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Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Review: Innocent Blood by Elizabeth Corley

Now this is a series I shall be looking up to read the earlier novels. This is number four in the series and if the others are half as good they will be excellent reads.

The main characters, DCI Fenwick and his friend Inspector Nightingale, are both ambitious, have all the inner politics of the police force to deal with and Inspector Nightingale is female. Fenwick is told to keep clear of Nightingale by a misogynist boss, Nightingale has to put up with some anti-female behaviour.

Elizabeth Corley gives us two interesting 3D characters and then a plot which is full of twists and surprises. It's also more original than many police procedural plots can be. Fenwick and Nightingale are working on different problems which eventually tie together and it is not an easy task they have as proof is going to be difficult to find.

Readers who enjoy British police procedurals will enjoy this and anyone who likes a satisfying read will get great pleasure from the ending.

AND a big thank you to all those lovely readers who bought my novels in the recent e-book sale.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Today's the day.

It's off, the book sale of our Writer's Choice books along with the launch of my new novel. Let's hope that people think that three books for 99cents/pence each is a better bargain than buying one e-book at the regular $3.99 price!

It seems to me that having to be more business like and having to work hard at sales makes any sale special, and kind readers commenting is the icing on the cake. The only problem comes when readers ask for the next book! In another year dear readers, another year!

1 a.m. 19th of April to 1 a.m. 24th of April all my novels in ebook form: 'Jacob's Justice', 'Tizzie', and 'Bittersweet', will be on sale for 99 pence or cents at Amazon and Smashwords and https://coverblurb.com plus various other book sites

Friday, 14 April 2017

Book review: 'Ghastly Business'

Ghastly BusinessGhastly Business by Louise Levene

Ah me! I did try to finish this novel. It's not that it's a bad book. The author has a dry sense of humour, a neat way with words and contrives a deceptive plot. What simply put me off was Dr Alfred Kemble and his conversation.

The plot revolves round Dr Kemble and his Pathology Department. This is 1929 and Dora has found herself a job as near to medicine as she is ever likely to get without being allowed to study to be a doctor. Kemble tries to do postmortems on as many bodies as possible but it is still not respectable and he ends up helping the police with murder victims.

Kemble is an oddity and his conversation revolves round details of Venereal disease - pustules and puss - nipples and tits, sadistic sexual behaviour - and he loves murder victims. He is also a womaniser and not a 'decent chap' at all. I also found Dora too feeble for words a lot of the time.

I read at night in bed or with my meals. This book put me off eating and gave me nightmares so I actually gave up on page 187. There are 280 pages in the book. Many readers have enjoyed the book so don't let me put you off.

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1 a.m. 19th of April to 1 a.m. 24th of April all my novels in ebook form: 'Jacob's Justice', 'Tizzie', and 'Bittersweet', will be on sale for 99 pence or cents at Amazon and Smashwords and https://coverblurb.com plus various other book sites

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Review: The Black Book by Ian Rankin

The Black Book (Inspector Rebus, #5)The Black Book by Ian Rankin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was delighted to find this copy as I haven't read all the early Rebus novels yet. I do enjoy Ian Rankin's writing and his way with words. This is early Rankin and of course he is writing his way into his own voice and style. Rebus isn't quite the developed character he is in later novels but he's a complex 3D character and the plot is tortuous and twisty in design. It's a satisfying read.

I always enjoy the Scottishness, the odd Gaelic or Scottish words and the sense of a character pulled apart by his work, his ideals and his 'faith'. Perhaps I should say the imprint of the faith of his upbringing. Rebus is out to get Ger Cafferty and if it means trailing off to hunt up a cold case and causing a lot of bother to everyone around him, too bad. Rebus will get his man.

As ever, a good read, entertaining, thought provoking and worth reading again.

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1 a.m. 19th of April to 1 a.m. 24th of April all my novels in ebook form: 'Jacob's Justice', 'Tizzie', and 'Bittersweet', will be on sale for 99 pence or cents at Amazon and Smashwords and various other book sites

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Book Review: Missing Link by Joyce Holms

Missing Link (Fizz & Buchanan Mystery)Missing Link by Joyce Holms

An Original twist on crime solving, set in Scotland, and written with a light hand and a dry humour. Pleasant read and entertaining.

An amusing whodunit with an advocate and a solicitor working as a bickering team to solve a crime. A dear little old lady claims to have committed a murder and wants to confess as an innocent man has been convicted. Seems a simple task to prove that she is slightly gaga, alas things soon become highly complicated. All the action gives Fizz lots of opportunity to annoy Tam and half the fun is reading about this modern Beatrice and Benedick bickering away until they stumble on the truth.

A good read for anyone who enjoys crime without the four letter words, excess gore and hard men!

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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

READERS looking for good reading at book bargain prices take a look here.

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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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.

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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!

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!