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  1. Mystery Bundle 1


    On this sunny Monday bank holiday here in England I have another fantastic bundle of murder/mystery Ebooks for you and once again they are all FREE.

    So, fill up your kindle or reading device for the summer and download the ones that appeal to you the most.

    This is a limited time offer and once they are gone I do not know when they will become available free again, if at all!

    Click on the gun graphic to access, or if you prefer CLICK HERE.

    Have a great week,



    Mystery Bundle 4


    “In the Shadow of the Hun: Truly Amazing, Virtually Day by Day Wartime Diary of Merchant Seaman Leslie Perry” - Written by Leslie Perry.  Edited by Philip W. Steel. Book Review


    If you are interested in World War II and especially diaries written during this war, and those with a definite maritime bent, then this is a great book for you.

    It follows the wartime career of Leslie Perry who wrote this diary. He was a chief steward with a particular connection to the Castle Line, spending the majority of his time circumventing Africa, in between coming back to the UK, but also branching off to India and around the Med.

    Long and tiring rail journeys back and forth from Southampton to Liverpool struck a chord with me too. My family were half from Hampshire and half from Merseyside.

    And during the course of the war Leslie is transferred on to hospital ships with all that entails.

    There are numerous spelling mistakes in the text and the editor, Philip Steel, has sensibly resisted the temptation to put those right. The text is as it was written, and if ever anyone had an excuse for making spelling mistakes then surely being hunted by submarines around the clock, working incredibly long hours, and being bombed and strafed by the Luftwaffe would be it.

    If I had one gripe it would be that when every diary entry is made the date is there right enough but the year is left off, and I had to keep flipping back to check which year I was actually in, but never mind.

    All the male members of my family were on the ships during WWII, both RN and Merchants, and without exception they would all have recognised the stories being told here. They’d love to have read this book too, if only they were still here to do so, but if you have any maritime and WWII connections you will find a lot to interest you here.

    In the Shadow of the Hun is a very useful addition to your WWII bookshelf.

    Written by Leslie Perry.  Edited by Philip W. Steel. Book Review

    And here's my dad and his medals - I can never resist the temptation to include those too!!

    fathers medals



    This is a bit of a strange one. About a quarter of the way through the book I suddenly realised that this was a collection of short stories. Nowhere does it say that. If I had known I wouldn’t have bought it. I don’t like short stories. I find them unsatisfying and unfulfilling. Maybe that’s why they didn’t tell us it is crammed with short stories from the outset, for they knew a lot of people would have passed.

    But then several of the characters in earlier stories reappeared, telling me that this isn’t quite a book of short stories at all, even if it comes across that way. One other thing crossed my mind as I was reading this book too. It seemed to me perfectly possible that these stories were John Grisham’s failed books. All writers have them in abundance. Books that started out okay but somehow didn’t really go anywhere, books that didn’t cut it and were subsequently abandoned.

    Even hugely successful writers like Stephen King admit they have loads of failed books that never saw the light of day. That’s what these stories felt like, almost as if someone said: why not pack them all together, John, trim them off, and you have another book here, and you just know they will still sell well?

    The odd thing is that to some extent it works. The book features a weird lawyer by the name of Sebastian Rudd who specialises in defending the indefensible, the people that no one else would touch with a bargepole, though even that I found a little hard to believe, for some lawyers seem to be attracted to the real lowlifes of this world, for all the inherent publicity they bring with them, but no matter.

    Sebastian is separated from his litigious wife; she has custody of the only child and is intent on denying him visiting rights. She’s messing with the wrong guy. Sebastian is such an oddball he is conducting his legal business out of the back of a pickup truck. The guy’s more interested in cage fighters than he is the courtroom, but alas, the law work pays the bills and he’s stuck with it, and the many unsavoury characters he hangs around with.

    About a third of he way through this book I thought of junking it, but I hate doing that for I dislike wasting my time with no result, and in the end I am glad I did. Eventually, the book hangs together, just about.

    It certainly is not one of John Grisham’s best, but it is still a decent read. Get over the short story flutters and if you enjoy Grisham books then you will probably enjoy this one too. Begrudgingly, in the end, I did too. Three and half stars from me for this one.



  4. I have a huge clearance of hardback and paperback books

    going on right now.

    This includes books in every condition from LIKE NEW to pretty grubby.

    They are perfect for listing on Amazon and Ebay or anywhere else.

    The good books have certainly not been taken out.

