BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Irony in the Soul: Nobody Listens Like the Dying (Kind Hearts and Martinets #2) by Pete Adams

Today I welcome the Book Tour for the second in the Kind Hearts and Martinets series, Irony in the Soul: Nobody Listens Like the Dying by Pete Adams. Along with this spotlight post, I’ll be giving my take on the novel here in a bit. But before I get to talking about the book, let’s start by learning a little about this here book, okay?


Book Details:

Book Title: Irony in the Soul: Nobody Listens Like the Dying by Pete Adams
Publisher: Next Chapter Books
Release date: June 28, 2019
Format: Paperback/Ebook
Length: 540 pages

Book Blurb:

Recuperating from his past mission, disturbed but driven D.I. Jack Austin returns to work amid a personality clash with a retired colonel – who happens to be his new Chief Constable.

When the Constable is kidnapped – and returned in pieces – DI Austin’s hapless hunt for the culprit begins. He investigates a string of cryptic murders including a beheaded minister, a drowned woman in a Hijab, and a band of terrorists with explosives.

Meanwhile, Austin battles a grievous inner conflict. Will he thwart the perpetrator, or become a conspirator himself?

About Pete Adams:

Pete AdamsPete Adams is an architect with a practice in Portsmouth, UK, and from there he has, over forty years, designed and built buildings across England and Wales. Pete took up writing after listening to a radio interview of the writer Michael Connolly whilst driving home from Leeds. A passionate reader, the notion of writing his own novel was compelling, but he had always been told you must have a mind map for the book; Jeez, he could never get that.

Et Voila, Connolly responding to a question, said he never can plan a book, and starts with an idea for chapter one and looks forward to seeing where it would lead. Job done, and that evening Pete started writing and the series, Kind Hearts and Martinets, was on the starting blocks. That was some eight years ago, and hardly a day has passed where Pete has not worked on his writing, and currently, is halfway through his tenth book, has a growing number of short stories, one, critically acclaimed and published by Bloodhound, and has written and illustrated a series of historical nonsense stories called, Whopping Tales.

Pete describes himself as an inveterate daydreamer, and escapes into those dreams by writing crime thrillers with a thoughtful dash of social commentary. He has a writing style shaped by his formative years on an estate that re-housed London families after WWII, and his books have been likened to the writing of Tom Sharpe; his most cherished review, “made me laugh, made me cry, and made me think”.

Pete lives in Southsea with his partner, and Charlie the star-struck Border terrier, the children having flown the coop, and has 3 beautiful granddaughters who will play with him so long as he promises not to be silly.

Pete Adams’s Social Media:

Twitter ~ Facebook

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~ Book Depository ~ Google Books


My thanks to damppebbles blog tours for the invitation to participate in this tour and the materials (including a copy of the novel) they provided.

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BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Bloodline by Pamela Murray

Today I’m pleased to welcome the Book Tour for Bloodline by Pamela Murray. Along with this spotlight post, I’ll be posting my take on the novel here in a bit.

Book Details:

Book Title: The Editor by Simon Hall
Publisher: Bloodhound Books
Release date: September 8, 2019
Format: Paperback/ebook
Length: 202 pages

Book Blurb:

When a young boy discovers a man’s body lying in a doorway, DI Burton and DS Fielding are called to the scene.

Believing the man was homeless, the police are shocked to discover the true identity of the victim; a Detective Constable from London who was working undercover.

But when the DNA from the victim is linked to a cold case Burton and Fielding find themselves looking into another unsolved murder.

And as the case unfolds, the detectives are faced with unpicking through a web of lies and deceit. But can they solve the murders before any more blood is spilt?

About Pamela Murray:

Pamela MurrayPamela Murray is from the North East of England, and has spent most of her life living in Boldon. She began writing at an early age when she and her school friend used to write stories for one another. The writing continued on and off over the years, but was only recently reignited when the same school friend introduced her to the local writers group she was in.

