Sitting in her makeup chair, eyes staring lifelessly ahead, the diva is dead. Her sequinned dress glittering in the light cast from above; the little pools of reflected light sparkling across the paper held tightly in her hand. The policeman carefully prises it out of her grip and unfurls it. It reads, “The Last Will and Blurb of Lyra Day”:
“Danny Bird is having a very bad day. In the space of just a few hours he lost his job, his partner and his home.
Ever the optimist, Danny throws himself headlong into his dream to turn the grimmest pub in London into the coolest nightspot south of the river. Sadly, everything doesn’t go quite as planned when his star turn is found strangled hours before opening night.
Danny becomes the prime suspect in the crime, and then the gangster who really owns the pub starts asking where his share of the takings has gone… it seems things are going to get worse for Danny before they get better.” Read More
Bonjour and bienvenue to my blog on this wonderful 12th day of #Fahrenbruary. If you’ve stumbled upon this post by chance you may not be familiar with what a Fahrenbruary is, so let me enhance your knowledge with this handy little link here…
Now that that’s out of the way, what do we have today?
Well today I present to you a 2-4-1 deal in that I am reposting my two mini reviews wot I wrote for Derek Farrell’s “Death Of A Nobody” and “Death Of A Devil” – books 2 and 3 in the Danny Bird Mysteries series.
These two reviews originally appeared on Goodreads and, if you’re at all familiar with my reviews, are very, very short indeed by my usual standards 😂 I can’t remember now why they didn’t get the full Beardy Book Blogger treatment, but I imagine that it was purely down to time; it’s no reflection on the quality of the books themselves.
Tomorrow I present my full review of the 1st in the series, “Death Of A Diva“. I’m presenting them out of order for reasons known only to my beardy brain and it ain’t letting me in on the secret. It has a habit of doing that.
I love these books unconditionally. They are smart, very funny, erudite, sanguine, clever, moving, tightly plotted and populated by the kind of characters that stay with you long after the book is over; they truly feel like family. They’re the kind of books that once read, and a new one in the series arrives, you open with a happy sigh, excited to be back in their company again and to see what calamity has befallen them this time (as I type this the 4th book, “Death Of An Angel” will be released on the 28th of Fahrenbruary 2019. Put that date in your pipe and smoke it, and put your fingers in your ears because I shall be letting out the loudest “SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” that you will have ever heard! Truth *crosses arms gangsta style*).
Derek writes with a wit and style that takes me back to my youth. That is not to say that it is immature, no no no, but to me there’s a certain nostalgia in my nostalgia glands when I read these books. As I mention below, and in my review for Death Of A Diva, I am reminded of some of my favourite writers and TV shows that also feature an ensemble cast with quirky characters, wonderful dialogue and outlandish, yet believable, plots and predicaments. I personally feel that these book would make for a great TV series. Maybe I should start a petition to get them made. 🤔
The love that Derek has for his characters radiates from the pages; it’s in every word, every scenario, in every small trait and quirk. They feel so fully formed that I really want to go and have a drink and hang out in The Marquess Of Queensbury. But then, alas, one realises that it doesn’t actually exist. Bum cheeks 😥 Well, there are certainly places like it, but they won’t have Danny and his boyfriend Nick (a Detective Constable whose guv’nor is the highly unpleasant, homophobic, and right arsey bastard DCI Reid), Lady Caroline (Caz) Victoria Genevieve Jane De Montfort (and her capacious, almost magical, Gladstone bag), the ASBO twins Dash and Ray, bar manager Ali, and all the assorted crazies, misfits, regulars and unwanteds that populate and frequent my beloved Marq. Oh, and that is without all of the dead bodies that seem to find The Marq irresistible for some reason. I blame Ley-lines, or summink.
So, buckle up and take the plunge into Derek’s wonderful world. Ignore the worn and tired looking exterior of The Marquess of Queensbury pub, open the door, walk on in, buy a beverage, sit down in a quiet corner (if such a thing truly exists in The Marq), relax and wait for events to unfold. You’ll make new friends, possibly a couple of enemies too (watch out for the pub’s real owner popping by, one Chopper Falzone; you don’t want to mess with him), but either way you’ll thank me later.
Enjoy. TBBB X
Helloooooo, and the warmest of beardy welcomes to my little hirsute blog.
What’s that? You don’t have a beard? Oh, no, you don’t have to have a beard to be here. I’m the one with the beard, but if you do have one then you score extra Beardy Blog Points for being the most awesomerist blog reader… *whispers* but don’t tell everyone or they’ll all start growing beards! 🤫
Today I present to you my Q&A with author Seth Lynch.
Seth is the brains behind the wonderful, and I do mean wonderful, period noir Salazar novels, A Citizen Of Nowhere and A Dead American In Paris (click titles for reviews. There is also a non-Salazar 30s Paris book, The Paris Ripper, featuring Chief Inspector Belmont, but I have yet to read that one. The book sits on my shelf crying at me 😥).
