Books guest review Review

The Poisoned Rock by Robert Daws *Ellen’s Review*

Hey everyone,

Today Ellen has a fab review for you all for The Poisoned Rock by Robert Daws! Here’s all the bookish info you need…

About the book:

With only five weeks to go before the end of her secondment to the Royal Gibraltar Police Force, D.S. Tamara Sullivan is enjoying life on the Rock. With one murder investigation successfully under their belts, Sullivan and her commanding officer, Chief Inspector Gus Broderick, settle down to regular police work under the sunny Mediterranean skies.

In London, the British Government has declassified a large number of top secret files regarding British Military Intelligence operations during World War Two. One file, concerning espionage operations on Gibraltar, has been smuggled out of the U.K. to Spain. It contains information that will draw Sullivan and Broderick into the dark and treacherous world of wartime Gibraltar. A place where saboteurs and espionage plots abounded. Where double and triple agents from Britain, Germany and Spain were at war in a treacherous and deadly game of undercover operations.

As the summer heat reaches its zenith in Gibraltar Town, a film crew has arrived on the Rock to shoot a movie about one of the most enigmatic and legendary spies of the war years – ‘The Queen of Diamonds’. Starring Hollywood A-lister Julia Novacs and produced by local born film maker, Gabriel Isolde, it is the talk of the Rock.

It is only a matter of time before past and present collide and a dangerous battle begins to conceal the truth about the Rock’s poisonous wartime history. Detectives Sullivan and Broderick become caught in a tangled web of intrigue and murder that will once again test their skills and working relationship to the very limit.



About the author:

Robert Daws is a British theatre and television actor best known for his roles in long running tv series such as the award winning Outside Edge, Jeeves and Wooster, Roger,Roger, The Royal, Rock and Chips, Casualty, Midsomer Murders, Sword of Honour, Take A Girl Like You and most recently, as Dr Thomas Choake in Poldark.

His most recent theatre work includes Michael Frayn’s Alarms and Excursions, The Secret of Sherlock Holmes and Yes Prime Minister in London’s West End.

He has worked extensively for BBC Radio, most notably co-creating the returning police detective series Trueman and Riley with Brian B Thompson.


Ellen’s review:

Having recently visited Estepona, Marbella and Gibraltar itself, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to review this book. I find the history of Gibraltar fascinating and loved how we had glimpses of the past alongside the present. The author really brought to life the places I have seen (and places I haven’t) and left me yearning for a return visit.


Tamara Sullivan is the gutsy young newcomer to the Royal Gibraltar Police Department; prepared to dive in and throw off her Jimmy Choos to chase after the bad guy! Gus Broderick approaches matters in a more sedate manner but the pair certainly make a formidable team. The book is fully of mystery and twists and turns; none of which I guessed until they were revealed.


Considering the large and varied cast of characters, I found the story easy to follow and intriguing. I wouldn’t normally be a fan of WW2 inspired books but The Poisoned Rock was so much more than that. The story unfolding from a modern day film set was fantastic and the flashback chapters were just enough to give you a flavour of that time and sense of danger.


This is the second book in the series but worked perfectly as a standalone. I will definitely be buying the first (The Rock) and any subsequent books by the author. A solid four stars from me!

Books guest review Review

A Man With One Of Those Faces by Caimh McDonnell

Hi everyone,

I’ve got a fab review from Ellen for you all today for A Man With One Of Those Faces by Caimh McDonnell. Here’s all the bookish info 🙂

About the book:

The First time somebody tried to kill him was an accident.
The second time was deliberate.
Now Paul Muchrone finds himself on the run with nobody to turn to except a nurse who has read one-too-many crime novels and a renegade copper with a penchant for violence. Together they must solve one of the most notorious crimes in Irish history…
…or else they’ll be history.



About the author:

Caimh McDonnell is an award-winning stand-up comedian, author and writer of televisual treats.
His writing credits include The Sarah Millican Television Programme, A League of Their Own, Mock the Week and Have I Got News for You. He also works as a children’s TV writer and was BAFTA nominated for the animated series ‘Pet Squad’ which he created. He was a winner in the BBC’s Northern Laffs sitcom writing competition.

During his time on the British stand-up circuit, he has firmly established himself as the white-haired Irishman whose name nobody can pronounce. He regularly supports Sarah Millican and Gary Delaney on tour and has also brought the funny worldwide, doing stand-up tours of the Far East, the Middle East and Near East (Norwich).


Ellen’s review:

I’ll be honest and admit to not doing any research apart from reading the blurb; I went in clueless and was pleasantly surprised. I certainly never expected to laugh as much as I did at a crime novel!  The characters work well together and the mix of buttock clenching gangster violence and light relief of the one liners/observational comedy was fantastic.


Paul Muchrone is a clueless, accidental man on the run with the crime loving nurse Brigit in tow. Helping them (or is he?) is Bunny McGarry and his hurley stick called Mabel. It’s difficult to pick a favourite character from the colourful cast but I couldn’t leave out Dorothy. Paul’s “adopted” granny who is beyond bonkers but has a heart of gold. Her habit of replacing the first letter of a swear word with an M to appear ladylike was particularly hilarious, in fact mucking hilarious!


A fast paced read that kept me guessing until the very end and I was please to read that there is going to be another book featuring Paul, Brigid and Bunny. There really should be a film…Colin Farrell is rumoured to be interested…

A 5 star read! 🙂