Pamela had intended to enter Journalism after leaving school but found herself going to work in a Public Library instead, and has always had more than a passing interest in books and literature.

When not writing, Pamela is passionate about Cinema and her three grandchildren. She has also appeared as a Supporting Artiste in two episodes of the hit TV crime series “Vera”.


My thanks to Bloodhound Books for the invitation to participate in this tour and the materials (including the novel) they provided.

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: The Editor by Simon Hall

Today I’m pleased to welcome the Book Tour for the unexpected and unconventional The Editor by Simon Hall. Along with this spotlight post, I’ll be posting my take on the novel here in a bit.

Book Details:

Book Title: The Editor by Simon Hall
Publisher: Bloodhound Books
Release date: September 2, 2019
Format: Paperback/ebook
Length: 352 pages

Book Blurb:

A mysterious advert in a newspaper promising to restore hope to the hopeless brings together four strangers.

None realising they will end up investigating a twisted and troubling crime that threatens their very futures.

Mitch, a former Crime Scene Investigator, Olivia, a brilliant PhD student, and Florence, a middle-aged solicitor, find themselves working with an enigmatic newspaper editor who refers to himself only as Ed.

But when Maddie, a teenage girl, disappears in sinister circumstances, the team are drawn into the hunt for her. And when a neighbour’s body is discovered in a pool of blood, they realise they must use their unique skills in a race against time.

But can they solve the mystery before it’s too late? And before Ed’s shadowy past overcomes them all?

About Simon Hall:

Simon HallSimon Hall is an author, journalist, communications consultant, and business coach.

He was a broadcaster for twenty five years, mostly as a BBC Television, Radio and Online News Correspondent, covering some of the biggest stories Britain has seen.

He now lectures, and coaches companies at the Judge Business School, part of the University of Cambridge, working on presentation skills, branding, pitching, websites, and media profile, both conventional and social.

Simon has had seven books in his tvdetective series published. They focus on a television reporter who covers crimes and gets so involved in the cases he helps the police to solve them.

He has also contributed articles and short stories to a range of newspapers and magazines, written plays, and even a pantomime.

Alongside his novels and stories, Simon is a tutor in media skills and creative writing, teaching at popular Writers’ Summer Schools such as Swanwick and Winchester, for the National Association of Writers’ Groups, at universities including Cambridge and Exeter, on cruise ships and overseas.

Simon has also become sought after as a speaker, appearing at a variety of prestigious literary festivals. His talks combine an insight into his writing work, along with some extraordinary anecdotes from the life of a television reporter, including the now notorious story of What to do when you really need a dead otter.

He began a broadcasting career as a DJ on the radio and in nightclubs, then moved into radio and TV news. He worked in Europe, London, Ireland, and the south west of England, before settling in Cambridge.

Simon is married to Jess, Director of Libraries at the University of Cambridge, and has an adopted daughter, Niamh. She’s an army officer, which makes her father both very proud and very nervous.

Simon also lectures on careers in the media at Cambridge University, and in schools and colleges. Amongst his proudest achievements, he includes the number of young people he has helped into higher education and jobs in broadcasting, and aspiring writers into publication.

As for his likes, Simon lists beer – he judges at real ale festivals – running, cycling, solving cryptic crosswords, composing curious Tweets (find him @SimonHallNews) and studying pop lyrics.

For more on Simon, see his website – www.thetvdetective.com.


My thanks to Bloodhound Books for the invitation to participate in this tour and the materials (including the novel) they provided.

Cause and Effect: Vice Plagues the City by Pete Adams: It’s some effort, but readers will be amused by this

Cause and Effect: Vice Plagues the CityCause and Effect: Vice Plagues the City

by Pete Adams
Series: Kind Hearts and Martinets, #1

Kindle Edition, 432 pg.
2019

Read: August 23 – 27, 2019

I almost DNF’ed this one. I’ll talk more about that in a little bit, but I want that stated upfront. I hope some readers will decide to give this a try, but I want to warn some (I’m thinking of fellow citizens of the U.S. here) that it might take a little work. I also want to stress that I do recommend this book, because I think it’d be easy to walk away from what I’m about to say with a different impression.

