Crazy Like a Fox…

‘Crazy for You’ by Domhnall O’Donoghue

Also on the tour today, C L Tustin -Author and netsreadsbooks

  • ‘Genuinely hilarious, charmingly intelligent’ – The Irish Times​  
  • ‘Assured, astute and wickedly funny’ – Woman’s Way  
  • ‘Witty and charming and very, very funny’ – The Irish Examiner          

When Clooney Coyle promises Vonnie Gallagher they’ll be friends for life, he has no idea what he’s letting himself in for. The lonely and eccentric Vonnie quickly becomes obsessed with the kind-hearted but insecure actor, and her misguided crush soon develops into something much more sinister, which leaves Clooney’s career in tatters.  

But when fate takes a strange turn and elevates the pair into an overnight celebrity couple, Clooney must decide whether to embrace the fame he has longed for since childhood or end the ridiculous charade before Vonnie’s jealous – and murderous – inclinations spiral out of control.

Domhnall O’Donoghue’s third novel is a delightful romp through a heightened world of the celebrity lifestyle.

Laugh out loud funny in all the right people, the novel also examines the effect that the often shallow expectations of the public have on the private lives of the people behind the headlines.

O’Donoghue has a lightness of touch with his characters and a pleasing knack of raising the stakes for his protagonists as their world spins out of control.

At it’s heart though, is a sweet tale of lifelong friends and the toll that can take on both parties.

Bad people, doing bad things? Sometimes. ‘Crazy for You’ has an atmosphere of ‘The Sopranos’ crossed with Eurovision by way of ‘Father Ted’ and ‘Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ and what’s not to love about that?

Purchase Links

Amazon: Amazon Crazy for You

Mercier Press: Mercier Press Crazy for You

Book Depository: Book Depository Crazy for You

Itunes: ITunes Crazy for You

Author Bio –

Hailing from Navan, Co. Meath, Domhnall is a graduate of the Bachelor in Acting Studies Programme, Trinity College Dublin, later completing a Master’s in Screenwriting at Dún Laoghaire IADT. He now works as a journalist, author and actor.

In 2016, Tirgearr Publishing released Domhnall’s first novel, ‘Sister Agatha: The World’s Oldest Serial Killer’ (‘We loved it’ – ‘Woman’s Way’). Pink Spear, an American, Emmy-winning production company, holds the TV and film rights.

Mercier Press, Ireland’s oldest publishing house, released Domhnall’s second and third novels, ‘Colin and the Concubine’ (‘Hilarious’ – RTE.ie) and ‘Crazy for You’ (‘Genuinely hilarious, charmingly intelligent’ – ‘The Irish Times’).

For four years, Domhnall enjoyed the responsibility of being Assistant Editor at ‘Irish Tatler Man’. Thanks to this role, he interviewed high-profile names such as Tommy Hilfiger, Kevin Spacey and Chris Pine. He writes a monthly column for ‘Woman’s Way’ and is a features writer for ‘Ireland of the Welcomes’, the world’s largest Irish-interest magazine.

As an actor, Domhnall appeared as Pádraig in TG4’s award-winning series ‘Ros na Rún’ for nine seasons.

Social Media Links –

FB – Domhnall O’Donoghue (facebook.com)

T – https://twitter.com/Domhnall1982

IGhttps://instagram.com/domhnall82

@rararesources

All Under Control Here

‘Chaos at Carnegie Hall’ by Kelly Oliver

Also on the tour today, InsomniacBookwormBookreviews and Books by Bindu

Agatha Christie meets ‘Downton Abbey’ in the Fiona Figg and Kitty Lane Mystery series opener.

Can Fiona catch a killer and find a decent cup of tea before her moustache wax melts?

1917. New York.

Notorious spy, Fredrick Fredricks, has invited Fiona to Carnegie Hall to hear a famous soprano. It’s an opportunity the War Office can’t turn down. Fiona and Clifford are soon on their way, but not before Fiona is saddled with chaperon duties for Captain Hall’s niece. Is Fiona a spy or a glorified babysitter?

From the minute Fiona meets the soprano aboard the RMS Adriatic it’s treble on the high C’s. Fiona sees something—or someone—thrown overboard, and then she overhears a chemist plotting in German with one of her own countrymen!

And the trouble doesn’t stop when they disembark. Soon Fiona is doing time with a group of suffragettes and investigating America’s most impressive inventor Thomas Edison.

