My Review of The Mysterious Disappearance of Mr Spearman by Jenny Worstall

Jenny Worstall is the author of several collections of short stories and two novels. 

I've enjoyed reading every one of them. 

The other day I was pleased to notice Miss Worstall had released a new book and I put it on my reading list straightaway.

The Mysterious Disappearance of Mr Spearman
is a novella and I was surprised by the sub-title: a cosy crime novella. 

This was something new. I don't think of Jenny Worstall as a crime writer; more a writer of light comedic romances and quirky tales.

Also, what is cosy crime? 

I've noticed this category before and decided it was time to find out. Cue quick Google search and a helpful Wiki definition.
A cosy mystery aka "cosies" is a sub-genre of crime fiction where sex and violence are played down or laughed at.
Also, the crime and its detection takes place in a small, socially intimate community.
The small, socially intimate community in The Mysterious Disappearance of Mr Spearman is the sleepy market town of Burcliffe in the south of England.
Most of the characters know each other, some better than others.
Broken hearted primary school teacher, Rosie Rainbow, provides a love interest for the story but it's not sexed-up.
There's some violence around the disappearance of school catering manager, Mr Spearman, but it's not graphic or particularly detailed.
The end of the book description on the Amazon page suggests that "this cosy crime novella can best be enjoyed with a large pot of tea and a mind eager to spot the cheesy clues," hinting that there may be some humour in store - which there is.

The plot twists and turns to a neatly tied up conclusion. 

The action is pacey and the storyline unfolds rapidly with clues appearing in the most unexpected places.
The main character is the jilted Rosie whose own romance is backgrounded to the cosy crime but helps to link her to it.
There's a full supporting cast from the local police, the primary school and the retirement home.
The author has shown in her other books that she's good at giving the reader little pen-portraits of her characters and she's done this really well once again in The Mysterious Disappearance of Mr Spearman.
I particularly enjoyed the parts of the story that were set in the primary school especially on Miss Rainbow's class outing.
Miss Worstall has a real flair for encapsulating life in a British primary school and describing the funny little ways of primary age children.
Two of the stars are Rosie's pupils, Ollie and Susie, who demonstrate the acute and pertinent observations that children can sometimes make.
Both children are charming but remarkably astute.

The novella is an enjoyable, light and entertaining read. 

It's humorous and the "cheesy clues" contribute to the fun.
The Mysterious Disappearance of Mr Spearman is definitely a cosy and it's definitely worth reading.

Read a free sample of

The Mysterious Disappearance of Mr Spearman: a cosy crime novella
by Jenny Worstall
at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01ALQ4J4K
and find details of all the author's other books here.
Or use the Previewer below to start reading The Mysterious Disappearance of Mr Spearman straightaway.



50,000 Page Views

When I started writing this blog I never dreamed it would have so many page views.

Now I know that for many bloggers this is more like their weekly hits but for a little blog like mine it's

AMAZING!

Many thanks to everyone who reads my blog and especially to those who leave comments too.

I've recently started joining in with Mystery Monday, Teaser Tuesday and WWW Wednesday.
Great fun and I've found even more brilliant books to add to my Waiting To Be Read List.

Happy Reading all day and every day!



My Review of The Bridle Path (Country Lovers Romance Book 1) by Julia Hughes

I recently read Julia Hughes' new book "Everybody Lies", a detective novel, which I really enjoyed.
My review is here.

I was looking on Julia Hughes' author page at Amazon

 and noticed The Bridle Path which is a romance.
I've already read her Celtic Cousins' Adventures series and didn't expect Julia Hughes to write romances although there are some romantic scenes in A Ripple in Time.

I find authors who write in different genres very interesting 

and so was looking forward to finding out what Miss Hughes could do with a romance.

The Bridle Path (Country Lovers Romance Book 1) 

tells the story of twelve year old Sebby who, after being tragically orphaned two years previously, elects not to speak.
Sebby's aunt and guardian, Matilda, hopes that a new home in the tranquillity of the Cornish countryside will help restore his health.
Sebby is quickly befriended by the precocious Winny, only child of a local farmer, Greg DeSilva, and soon emerges from his self-imposed prison.
As the story develops, Matilda also finds her voice; aware that she too has been drifting through life, content with "good enough" when she could be magnificent.
From being afraid to say "Boo" to a goose, Matilda finally finds the strength to go after exactly what she wants on her terms.

The Bridle Path has all the ingredients of a fine romance. 

Matilda is the believable main character who falls in once-in-a-lifetime love. The author has devised imaginative and unusual conflicts and tensions that keep the lovers apart. There's a rich cast of supporting players who help and hinder the resolution to the lovers' problems. And Julia Hughes describes a fascinating and beautiful setting in which the story unfolds.

I enjoyed watching the relationships develop 

particularly between Matilda and her young nephew, Sebby. This is in addition to Matilda's relationships with men. Her boyfriend Jude is already in the running for Most Obnoxious Boyfriend of the Year. And Matilda's first encounter with Greg DeSilva and his "partner" Mary-Jo is far from auspicious no matter how good Greg looks on horse-back.

