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Saturday, 25 March 2017

Book Review: The Long Dead by John Dean.

The Long DeadThe Long Dead by John Dean




John Dean writes a good tight British police procedural of the old school. No gritty city setting or foul mouthing officers. This is a rural setting and an unusual story.

D.C.I. John Blizzard and his sidekick D.S. David Colley are called out to sign off on a war grave. It's a documented grave for victims of a 'flu epidemic. The victims were German prisoners of war and the grave is now in a farmer's field. Everyone called in is happy to sign off the skeletons except Blizzard who has a 'funny feeling' about it. He insists that each skeleton is named and - oops! - there are 17 not the known 16! Now the fun begins.

it's an engrossing story and well written. A good read for all those who enjoy mysteries and British police procedurals.



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READERS PLEASE NOTE:
1 a.m. 19th of April to 1 a.m. 24th of April all my novels: 'Jacob's Justice', 'Tizzie', and 'Bittersweet', will be on sale for 99 pence or cents

Thursday, 23 March 2017

book Review: The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill

The Various Haunts of Men (Simon Serrailler #1)The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I have enjoyed Susan Hill's other books so was pleased to find the first in the series. She writes about an English small town, a rural community, and her characters are not just the police but the families. It is a gentle, comfortable read despite the topic, and her characters are 3D and intelligent.

Chief Inspector, Simon Serrailler, is a policeman despite his father who lives in the same community. His sister Cat and her husband are the local G.P.s, there are other characters who are part of each novel and add to the reading pleasure of each novel, and there is always plenty to think about.

The plot involves vanishing women, then a dog and the story is threaded with the thoughts of the serial killer who is quite convinced that what he does is vital to humanity. The frighteningly chilling logic of the insane is well caught. What is satisfying is that the victims are patients of Dr. Cat so we know them as people and care when they are killed. These details make for depth in the plot and the individuals' issues leave readers with a lot to think about.

I found the ending distressing but honest to the story and all too possible. I shall look for other books in the series and recommend the books to any reader who likes a thoughtful police procedural without to much gore, four letter words, and violence. This novel is a good and satisfying read.



View all my reviews

READERS PLEASE NOTE:
1 a.m. 19th of April to 1 a.m. 24th of April all my novels: 'Jacob's Justice', 'Tizzie', and 'Bittersweet', will be on sale for 99 pence or cents




Tuesday, 21 March 2017

The London Book Fair.

I hate computers, but have to admit that when it comes to skype type things they are useful. Seems to me I should get into this skype business more often when it can be so helpful.

This weekend, courtesy my computer, I attended the IA Indie Fringe of the London Book Festival and was blown away by the valuable information  broadcast by best selling Indie authors, and 'experts' from sites like Bublish and Ingramspark. I was able to replay the talks I really wanted to learn from and spent all weekend listening and making notes.

I had been quite comfortable with my sales efforts. Not any more. By the time two speakers had gone through the analysis needed to do to position your book for success I was dumbfounded. I now understand far more about making a book saleable BUT was delighted that none of the speakers claimed that what they suggested would guarantee sales. No, the old truth still tops the advice. Write a brilliant story that people will want to read and tell others to read. That advice is still number one and tops all the other advice, but I think I see how to position my books to be more noticeable to readers and that might result in more sales!

READERS PLEASE NOTE:
1 a.m. 19th of April to 1 a.m. 24th of April all my novels: 'Jacob's Justice', 'Tizzie', and 'Bittersweet', will be on sale for 99 pence or cents

Review: Losing Ground by Catherine Aird

Losing Ground (Inspector Sloan #22)Losing Ground by Catherine Aird




I do wish quotes on the front of a book were more accurate. As this one was a TLS (Times Literary Supplement) quote I was incensed that the reviewer could make such a daft statement about the writer. 'As clever a detective writer as Margery Allingham'. Well, that sets up high expectations in the reader, this reader particularly. I am an Allingham fan, loved her skill with words, her clever intelligent style and oh, those plots!

This novel is a pleasant read, mildly amusing, with a nice twisty plot with lots of red herring possible villains. It is not anything like Margery Allingham's novels nor are the main characters anything like the complex characters Allingham created. We have the twit police Super, the hard done by Inspector and the idiot sidekick, a load of mildly amusing 2D characters and an intrusive narrator.

Nothing wrong with the book, it's a pleasant read for those who like entertaining light reads. Just don't compare it to an Allingham novel please!




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Thursday, 16 March 2017

Review: The Purple Swamp Hen Penelope Lively

The Purple Swamp Hen and Other StoriesThe Purple Swamp Hen and Other Stories by Penelope Lively

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I forget how old Penelope Lively is but her writing doesn't show it.
This is a collection of quirky stories from an excellent writer who knows human foibles and weaknesses and has a taste for the spooky.

A delightful read.



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Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Never Again!

  Seems to me we do awfully silly things to ourselves as people. Fortunately I have never seen the point in burning money as cigarettes, blowing my mind with drugs or making myself sick and sad with alcohol. No, I go parachuting and bang my spine, or slide down mountains or chase big waves! Still I will rank having two rotten hip joints sawn out and replaced with working metal and plastic ones as something not to do unless you cannot walk and the pain of bone grinding on bone and all those upset muscles keeps you up half the night. I hope never again to endure that painful operation.


Was it worth it? Oh yes. I can now stand up straight at five feet eight. I am walking with a walker and I can no longer feel the endless relentless, bone grinding pain. Here I am at my desk, following all the rules about not bending, twisting, picking up, or allowing my new joints to be at an angle of less than 90 degrees. I can write again in comfort and the new novel, 'Bittersweet' is being sorted into print on demand format so I can think about that other character who is nagging at the back of my mind. Should I tell her story? 'Bittersweet' is already up as an ebook and the PR will be slowly gathering strength as I get the print versions out (March 22nd) and prepare for the big party in Oamaru library on April 5th at 6 p.m.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Just back from India to discover that my website server has 'lost' my website, Amazon has not accepted my cover so their preorders are not working, and several readers are asking me about the preorders for 'Bittersweet'.

Smashwords is accepting the preorders BUT because of the difficulties with Amazon and my website I have decided to offer a one week e-book launch special of $1.99 from February 22nd to midnight February 29th 2017. 'Bittersweet' will be out on February 22nd in e-book form and launched with a big party on March 22nd when the print copy will be available.


Those of you with Smashwords preorders will be treated to the same deal of $1.99 for the e-book.

It's a good job I had such a relaxing and fantastic time in India as I needed the break to come back and face this muddle.  I shall be relieved when 'Bittersweet' makes its appearance on the book shelves!