    They are being sorted now into many subjects.

    There are some great bargains in these lots because they

    all have to be cleared out regardless of cost.

    Full details will be in my imminent newsletter and you can

    subscribe to that by clicking here

  5. Free Book Promotion 2


    I have another FREE book offer for you today, and what a humdinger of an offer this is!

    In this package, there are no less than 48 murder mystery thriller type books and for a limited time only they are all FREE - yes that's right, they are free, but only until May 14th 2018. After that, they are gone.

    Here's your chance to fill up your kindle book Ereader, or indeed any Ereader system, with great books for the summer, and they won't cost you a penny.

    So if you are going on holiday sometime this year, or if you are taking some time out, or time off, you can take a nice thrilling library with you to keep you entertained. I can see it now - you lying on the beach in Bermuda or Brisbane or Barcelona sipping a cool one, and reading these fab books.

    Here's the link.

    Click here to see and select the books you would like.

    What's the catch? There isn't one. These hardworking writers would really like you to read their stuff - it is as simple as that.

    Here's that link again:





    David C


    Free Book Promotion 2


    This book is the 23rd in the Jack Reacher series, and though no doubt it will appeal to the Reacher Creatures who will seemingly buy anything with his name attached, a little like the Beatles tat marketing rubbish back in the day, the problem with this book is that the plot is skimpy at best.

    It centres around a tiny ring that Reacher sees in a pawn shop window – didn’t put Reacher down as a Bargain Hunt aficionado, but there we are, he must be getting on that way, age wise – welcome to the club, pal.

    Anyway, the ring is a rare thing, given or awarded to a cadet passing out of Westpoint, as did Reacher back in the day, and a memento to be cherished for all time, and the thing is, the ring is so tiny it would not even go on Reacher’s pinky – meaning ladies and gentlemen?

    Yes, you’ve got it, it belonged to a slight young woman, and Reacher can’t let that pass without finding out why she gave it up. (Or had it taken from her.) He buys the ring and he’s already on the road, searching for her, and that finger too, to return the ring to its rightful place, and not for the first time in Reacher books that all has echoes of fairy stories from long ago. That’s the main thrust of the plot, plus a man who may or may not have been eaten by a bear! Which is an interesting thought.

    A Jack Reacher book is sold every nine seconds, so the final blurb blares out, and I can believe that too. You see them in every railway station and airport bookstore across the planet, but here’s an interesting thing. I have seen quite a few copies of this very book – still the most recent one, note – languishing in charity shops for a few pence, pristine and obviously unread, so what does that tell us, Jack?

    It says that quite a few gift recipients have simply given up on reading the blessed things, and tossed them out, almost as soon as the present-giver had left the building.

    So did I enjoy it? Of course I enjoyed it! I am after all, for my sins, something of a Reacher Creature myself, having read every one of the darned things, and I read it quickly too, but the problem is that with each passing one the plots seem to get thinner and less reader-involving – just my opinion, and glancing at the hundreds of reviews I am not alone in thinking that.

    We all know how hard it is to keep churning out super books with great plots – and these books are still eminently readable, but hey, if you want a great plot try any of the first five in the series and you will see how much better they are than the last five.

    We’ll miss him when he’s gone, both Jack and Lee, and thankfully there’s no sign that he is about to retire, or be retired. Fact is, it wouldn’t surprise me if we were writing and reading precisely the same comments here twenty years from now, those of us that are still about, that is  – and one more book a year and we’d be right up there approaching the half century.

    In the meantime, scour the charity shops, for there’s a chance you’ll find a copy there. Today this book was £9.50 (hardback) in Tesco’s, and 20p (I kid you not) in the Scope charity shop in the high street, unread, untouched, and unblemished throughout. You decide! I know which I’d choose.  



    I bought this book because it is primarily set on the south coast of England in Weymouth and Bridport and elsewhere, for I live on the south coast in Dorset, and know those places like the back of my hand.

    The story opens on one of the many camp sites perched near the cliffs, where caravans, tourers and static, and lodges and holiday homes of all kinds reside cheek by jowl, all desperate for an unobstructed sea view, and the sun to come out.

    It’s late season and a couple have come down to the coast for a well-earned break. But overnight the woman, Tara, goes missing. The man’s been drinking heavily and can’t remember too much.

    The police are called and a team arrives looking for the woman, led by the curmudgeonly Detective Inspector Brock Clarke. He’s divorced and trying hard to give up smoking, and a fully paid up member of the grumpy old men club.