Detective Inspector Jack Austin is the kind of cop that can make Jake Peralta look like Joe Friday. He’s undisciplined, offensive, easily distracted, far too concerned about coming on to women and joking around when he should be focusing on work. Yet, within the police, he’s (almost) universally loved and deferred to. The citizens he polices may love him more. That “almost” will prove hazardous to his career, but he can’t seem to be bothered by that.

The title (and marketing) would lead you to believe this is Crime Fiction—and it is, to a degree. But this tale about a multifaceted crime wave running through this city has several issues. My main problem with this storyline is how little police work we got to see. Jack would make some guesses, which would prove to be unerringly correct, but most of the actual work (including, testing those guesses) was done by his team off-screen. Sure, there’s some intimidation of suspects and a lot of heroics by Jack. But, it rarely seemed that Adams was all that interested in the investigation—there were heinous crimes, some horrific human costs—but those frequently took second place to Jack goofing around. This is only something I’ve realized as I was writing this post, in the moment, you get caught up in the story and don’t realize that this near-super cop doesn’t actually do much. Suddenly, that joke I made about Jake Peralta doesn’t seem as funny. Jack really has a lot in common with Jake, for both of them, despite their juvenile antics, they’re beloved, and seem to solve a decent number of crimes.

I actually liked the story around the crimes and thought some of what was used there was pretty ingenious. But in retrospect, I realize that it’s pretty meager as storytelling goes.

There were two other things the novel focused on more (and better) than the criminal investigation. The first is a romance for the out of shape (and not all that attractive) widower, Jack Austin. Things finally click for Jack and a woman he’d been interested in for years since his wife died. This is a sweet story, and I quickly became interested in it, and my interest only waned (and then only a bit) when I was starting to notice how much space the book was spending on it.

What Adams seems most interested in is talking about (or having his characters talk about) Jack Austin—what kind of man he is, what was his life (professionally and personally) before this book ended. The amount of space devoted to off-duty Jack Austin is a lot greater than you might expect going into this book, but it’s the heart and soul of the book. The latter chapters of the book are very intent on teasing this out via challenges to his new romance and his career—but a lot of that doesn’t seem like it should be present, I think it would’ve felt more natural in books 3 or 4. It’s laudatory enough to make you wonder about the way the novel works, it doesn’t feel earned (as it would coming up later in the series), so that rather than letting the reader discover what a swell guy/great cop he is over the course of a series, we’re just told it. However, Austin’s character and qualities are not only is this what Adams seems interested in talking about more than anything else, but it’s also pretty compelling and interesting—moreso than anything else in the book. So take my hesitation about it with a large grain of salt.

The emotions are real, and will get you dragged in—there’s a lot of pretty moving material here in a book that seems to think it’s a comedy (it’s light-hearted, but I don’t think actually ever funny). I appreciated the heart and emotion in every scene and it’s this kind of thing that won me over.

So what was my problem with the book? Jack’s so intent on being eccentric that he intentionally misspeaks, uses nicknames for characters (so you have to learn the nickname as well as the actual name for a whole lot of characters from the starting gate). Throw in some nigh indecipherable Cockney rhyming slang (and a little bit that was more easily decipherable) and you’ve got a real challenge to read. But because I’d agreed to do this Book Tour (and ones for the next four books in the series), I had to press on when I really wanted to set (throw?) the book aside. Instead, I went with the immersion approach to learning a foreign language, trusting that eventually something would click for me with the phrasing and everything would make sense. By the 45% point, I’d grown accustomed to his Jack’s idiosyncratic dialogue and thinking (probably sooner, but I didn’t notice for a little bit.