The reader knows that, like all good romances, the story must end happily-ever-after but it really is impossible to work out how this is going to happen. But, of course, it does!

The novel is very prettily set in Cornwall 

where the countryside is presented as part of an idyllic rural lifestyle. Until the characters get up close and personal with a manure heap and other messy farm jobs.

Altogether a very enjoyable, light read 

with a delightful pun in the title. According to the Amazon book page there's another Country Lovers Romance in the pipeline and I'm looking forward to reading it when it's published.

Read a free sample of The Bridle Path (Country Lovers Romance Book 1) by Julia Hughes 

at
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bridle-Path-Country-Lovers-Romance-ebook/dp/B007QN7WQY
and find Julia Hughes' website at http://www.juliahughes.co.uk/

or just start reading with the previewer below.


You don't need a Kindle to read Kindle books

Recently, 

several acquaintances have expressed an interest in reading A Single To Filey or Cabbage and Semolina but said they couldn't because they didn't own a Kindle.
No Problem, we've told them.

You don't need a Kindle to read Kindle books.

Huh?
You do need an Amazon account.
Doesn't everyone have an Amazon account?
Apparently not but it's easy enough to sign in to the Amazon website and get one.

Then go on the bookpage of the book you  want to read and get the free App.

Just click the link below the cover image
and follow the instructions.
The App works on all devices such as phones, tablets, laptops, PCs.
If you have an iPad or iPhone you can get the Kindle App from the Apple iStore.
The App works just as well as the Kindle. I use an early version Kindle and the App on my iPad. The display varies from one device to the other but both are fine.

The App is FREE.

So if you, or someone you know, wants to read Kindle books but don't want to purchase a Kindle, get the App.

Do you want to know more about ebook sales?

The other day I followed this interesting link from author Chris Jane's Twitter feed.

At Author Earnings they've analysed the data from over 200,000 authors and close to a million different books.

This includes: 

Half a billion ebook purchases
Three billion dollars in e-book purchases
One billion dollars in author earnings.

The report is fascinating and makes interesting reading.

http://authorearnings.com/report/november-2015-the-uk-report-author-earnings-on-amazon-co-uk/
The report was written in relation to the first quarter of 2015 and I noticed that the most recent report was for the final quarter of 2015. This report, for the first time at Author Earnings, deals with the UK ebook market.

The report show some interesting comparisons 

with USA and UK ebook performances. The UK ebook market appears to be large and growing. Again, the report makes for very interesting reading
http://authorearnings.com/report/november-2015-the-uk-report-author-earnings-on-amazon-co-uk/

Both reports show 

that self-published and small independent publishers are taking a strong market share. This contrasts with other surveys which have suggested the opposite and Author Earnings offers a very good explanation why their data is different. It wouldn't be ethical for me to reveal their findings but a clue is ISBN.

I've bookmarked the site 

and will be reading every report in future. If you've an interest in the
progress of the ebook revolution, I recommend you check it out too.
http://authorearnings.com/

Thanks for reading my blog today.

If you've a few more minutes to spare please check out my website http://spurwing-ebooks.com

Who’s looking at your bookshelves?

There is one big drawback to ebooks.
You don’t know what other people are reading.


When you visit another reader’s home and look at their bookshelves you find out more about the person. And you usually discover a new book or two for yourself as well.

I can’t envisage asking someone to let  me look in their Kindle to see what they’ve been reading. I don’t suppose there’s any reason not to; you just wouldn’t, would you?

It’s the same with borrowing books. Currently we’ve got three paperbacks on loan from family and friends. I know you can share books from one Kindle to another but I’ve never had reason to work out how to do it and so never have.

I don’t borrow books from the public library any more. My rural lifestyle was once enhanced by the three-weekly visit of the mobile library which parked right outside my house. The generous library staff put no limit on the number of books that could be borrowed. They changed the stock regularly and I always left with a dozen or more titles to keep me going until the next visit. Council cuts and re-organisation mean that the mobile library parks up elsewhere and it doesn’t visit on a day which suits me any more.

Fortunately, I acquired my first Kindle at about the same time as the mobile library exited from my life. I use that now to discover new authors, re-visit old friends and keep up with contemporary writing when it’s on a special offer. I tend not to buy ebooks which are priced the same as the paper version. That seems to me like a publisher’s rip-off.

I also use the on-line ordering service at my nearest branch library, especially for non-fiction titles. I like that: order at leisure and collect the next time I go to town for shopping or the dentist.

The only problem: “too many books, so little time”.


(Attributed to Frank Zappa on Goodreads Quotes.)

This post was re-blogged from http://spurwingebooks.wordpress.com/blog-2/

My Review of Tellen Song by Jeffrey Perren

I've read all Jeffrey Perren's published novels and enjoyed them immensely. 

They range across time and continents and each one develops around an interesting and unusual storyline. This combines with the author's considerable research into the places and people that are the background to the story and the result is an exciting and entertaining read.