    So opens “One Dead Wife”, a murder mystery with plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader interested. It is a relatively short book, I read it in a day, and I am not a quick reader, but it is a fast paced story that will keep the reader interested to the very end. If I have a minor complaint I would have liked it to have been a little longer, but if you like murder mysteries and enjoy quick reads then this is the perfect book for you.




    I first read this book about 10 years ago, but came across it again and re-read it, and frankly I had forgotten quite how good it is.

    It is set in China, or Manchuria to be more precise, in the early 1930s. It’s a country at war, and things are about to get a whole lot worse. There are two main characters in the book. A Chinese schoolgirl of seventeen and a Japanese officer of twenty-four. I don’t give their names for this book is not big on names. Neither of them is named until deep into the book, and one is never named.

    The girl/young woman already has two ardent admirers and is puzzling over who to give herself to.

    In the square in the local town Go players gather. They set out their Go stones, an open pot means they up for a challenge, a closed pot means they have a game already planned. They are keen too, some arriving as early as 5.30 in the morning, and they stay and play whatever the weather throws at them.

    She is a consummate player, she always has been, beating her older mainly male relatives from an early age. The Chinese speaking Japanese officer is ordered by his senior officer to dress like a local, put on glasses, and go out in the city, and mingle with the locals, and pick up whatever intelligence he can.

    He’s a Go player too, one of the best back in Japan, and inevitably he gravitates to the square, when he isn’t visiting the local brothels, where there is always gossip and intel to be gathered.

    He sees the girl, waiting for a challenge, and can’t refuse.  They don’t introduce themselves, they rarely speak, they sit and play the ancient game, and how. The games go on for days. They leave the square at night only to return at the earliest opportunity. The games go on, through the boiling heat of the day. They both bring wafting fans, and use them too. The man fans hard, ostensibly himself, but in reality he fans her too. She notices, how could she not?

    And the more they play the more their relationship deepens, though they still do not know who they are, or what they do, and she doesn’t even know he is Japanese. She struggles to see his eyes through the thick glasses. She would like to see his eyes. And as they continue playing the war situation grows progressively darker.

    This is a relatively short book. The chapters are short too, sometimes only a single page. They take turns in telling the story. One chapter by her, followed by one from him. It keeps the reader interested, the pages turning, and the pace high.

    This book has won many awards, particularly in the writer’s native France, and it is easy to see why. I checked on what else she has written and although there are a handful of titles there, none appear to have gained the readers and accolades that this book did, which is a pity.

    It’s dark and bloody in places, producing several scenes that live long in the memory. The girl is slowly growing up, but will she successfully negotiate that difficult phase in her life, while living through an oncoming bloody war?

    The Girl Who Played Go will take you on an unforgettable ride, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Read it!      




    This is the third and last book on the three book series following the life and times of Cicero in ancient Rome. The story is told through the eyes and fictional writings of a particularly interesting character called Tiro.

        He starts out as one of Cicero’s slaves but through their long association he rises to become a valued assistant, secretary, confidant, and finally a close friend, and ultimately a free man.

        Tiro is a credited with inventing an early form of shorthand and one can believe that too, as Cicero is constantly throwing out rapid fire comments as they criss-cross the Roman world, words that he demands Tiro immediately takes down, sometimes incredibly witty, other times cutting and biting, and words that one day might come back to haunt him.

        But always at the back if it all is Cicero’s desire to protect the freedoms that the citizens of the republic enjoy. Much of Cicero’s thoughts and writings included here are attributable to the man himself through Robert Harris’s amazing research and dedication.

       This book was twelve years in the making and I can believe that too. It’s a whopping 520 pages of a rollicking good read as Cicero ducks and dives around the machinating Caesar, Pompey, Crassus, Brutus, Cato, Marc Antony, Octavian, and all the rest.

       It was a dangerous time to be alive, especially if you dared to become involved in politics and statesmanship. So many of the big names of the day were to experience early and violent deaths, facts that are certain to keep the story boiling and running.

       If you have any interest in ancient Rome then this is a must read for you. In many ways it’s a Godfather gangster book from two millennia ago, when the world was both so very different, but also so incredibly similar to today. Of course I enjoyed it, that goes without saying, and I am sorry that Mister Harris’s Roman chronicles appear to be over.

       And here's some video of the man himsef talking about "Dictator".