I mention this only to be forthcoming for potential readers. This isn’t a book to read casually but to plod through with all your critical faculties operating. So, yes, I had to work a lot harder to get through this book than I’m typically inclined to, but I’m glad I did. Not only was it worth the effort, I’m curious and invested enough to look forward to what happens next. Hopefully, you’re smarter than I am and don’t have any problems for the first half (or not that many), so you can enjoy the whimsical and amusing book at an earlier stage than I did. At the end of the day, however, it’s a fun book and worth the effort.

—–

3 Stars


My thanks to damppebbles blog tours for the invitation to participate in this tour and the materials (including a copy of the novel) they provided.

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Cause and Effect: Vice Plagues the City (Kind Hearts and Martinets #1) by Pete Adams

Today I welcome the Book Tour for Cause and Effect: Vice Plagues the City by Pete Adams. Along with this spotlight post, I’ll be giving my take on the novel here in a bit. But before I get to talking about the book, let’s start by learning a little about this here book, okay?


Book Details:

Book Title: Cause and Effect: Vice Plagues the City by Pete Adams
Publisher: Next Chapter Books
Release date: June 17, 2019
Format: Paperback/Ebook
Length: 452 pages

Book Blurb:

A self-labelled enigma, Detective Inspector Jack Austin is at once miserable and amusing, melancholy and motivated. Running the Community Police Unit from his deck chair, D.I. Austin is known for his ability to solve crimes out of the blue.

Trying to work cases while struggling with his mental issues, Austin deals with a variety of major crimes, including bicycle theft. But when the case of an executed police officer lands on his desk, he accidentally uncovers a malevolent scheme.

Can he discover who is behind it all – and keep what’s left of his sanity?

About Pete Adams:

Pete AdamsPete Adams is an architect with a practice in Portsmouth, UK, and from there he has, over forty years, designed and built buildings across England and Wales. Pete took up writing after listening to a radio interview of the writer Michael Connolly whilst driving home from Leeds. A passionate reader, the notion of writing his own novel was compelling, but he had always been told you must have a mind map for the book; Jeez, he could never get that.

Et Voila, Connolly responding to a question, said he never can plan a book, and starts with an idea for chapter one and looks forward to seeing where it would lead. Job done, and that evening Pete started writing and the series, Kind Hearts and Martinets, was on the starting blocks. That was some eight years ago, and hardly a day has passed where Pete has not worked on his writing, and currently, is halfway through his tenth book, has a growing number of short stories, one, critically acclaimed and published by Bloodhound, and has written and illustrated a series of historical nonsense stories called, Whopping Tales.

Pete describes himself as an inveterate daydreamer, and escapes into those dreams by writing crime thrillers with a thoughtful dash of social commentary. He has a writing style shaped by his formative years on an estate that re-housed London families after WWII, and his books have been likened to the writing of Tom Sharpe; his most cherished review, “made me laugh, made me cry, and made me think”.

Pete lives in Southsea with his partner, and Charlie the star-struck Border terrier, the children having flown the coop, and has 3 beautiful granddaughters who will play with him so long as he promises not to be silly.

Pete Adams’s Social Media:

Twitter ~ Facebook

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~ Book Depository ~ Google Books


My thanks to damppebbles blog tours for the invitation to participate in this tour and the materials (including a copy of the novel) they provided.

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Cowboy Joel and the Wild Wild West by The Gagnon Family

Today I’m pleased to welcome the Book Spotlight Tour for Cowboy Joel and the Wild Wild West by The Gagnon Family. It looks like a cute, fun read. Before you leave, be sure you scroll down to the bottom of the post for the givewway — or just go buy it. Either way…

Book Details:

Book Title: Cowboy Joel and the Wild Wild West by The Gagnon Family
Publisher: JPV Press
Category: Children’s book
Release date: June 1, 2019
Format: Ebook/Hardcover
Length: 48 pages
Content Rating: G

Book Blurb:

Cowboy Joel and Blackbeard find themselves face to face with El Maton, the most feared desperado in theCowboy Joel and the Wild Wild West West. When El Maton mocks him for the way he looks, Joel must confront his biggest fear; a tongue-slingin’ with the outlaw. Can Blackbeard convince Joel to do it? Will Joel find the courage? Note to Mom and Dad: Cowboy Joel will teach your child that it’s not always about punching the bully. It’s about being confident in who God made them to be, and using those truths to fight the battle in their mind.