Tellen Song 

is a bit different in that it's more closely based on an existing story. Whether this is a legend or true historical fact is a matter of considerable conjecture but Jeff Perren chooses to make it seem historical with periodic references to actual dates and places to establish authenticity.

From the book description:

1307 AD — The Legend Ends, the Story Begins... 

Wilhelm Tell, hunter and builder in √úri, dares to disrespect the envious bailiff Gessler, appointed ruler of the southern forest cantons by King Albrecht of Germany. Sentenced to slavery until he completes building Gesslerburg, Tell escapes over the Alpine mountains to Lombardy. 

But the political upheaval in his homeland is mirrored there. Drawn unwillingly into the squabbles between the Pope-supporting Guelphs and the Ghibellines, who side with the Emperor, he longs to rejoin his own independence movement. 

A fugitive from Schwyz and a misfit in Milan, Tell finally sees his chance to return to lead his people. Will he forge a lasting freedom for himself, his family, and his countrymen? Or will his own brethren betray him, and themselves, at the crucial moment? 

Harking back to the founding of the Swiss Confederacy, Tellen Song tells the story of its legendary founder — set among all the rich historical details of the 14th century.

The famous apple-shooting episode 

is included but this makes up just a tiny part of the book which thoroughly explores the life and times of William Tell as well as his father and grandfather.

Whether or not the William Tell saga is true, the reader gains considerable knowledge and understanding about early fourteenth century life in middle Europe. The action takes place in Austria, Switzerland and Italy and explores the power struggles of the different regions and their rulers. The factionalism and politics of the era are explored in a dramatic and entertaining manner and the author skilfully blends fact and fiction without any hint of where one stops and the other starts.

William Tell is a forceful character 

who exhibits great loyalty to his family despite the attempts of several other characters to disrupt his life. He is a master builder and uses his skill to take him from one area to another. When the situation gets too hot in one place he packs up and moves on. He travels from one crisis to another usually managing to extract some benefit from the situation although at times with some discomfort to himself.

At a time when despotic rulers were vying with each other for control of land and property, William Tell knows his mission is to lead his countrymen to a greater degree of freedom. However, he is often obstructed by those who should be on his side as much as he is by the ruling class.

A very interesting aspect of the novel is the way in which the author makes a creative use of language forms and vocabulary that are now out-moded. This provides atmosphere and context for the story and contributes greatly to its authenticity.

Tellen Song is most entertaining and informative and I enjoyed reading it.

I think it could be Jeffrey Perren's best novel yet.

More details of Tellen Song and to read a free sample follow this link:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tellen-Song-education-Wilhelm-Tell-ebook/dp/B019T7A388

Readers who don't have a Kindle can get a free app from Amazon for phones, tablets, laptops etc. Details on every book page.

Thanks for reading my blog today.

You might also like my review of
Cossacks in Paris by Jeffrey Perren

My Review of Everybody Lies by Julia Hughes

I finished reading Everybody Lies, the new DI Crombie novel from author Julia Hughes, 

a couple of weeks ago but the excitement of the Festive Season has prevented me from writing a review post. Now things are more or less back to normal, apart from several excess pounds to shed, I can catch up with my reviews.

The first thing to say is that

Everybody Lies is a really good novel and a most enjoyable detective story. 

I like Julia Hughes' writing but I think she's written her best book so far with this one.

DI Crombie is a wonderful character. 

He first appears in the author's Celtic Cousins' Adventure series where he alternately helps and hinders the cousins in pursuit of their goals. He's taciturn, down-to-earth, idiosyncratic and totally authentic and when I met him in A Raucous Time I knew he had the potential to develop into a real star. Next I read Crombie's Christmas where Crombie appears centre stage in his own short story. It's a quick read which includes some new aspects to Crombie's character and more back story about his home life. Crombie's Christmas ended with a hint from the author that there were more Crombie stories in the pipeline. And now there is! A full length Crombie novel which is really good.

A missing teenager, a disappearing conman and a suicidal rock-star are a huge challenge for Detective Inspector Crombie when he is given the job of investigating a complex web of family secrets and deceit.

The tricky plot is full of twists and red herrings that keep the reader guessing right to the end. There's a great sense of reality with sharp, entertaining dialogue and an attention to detail that makes Everybody Lies

a gripping page-turner and a thrilling whodunnit. 


Everybody Lies has a strong supporting cast and some particularly good female characters on both sides of the law. Written in a light-hearted, easy-reading style, from start to finish the book is humorous and entertaining.

A great full-length first novel for DI Crombie and another good read from Julia Hughes.

More details and read a free sample at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Everybody-Lies-Julia-Hughes-ebook/dp/B0199AB0QE

or click on the Previewer at the bottom of the page. (This doesn't work for all devices but where it does you're straight into the book.)

Readers who don't have a Kindle can get a free app from Amazon for phones, tablets, laptops etc. Details on every book page.

Thanks for reading my blog today.

You might also like: 3 detectives I met in fiction in 2015 which includes DI Crombie and two other great British Detectives.