tip of South America to Alaska. It took a year him to year to walk the length of Argentina!
I knew George while we both members of the Sea Scouts in Rainham, Kent (I was briefly in his patrol.) As I read this I could hear the George I knew, returning to tell one of his tales of his travels in the merchant navy to the younger members of the troop gathered around a camp fire. (If you read this George … the Whitbread Hop Farm in 1972 or so!)
I hope you enjoyed your Christmas holiday reading as much as I did!
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.
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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 ….
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
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.
I have bemoaned the fact that when you type Nudist or Naturist into an Amazon search you get lots of Porn and Erotica books. The publishers are selling these stories on the mistaken idea that sex and nudist beaches are linked.
In revenge for these scribblers usurping our hashtags and keywords I decided to do try and reverse this trend. I have written a very sexually explicit book. I’d classify it as Erotica if not quite Porn. I leave you the reader to decide if it is erotic fiction or just porn! I have written it so that Swingers on a Bare Beach supports and reinforces the ideals of nudism and naturism. I have used a few of the keywords that should lead to “smutty stories” and I hope a few smut lovers will be entertained while they read about naturism as it really is.
Two swinger are on holiday in a big resort. She finds a tourist guide that says there is a Playa Naturiste (Nudist Beach) just up the coast. Well, isn’t that just what they need for a holiday adventure!
They certainly have a lot of fun on the Bare Beach but the action all takes place in other places!
There is a start of a bit of the sex on the beach so beloved of the writers of erotica (and porn), how will the nudists manage to stop it? You’ll have to read Swingers on a Bare Beach to find out!
I go to naturist beaches and know what goes on at most of them! I also avoid the dodgy, or I mean “doggy”, ones!
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 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