Book Trailer:

Purchase Links for Cowboy Joel and the Wild Wild West:

Amazon ~ Add to Goodreads

About The Gagnon Family:

The Gagnon Family

The Gagnon family is an atypical, hodgepodge mix of humanity. The entire family enjoyed writing this book, with each one contributing their own input. Every child in the family has their own special story, and every one faces their own unique challenges. Stacey, the mom of this bunch, also has a blog called Ransom for Israel. She presents an honest assessment of the orphan crisis and the desperate need for families willing to adopt. After the adoption of their youngest daughter, the Gagnons started a non-profit called Lost Sparrows. Lost Sparrows is dedicated to improving the lives of orphans and those with special needs through education, proper medical care, and adoption. Their current focus is in areas of Eastern Europe and Bulgaria.

Connect with the authors:

Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Instagram

GIVEAWAY:

Win 1 hardback copy of Cowboy Joel and the Wild Wild West (USA only) (one winner)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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(if the Rafflecopter script isn’t working, just click here — it’s not as pretty, but it works)

My thanks to iREAD Book Tours for the invitation to participate in this tour and the materials they provided.

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Base Cowboys by Mark Farrer

Today I welcome the Book Tour for the entertaining Base Cowboys by Mark Farrer. Along with this spotlight post, I’ll be giving my take on the novel here in a bit. But before I get to talking about the book, let’s start by learning a little about this here book, okay?


Book Details:

Book Title: Base Cowboys by Mark Farrer
Release date: July 22, 2019
Format: Paperback/Ebook
Length: 356 pages

Book Blurb:

BASE COWBOYS is a comic crime trilogy set in the Scottish Borders. It is the sixth laugh-out-loud book in the CULLEN series written by Borders author Mark Farrer and will appeal to readers of Christopher Brookmyre, Carl Hiaasen, Nick Spalding or Tom Sharpe. The book tells the stories of three amoral ne’er-do-wells, their unfortunate and accidental intrusion into Cullen’s life, and the imaginative ways he finds of ensuring (his) justice is done:

Dirty Barry
The first casualty of adultery is… the tooth!

Barry Sullivan is a sordid dentist who resorts to blackmail to keep his string of married women in line. But now Cullen has toothache – and a very different interpretation of the dental code of practice.

Bronchial Billy
Meet Billy – the fastest gun in a vest.

Billy is a geriatric slum landlord desperate to win first prize in a Country & Western gunfight competition. But his trigger-happy birthday celebrations provoke Cullen, and now Billy must pay. Will he meet his High Noon at the Grand Ole Opry or will he go out with a bang? Whatever happens, there’s sure to be fireworks.

Pale Ale Rider
There’s trouble brewing…

Tyler is a teenage tearaway with the eyes of a serial killer. But when he decides to rob Big Paul’s local pub, he gets more than he bargained for. Will Tyler lose his bottle, or just get smashed? Cullen thinks he’s seen dead eyes like those before, and now he has a plan: he’s not bitter, he’s just a little twisted.

About Mark Farrer:

Mark FarrerMark Farrer is the author of six comedy novels and novellas, each set in the Scottish Borders with a distinctive Scottish backdrop – whether salmon farming, textile mills, Rugby Sevens or the Scottish criminal justice system. His books are multi-stranded storylines involving larger-than-life characters, whose plans and incompetence inevitably exceed their wits. All feature an itinerant loner, Cullen, who lives off the grid and finds himself inadvertently drawn into someone’s crazy scheme, only for his own (very individual) sense of right and wrong to be offended. That’s generally when things start to go wronger.

Mark Farrer’s Social Media:

Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Website ~ Amazon Author Page

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK ~ Amazon US


My thanks to damppebbles blog tours for the invitation to participate in this tour and the materials (including a copy of the collection) they provided.