Monday 31 December 2012

The Armpits Are Electric by Ian Turner (a review)

Back in the early 1980's  The City School, Sheffield spawned two legends of Rock - one of those, Pulp, went on to dominate the charts (ish!) and have worldwide fame................................this is NOT there story.

This book covers the entire career, from formation to the split of the mighty Electric Armpits and through to the (very) short lived reformation. It is a humourous look back at the Sheffield of the time and captures those times well.

By all accounts the band were, to say the least, musically challenged, but that actually adds to the charm of the story. Ian Turner, the author was an integral part of the Armpits and these are his memories and his story but he is also a very, very funny writer. So funny in fact that I was getting odd looks from people on the bus as I chuckled my way through it (and I missed my stop too - it really is that good!)

Also, there is a chapter on the Armpit's warm-up act Dave Barker (of  Dave and The Dance Of the 7 Overcoats infamy) which brought back memories of one of the big characters of my schooldays.

All said, this is a wonderful trip down memory lane and one that anybody who was part of the Armpit scene ought to try and get a copy but is also a must read for any who like a good, fun read.

Probably the funniest book I have read this year.

Just hoping Ian will now write a book on the exploits of Dave

Sunday 30 December 2012

Anniversary of the Veil, Beginnings; The Beacon by Vanna Smythe

This is a 21 chapter sample of the Protector, the first book in the Anniversary of the Veil series. So, if you are unsure whether the series is for you, here is you're chance to try it out for a small price.
My review of the entire novel is available on the and pages, and in an earlier blogpost so all I will say is, this has been my fantasy book of the year, from a new author with a wonderful writing style. This book was a pleasure to read in a genre that has tended towards tiredness and sameness of late. If I could have given it more stars I would have done.

Also, this morning I bought the next book in the series, Decision Maker which has just been released. I have been looking forward to reading this ever since I finished Protector. A review will follow later.

And, while I'm here may I take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year

Monday 17 December 2012

The Grass Tattoo by Catriona King (a review)

This is the second book to feature D C I Marc Craig and his team, the first being A Limited Justice.

It begins with a dead body left at the seat of the Irish Parliament, Stormont. The victim is the wife of a Belfast politician and we are led into a trail of fraud, deceit and general nastiness.

As before, the author paints the characters really well, the good guys are good, the bad guys are really despicable but where she really excels is the people in the middle, the 'do-ers' A good part of the latter end  of the book deals with the why of the actions of the criminals and when the reasons are revealed it's really heart-ripping stuff.

Also, the interactions between the team members at C C U are as sharp as in the previous book. You get the feeling that these could be real people and I know I will want to be spending more time with them in the future - this is a series that could run and run.

(And one particular interaction actually had me punching the air in happiness for the characters but I won't say who - that'd spoil the fun for you.)

With A Limited Justice, Cat King was the 'new kid on the block', now, with The Grass Tattoo she's proved she can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best.

Sunday 9 December 2012

Monsters Anonymous by Theresa Derwin (a review)

What a splendid collection this is.

There is a varied selection with everything from a monsters self help group right on through to a haunted sex toy with a ghostly grail story thrown in for good measure. As you would expect from a collection such as this, some stories are stronger than others but that is not saying there are any weak stories here - all are good and well worth the money.

To give you an idea how much I enjoyed this book - I was given a pdf file of this book to review by the author but my kindle died and the file was lost (along with the email that had the link). When I purchased my new kindle the first thing I did was to go on Amazon and buy a fresh copy.

Ms. Derwin has a good story telling style - a very enjoyable collection

Wednesday 5 December 2012

Devil in the Detail by Ed James (a review)

The second of the Scott Cullen mysteries, this story takes place about 6 months after the events in the 1st book, Ghost in the Machine. The story takes place over 2 days and so has a more tight feeling than the previous outing.

The main crux of the story revolves around the search for the killer of a mentally challenged 13 year old girl whose body is found early morning by a woman walking her dogs. The main suspect, local bad boy Jamie Cook, is nowhere to be found. The parents of the dead girl, and several of their friends are members of a newly set up 'church' and this lends a slightly sinister air to proceedings at times. I'll be honest and say I thought I had it all sussed out fairly early on - but I was very wrong!

The story brings back many of the characters from the 1st book as well as introducing more that I hope we have not seen the last of.This is a series that is going from strength to strength and I eagerly await my next visit with the officers of Leith Walk Police Station.