When her number one suspect turns up dead at the opera and Fredrick Fredricks is caught red-handed, it looks like it’s finally curtains for the notorious spy.

But all the evidence points to his innocence. Will Fiona change her tune and clear her nemesis’ name? Or will she do her duty? And just what is she going to do with the pesky Kitty Lane? Not to mention swoon-worthy Archie Somersby . . .

If Fiona’s going to come out on top, she’s going to have to make the most difficult decision of her life: the choice between her head and her heart.

In the best spirit of the Golden Age detective fiction, Kelly Oliver’s opening instalment of her new series, the Fiona Figg and Kitty Lane Mysteries.

Oliver is an accomplished author – her Pet Detective Mysteries are particular favourites of mine – and she is clearly a very busy lady (Professor of Philosophy too? Slow down, Prof, you’re showing the rest of us up).

Here, the Tennessee-based writer is ticking a number of my boxes – transatlantic travel, Golden Age setting, spies and espionage chicanery. What’s not to like?

Oliver has crafted an engaging cast of characters for such a cosy, escapist adventure. There’s a healthy dose of the appropriate period attitudes for Figg to navigate and we can only imagine the frustration which women of her ability must have felt at the shoddy nature of their treatment.

If you are looking for a tidily written, transatlantic romp in the best traditions of the old school, ‘Chaos at Carnegie Hall’ belings on your to be read pile.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3dMIUoT

Author Bio –

Kelly Oliver is the award-winning, bestselling author of three mysteries series: The Jessica James Mysteries, The Pet Detective Mysteries, and the historical cozies The Fiona Figg Mysteries, set in WW1. She is also the Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University and lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She is bringing new titles in the Fiona Figg series to Boldwood, the first of which, ‘Chaos in Carnegie Hall’, will be published in November 2022.

Social Media Links –  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kellyoliverauthor 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kellyoliverbook 

Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kelly-oliver

The End of Days?

‘The Survivor’ by Simon Conway

You can read an exclusive Q&A with Simon Conway here

You can support the blog and order ‘The Survivor’ from the Bookshop link here https://uk.bookshop.org/a/10526/9781529334388

Jude Lyon of MI6 has narrowly foiled the traitor Fowle’s plot to level London, but the public are demanding answers.

Answers the government doesn’t have.

As the country reels, a new populist political figure carves a stratospheric trajectory – but is he all he seems?

In Moscow the President is furious. The world now knows the destructive power of the programme his people had been developing, and as the Russians scramble to understand how it got into Fowle’s hands, they start to worry that perhaps it could be used against them . . .

But Jude Lyon has just one question on his mind: Guy Fowle is missing, with nothing left to lose,

So what is he planning next?

Seething with political machinations, burning with blood-thumping action, and featuring the best returning MI6 operative since James Bond ‘The Survivor’ brings the espionage novel crashing into the modern day.

Shane Whaley, the legendary host of the Spybrary podcast and it’s associated Facebook group (excellent for fans of Spy Writing, appalling for the bank balance), often says he wishes that he had been alive in the time when many of the giants of the spy fiction world were publishing books.

I can’t help being delighted that we are alive in such a time as now. Mick Herron and Simon Conway are two writers destined to be remembered as first level writers of excellence in the genre. With ‘The Survivor’, Conway cements his position at the summit.

Greater experts than I concur. The Sunday Times’ Tim Shipman – he of the impeccable contacts book and the planet-sized intellect – ranks Conway at 26 in his list of the 120 all time spy writers. Although this seems low, Shipman suggests that, “if he gets the support he deserves from publishers, the sky is the limit,” and this seems about right.

When I reviewed Conway’s previous outing in the series, ‘The Saboteur’, I said, “There is also more crash, bang, wallop than in the first… Conway’s background allows him to write about the violence with predictably bone-jarring verisimilitude but – and perhaps more importantly from a character development and depth of reading enjoyment point of view – is equally strong on the aftermath of terrible acts on people forced to endure unimaginable suffering.”

This blending of the sickening after effects of violence on individuals with the clock ticking tension is once again here in full force as Lyon travels the globe hunting Fowle and attempting to get ahead of the ying to his yang at the same time as a new Prime Minister tries to stamp his authority on a financially and emotionally ravaged country.

Just as well it is fiction, eh?

With an expanded cast of characters and displaying his usual behind the scenes insights into the personalities, petty jealousies and shifting sands of loyalties and politicking within the espionage community, Conway has rendered a must read adventure.