Set in Paris during the 1930s, these books chart the trials and tribulations of Private Detective Reggie Salazar, a British ex-pat struggling to come to terms with his PTSD after his involvement in WW1, a drink and casual drug habit, avoiding getting killed and doing his best to upset most of the people he meets. He loathes the newfangled automobiles that are slowly infesting his city, preferring to walk, cycle or to take public transport to his destination, no matter how far. He is a wonderfully complete, rounded and realised character, and is ably supported by an equally memorable and varied cast. I have SO much love for these books I could probably write an entire blog post about them, BUT, this post isn’t about me; it’s about Seth, so, let the questions commence…
Hello and a very warm welcome to my hairy blog 😁
#Fahrenbruary* continues on at a pace and so today I present to you a repost of my review of the 2nd book in this wonderful, wonderful series. This review originally appeared last year on the blog tour organised by the rather splendid, and all round ace blogger and blog tour organiser, Emma Welton, aka @damppebbles over on that Twitter (check her out here too… https://damppebbles.com/damppebbles-blog-tours/)
*if you’re not sure what #Fahrenbruary is all about, check out my post… HERE
Stalking your latest PI job through the streets of Paris you pass several cafés, resisting the temptation to enter each one and have a small snifter of Cognac. Then, suddenly, you spy your quarry darting into a small alleyway. Quickly, you begin to cross the road eager to catch him before he slips through your fingers again.
From out of nowhere one of those newfangled autos passes behind you, belching exhaust smoke into the air and almost running into you, developing you in its smog. When will they ban these infernal contraptions? What’s wrong with the tram, train or the velocipede? As you regain your composure you realise that you have lost sight of your man. Drat! As the smoke clears, coughing and eyes stinging, you see something on the wall opposite you. You can’t make it out at first, but as your eyes refocus you see with some surprise that the writing scrawled on the wall of the alley is a… blurb:
Arty Homebrook lived and died in a world of sleaze which stretched from Chicago to Paris but never beyond the gutter.
He’d been sleeping with Madame Fulton, which is why Harry Fulton promised to kill him. So far as the Paris Police are concerned it’s an open and shut case. Harry’s father has other ideas and hires Salazar to investigate.
As Salazar gets to grips with the case he’s dragged reluctantly into an unpleasant underworld of infidelity, blackmail, backstreet abortions and murder.
Salazar is far too inquisitive to walk away and far too stubborn to know what’s for the best. So he wakes up each hungover morning, blinks into the sunlight, and presses on until it’s his life on the line. Then he presses on some more, just for the hell of it.
Hello again. Everyone doing okay? How is you personal #Fahrenbruary going? What’s that? Sorry, I couldn’t hear you over the excitement of reposting my review of Seth Lynch’s A Citizen Of Nowhere.
This review originally appeared waaaaaaaay back last year when this little book blog was just known as the Stubbly Book Blogger. True story. Ok, not exactly a true story, the bit about the stubble, but it was one of my very first reviews.
Anyway, enjoy this repost and please come back tomorrow for a repost of my review of the sequel: A Dead American In Paris. After that I will be sharing a brand new Q&A with Seth.
Voici le blurb:
Salazar is an English detective haunted by his experiences of the Great War, who wiles away the days playing chess and taking on as little work as possible. When the alluring Marie Poncelet hires him to find a missing man he quickly realises it’s a case he wishes he’d refused.
Finding a missing man isn’t anything like finding a man who doesn’t want to be found and Gustave Marty has covered his tracks with a smokescreen that will push Salazar beyond the limits of physical endurance and to the edge of insanity.
As he’s drawn deeper into the shadowy underbelly of the City of Light, Salazar’s closed, structured world is blown apart by the arrival of a friend from his pre-war youth, the beautiful Megan Fitzwilliam, whose tenderness and love of life is a stark contrast to the brutal violence that lies within him.
When that violence threatens to engulf them both, Salazar must seek redemption or lose the very thing that has finally made his life worth living.”
Welcome one and welcome all to my little hairy blog for my #Fahrenbruary Question and Answer post with the most excellent Paul Gadsby, author of “Back Door To Hell“, that book up there.
What do you mean ‘up where?’
Up there! That sodding great red and black picture; the one that has the book’s title splashed all over it.
Ohhh, now you see it do you? Tsk, some people just don’t look before commenting. 🙄
Okay, now we have that sorted, please scroll beyond the break for some enlightenment from Paul as to his inspiration for his two young protagonists in BDTH and to discover what his favourite biscuit is.
Oh, you can find my review of this most excellent book right…… HERE.
Hello you lovely, lovely people, and a very warm welcome to my little beardy blog.
How are you all doing? Really? Well I hope that that clears up very soon. Otherwise all okay? Excellent.
Now, in case you didn’t know, #Fahrenbruary is in full swing; the month long celebration of all things Fahrenheit Press and Fahrenheit 13. Yesterday (if you’ve been following along sequentially) I posted my review of Back Door To Hell, a gritty, tense, couples on the run noir thriller by Paul Gadsby.
Here, via the magic of the internet, is a link to that very review…. LINK.
It’s clever that, innit?
A little while ago I asked Paul Gadsby to write me a piece about what inspired him to write BDTH. And do you know what? He agreed and did…. did.
So, dear reader read on as Paul discusses his favourite novels featuring a couple on the run that inspired his new noir thriller…