A talking ferret for Christmas!

LestradeThrowsHatIf you know children aged between 7 and 11 (or thereabouts) who would enjoy having a detective story read to them, why not give Sherlock Ferret and the Phantom Photographer a try? The world’s cutest detective takes on a case at the request of his client, Mr. Montague Mole, helped by his friend Watson Mouse M.D., and their friend Lestrade, who is a rhinoceros (though not a very big one).

Here’s a little extract:

Sherlock Ferret’s well-whiskered friend Watson Mouse M.D. tells the story of how Mr. Montague Mole shows photographs of his family, but he has no idea who has taken them! Could it be a phantom photographer?

As so often, the nefarious Moriarty Magpie appears to be involved, along with the mysterious Sir Basil Badger, who vanished several years before, after eating twenty-seven jam tarts (and lots of other delicious things!). But thanks to Sherlock Ferret’s knowledge, his Big Books, and the Bakery Irregulars, all is put right in the end, and the Mole family can sleep safely all day (for the night is their busy time).

To buy the whole book (a little over an hour long, 92MB – uses PayPal for the £8 payment):

If you want to read the book, you can buy it (and the other Sherlock Ferret titles) from Amazon, etc.

Did I get it right?

A couple of years or so ago, I started an experiment. I wanted to write a novel in a place I had never visited, and about people I have never been, and never will be.

The result was Balance of Powers – which came out much better than I expected, to my mind, anyway. I am sure there are some flaws in it, though – but no-one has pointed them out to me yet. Perhaps you can help me here.

Continue reading “Did I get it right?”

Agatha Raisin – second thoughts

After my review of one of M.C.Beaton’s books, in which I basically trashed the story, the editing, and the characterisation, I read other reviews of the book on Amazon and discovered that Dead Ringer was atypical. So, being the generous soul that I am, I decided to try again.

Continue reading “Agatha Raisin – second thoughts”

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffere & Annie Barrows – REVIEW

We recently visited Guernsey, and most of the touristy shops made a big thing out of selling the book (often marketed as “the book of the film”) or the DVD. Of course the book came out first, and on our return when a friend offered to lend me either the book or the DVD or both, I chose the book.

Continue reading “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffere & Annie Barrows – REVIEW”

Coming to a bookstore near you…

…that is, if you live in or near Sutton Coldfield. I went to Waterstone’s today with some books, and talked to the manager about the possibility of doing a signing or reading event there. He seemed quite interested, and I left him with the Adventures of Sherlock Ferret, a Lichfield Murder, and two of Jim McGrath’s Collins and Clark Mysteries: A Death in Winter: 1963 and A Death in Summer: 1965.

If anything happens before Christmas, it’s likely to be ferret-related, but Jim and I may get a shot at a joint presentation in the New Year.

Watch this space.

Dead Ringer (M.C.Beaton) – REVIEW

At our writing group, the Lichfield Writers, one of our members mentioned how much she enjoyed M.C.Beaton’s books. As we were going out of the library where we meet, I noticed the latest Beaton, Dead Ringer, on the Rapid Reads shelf (books which have just come in and you must get through them in a week because other people want to get hold of them). So I picked it up, and…

Continue reading “Dead Ringer (M.C.Beaton) – REVIEW”

So much for that, she thought

I’ve been increasingly irritated recently by the use of italics to indicate thoughtlines, I thought to myself this morning.

I’ve been reading quite a few things, where it seems that the authors have never heard of “indirect speech” when it comes to internal thoughts. Quite apart from the typographic convention of using italics for unspoken words, which I dislike, I think there are some serious problems here. Continue reading “So much for that, she thought”

Let’s do the time warp again

I have often felt myself (and described myself) as a Rip van Winkle character – someone who’s been asleep for a long time and wakes up to find the world has changed around him. This is due to my having lived in the isolated Galapagos Islands (aka Japan) for the best part of 30 years.

This has meant (for better or worse) that I never lived in the UK under John Major, Tony Blair, or Gordon Brown, and under David Cameron for one week only. My British cultural life has likewise been circumscribed (not that it was ever up to much in the first place). For example… Continue reading “Let’s do the time warp again”