Packed with excitement, exotic locations and the down-to-earth crunch of bone on bone, Conway truly is the heir apparent to Ian Fleming. Not in the cinematic Bond who is too debonair but in the literary Fleming where lives are seldom taken with a quip and bruises take whole books to heal.

‘The Survivor’ is, apparently, the concluding outing in the trilogy. I can only hope that – as Le Carre did with Smiley – there is at least one further outing for the Lyon of the urban jungle.

Purchase Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/search/ref=sr_adv_b/?field-isbn=9781529334340&tag=hachetteuk-21

Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/search/ref=mn_anon-h_tseft?advsearchKeywords=The%20Survivor&author_author=Simon%20Conway&utm_source=awin&source_code=CMJ30DFT1Bk145032919907C&awc=8095_1667380669_c449a3f458d9c93973c432baa259bb8c

Blackwell’s: https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/9781529334340

Bookshop: https://uk.bookshop.org/a/10526/9781529334388

Foyles: https://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/fiction-poetry/the-survivor,simon-conway-jamie-parker-9781529334340

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/9781529334340?awc=3787_1667380645_f18b79282282c93d418730db8993fd15&utm_source=508909&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_campaign=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hachette.co.uk

Author Bio

Simon Conway is a former British Army officer and international aid worker. He has cleared landmines and the other debris of war across the world.

As Co-Chair of the Cluster Munition Coalition he successfully campaigned to achieve an international ban on cluster bombs.

He is currently working as Director of Capability for The HALO Trust.

He lives in Edinburgh with his wife the journalist and broadcaster Sarah Smith. He has two daughters. (Biography courtesy of www.simonconwaybooks.com)

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/simongconway

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/simon.conway.author

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/simongconway/?hl=en

Question and Answers with Simon Conway

You can read a review of Simon’s latest novel, ‘The Survivor’ here

You can support the blog and order ‘The Survivor’ from the Bookshop.org link here

Jude Lyon of MI6 has narrowly foiled the traitor Fowle’s plot to level London, but the public are demanding answers.

Answers the government doesn’t have.

As the country reels, a new populist political figure carves a stratospheric trajectory – but is he all he seems?

In Moscow the President is furious. The world now knows the destructive power of the programme his people had been developing, and as the Russians scramble to understand how it got into Fowle’s hands, they start to worry that perhaps it could be used against them . . .

But Jude Lyon has just one question on his mind: Guy Fowle is missing, with nothing left to lose,

So what is he planning next?

Seething with political machinations, burning with blood-thumping action, and featuring the best returning MI6 operative since James Bond ‘The Survivor’ brings the espionage novel crashing into the modern day.

PAJNewman (PN): ‘The Survivor’ follows just over a year from the publication of ‘The Saboteur’. How has your last year been? I think I’m correct in thinking that you have moved to America. Is that altering the way you work and are you still planning on publishing at the rate you’ve been for this trilogy?

Simon Conway (SC): I moved to the USA in March with my wife who is reporting on US politics for the BBC. I’m still travelling but at a slight slower pace. This year I’ve been in East Africa, Ukraine and the South Pacific for work but with long enough between trips to settle in here in Washington, DC. It’s a fascinating and in many ways disturbing time to be here.  If anything, the atmosphere here is more febrile than in the wake of the storming of the capitol. It feels like democracy is under threat and there is a danger of politically motivated violence. It’s rich material for future books. I am enjoying writing and I’m hoping to keep up the pace.

PN: How are you getting on with balancing the demands of the publisher, the public and your other job for the HALO Trust?

SC: I’m finding a balance. For the last year I’ve been working part-time for HALO unless I’m overseas on mission. That gives me more time to time to stare out the window, which I’ve convinced myself is all important for writers. I have a large laurel oak just outside my window in Georgetown and watching it change with the seasons has been ceaselessly diverting.

PN: In ‘The Survivor’ Jude is still recovering from his injuries sustained at the end of his last outing and London remains in ruins. The marketing is saying that this concludes the Jude Lyon series. Is this confirmed or can you imagine bring Jude back in future?

SC: Put this way, we may see more of those who survive…

PN: How do you feel about this outing for Jude? Are you finding your attitude to your work has shifted across the three novels?

SC: Jude is understandably scarred by what has happened in the last two books and I think we see a more reflective side of him and Yulia Ermolaeva in The Survivor. There is a quiet pleasure in writing characters that you are familiar with and I’m going to miss some of them. At the same time, I wanted to keep up the pace. I got a message from Mick Herron a couple of days ago, who read an advance copy. He said that it’s like being “strapped to a rocket” which pleased me no end. It was always going to be a challenge to complete the trilogy given the mayhem caused in The Saboteur and I hope that I’ve achieved it.

PN: How easy or hard was it to avoid the Covid overtures to some of the decisions taken by the Prime Minister in the novel. Do you get satisfaction out of the layers of comic irony this generates?

SC: I think that Covid has highlighted the fragility and inter-connectedness of modern society and that is particularly interesting if you are exploring its vulnerability to acts of sabotage and how ill-prepared our political system is to respond. One of the more enjoyable aspects of the books has been creating the politicians: Frank Booth the self-pitying former Foreign Secretary responsible for an illegal rendition in The Stranger; Gabriel Morley, the hapless Chancellor of the Exchequer in The Saboteur who becomes a Russian pawn; and Lee Chapeaux, the youthful insurgent who sees himself as a latter-day Cromwell and becomes Prime Minister in The Survivor without facing the electorate. He is quite happy to burn everything down to rebuild from the ashes.

PN: I know one of your novels is in development for TV (https://www.simonconwaybooks.com/rock-creek-park) Would you be willing to let this trilogy be adapted? If so, do you have an actor in mind for either Jude or Guy?

SC: I’m open minded. They’d have to do a lot of damage to London! I don’t have a specific actor in mind. That’s for others to decide. Who do you have in mind?

PN: In terms of the HALO Trust, is there any way for readers to help support the work that you are doing?

SC: Absolutely, I encourage people to follow The HALO Trust on social media and spread the message. Take a look at www.halotrust.org. We have been quite successful at public fund raising for our work in Ukraine.

PN: What is the question you wished interviewers and readers would ask but never do?

SC: I think that interviewers and readers find their way to the right questions.

Purchase Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/search/ref=sr_adv_b/?field-isbn=9781529334340&tag=hachetteuk-21

Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/search/ref=mn_anon-h_tseft?advsearchKeywords=The%20Survivor&author_author=Simon%20Conway&utm_source=awin&source_code=CMJ30DFT1Bk145032919907C&awc=8095_1667380669_c449a3f458d9c93973c432baa259bb8c

Blackwell’s: https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/9781529334340

Bookshop: https://uk.bookshop.org/a/10526/9781529334388

Foyles: https://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/fiction-poetry/the-survivor,simon-conway-jamie-parker-9781529334340

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/9781529334340?awc=3787_1667380645_f18b79282282c93d418730db8993fd15&utm_source=508909&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_campaign=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hachette.co.uk

Author Bio:

Simon Conway is a former British Army officer and international aid worker. He has cleared landmines and the other debris of war across the world.

As Co-Chair of the Cluster Munition Coalition he successfully campaigned to achieve an international ban on cluster bombs.

He is currently working as Director of Capability for The HALO Trust.

He lives in Edinburgh with his wife the journalist and broadcaster Sarah Smith. He has two daughters. (Biography courtesy of www.simonconwaybooks.com)

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/simongconway

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/simon.conway.author

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/simongconway/?hl=en

Golden by Name…

‘Spruced Up for Murder’ by Helen Golden

Death at Francis Court Now Confirmed as Murder!

Speculation is rife that the victim, estate manager Alex Sterling (44), was found by Lady Beatrice (35), the Countess of Rossex, niece of King James. Lady Beatrice, who has finally come out of hiding following her son’s departure to boarding school, has been managing the project to refurbish and redesign the Events Suite at Francis Court, alongside Perry Juke.

Heading up the murder investigation is Detective Chief Inspector Richard Fitzwilliam. Rumour has it that he and Lady Beatrice have a fractious history…

Awful man! How dare Fitzwilliam suggest Lady Beatrice’s sister is the number one suspect for Alex’s murder. It could be any one of the staff who were on-site that morning. Well, she’ll show Mr High and Mighty Fitzwilliam! With her attention to detail, her clever dog Daisy, Perry’s imagination, and his partner’s contacts at Fenshire CID, they’ll find the murderer before him.

Unless the murderer finds her first…

Early on in ‘Spruced Up for Murder’, Helen Golden’s delightful tale of murder amongst the minor aristocracy, there is a scene where a mother needs to channel her best stiff upper lip impression as her son departs for boarding school.

I well remember the handshake I was given as my parent drove away leaving me at my public school and the sight of my mother dabbing at her eyes as the car pulled away.

It is an image which has been much in my mind lately due to her increasingly diminished health the caring role I have now assumed. There’s an entire circle of life thing going on which seems to fit with the autumnal weather, the turning of the leaves doing some form of work for the pathetic fallacy as they turn their golden hues, die and descend to the ground.

All of which is adding an air of poignancy to a jaunty little novel which nips along with pacy plotting and a dash of humour which makes the medicine of murder go down sweetly. Short, punchy chapters, characters who say things like, “oh my giddy aunt,” and the internecine squabbles between the fairly haughty Countess of Rossex and our Chief Inspector Fitzwilliam make this a perfect mystery for the rapidly cooling nights by the fire.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Spruced-Murder-Right-Royal-Investigation-ebook/dp/B0BDGN7PSB

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Spruced-Murder-Right-Royal-Investigation-ebook/dp/B0BDGN7PSB

Author Bio –

Hello. I’m Helen Golden. I write British contemporary cozy whodunnits with a hint of humour. I live in small village in Lincolnshire in the UK with my husband, my step-daughter, her two cats, our two dogs, sometimes my step-son, and our tortoise.

I used to work in senior management, but after my recent job came to a natural end I had the opportunity to follow my dreams and start writing. It’s very early in my life as an author, but so far I’m loving it.

It’s crazy busy at our house, so when I’m writing I retreat to our caravan (an impulsive lockdown purchase) which is mostly parked on our drive. When I really need total peace and quiet, I take it to a lovely site about 15 minutes away and hide there until my family runs out of food or clean clothes

Social Media Links – insta – https://www.instagram.com/helengolden_author/

Tik Tok – https://www.tiktok.com/@helengoldenauthor  

Website – https://helengoldenauthor.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/helengoldenauthor

Warm Prose with Williams

‘Murder in Tuscany’ by TA Williams

Also on the tour today, Scrapping&Playing and The Book Decoder

A remote retreat…

Nestled high in the Tuscan hills lies Villa Volpone, home to renowned crime writer Jonah Moore and his creative writing course. It’s also the last place retired DCI Dan Armstrong expected to spend his retirement! Dan’s no writer, but maybe this break will help him to think about the next chapter in his own life story?

A gruesome murder…

But only days into the course, Jonah Moore is found stabbed to death with his award-winning silver dagger! And Dan finds himself pulled out of retirement with a killer to catch.

Eleven possible suspects.

The other guests all seem shocked by Jonah’s death, but Dan knows that one of them must be lying. And as he and Italian Commissario Virgilio Pisano begin to investigate it quickly becomes clear that everyone at Villa Volpone has secrets to hide…

But can Dan discover who the murderer is before they strike again?

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/3Pnw7q3

I’ve never met TA Williams but I can’t help thinking that I would get on with him. I respected his courage to unapologetically write romantic as a man and not be embarrassed by that. I like reading them and still feel like an outlier for doing so.

I’ve reviewed a couple of Williams’ earlier novels in this genre, ‘A Little Piece of Paradise’ and ‘A Chance in a Million’. These are two impressively accomplished examples of their genre (you should definitely check them out if this is your sort of thing.)

Another thing I definitely have in common with Mr Williams is a love of Italy. La Dolce Vita – yes please. I would happily have been zipping about on a Vespa in a well cut suit on my way for a tiny coffee under sunny skies if I wasn’t a pasty middle aged Englishman in dreary Britain.

And now he’s branching out into crime fiction. Well, yes please, grazie mille!

‘A Murder in Tuscany’ is just as accomplished, entertaining and well written as we have come to expect from Williams. There’s the Agatha Christie-style limited suspect line up, there’s the exotic location, putting readers in mind of Donna Leon or Michael Dibden and there’s the easy going charm of the flowing prose which is all Williams.

As the nights draw in and the fire goes on, I’ve really enjoyed curling up with DCI Dan Armstrong and Oscar as the retired detective finds himself pulled back into the fray of another murder.

Bravo! Bellissimo!

Author Bio –

T A Williams is the author of over twenty bestselling romances for HQ and Canelo and is now turning his hand to cosy crime, set in his beloved Italy, for Boldwood. The series will introduce us to retired DCI Armstrong and his labrador Oscar and the first book, entitled ‘Murder in Tuscany’, will be published in October 2022. Trevor lives in Devon with his Italian wife.

Social Media Links –   

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrevorWilliamsBooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TAWilliamsBooks

Boldwood’s IG account – https://www.instagram.com/bookandtonic/