Blackwater by GJ Moffatt

*Many thanks to Chris at Fahrenheit Press for my review copy!*

About the book:

Deputy Sheriff Early Simms of the Blackwater County Sheriff’s Department knows about the violence that incubates within the souls of men – and that sometimes it needs a release. As a high school football player he relished inflicting pain, until he made a tackle that left a promising young athlete dead from a broken neck. Early did not play another game and his dreams of leaving the small town that he grew up in never materialised. Instead, he followed his father into the town’s police force.

Now older, Early is outwardly content with the life he has made for himself in Blackwater. But that life is about to be turned upside down. Kate Foley, his high school girlfriend, arrives in town on the run from an abusive husband and it stirs feelings that Early thought he had forgotten.

Jimmy and Marshall Cain are brothers – men with the capacity for the kind of violence that Early Simms knows all too well. A botched home invasion by the brothers goes horribly wrong, leaving a man and woman dead and their teenage daughter kidnapped.

Events spiral further out of control, with the brothers embarking on a killing spree that leads them to a confrontation with Early Simms and an FBI task force. At the same time, Kate Foley’s husband is armed and on the hunt for his wife.

Early is about to find himself in a fight not just for the life he has known, but for the future he has glimpsed in stolen moments with Kate. And to defeat the maelstrom hurtling towards him, he must once again confront the violence in his own soul.

Blackwater by GJ Moffatt

My thoughts:

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of American crime fiction. Most especially when it takes place in small towns. Something about a tight-knit community and the sense that everyone knows everybody’s business really appeals to me. Needless to say, I was eager to read Blackwater as it sounded exactly like the kind of book I would love.

I was not disappointed!

Early Simms is the Deputy Sherriff of Blackwater, a relatively quiet little town on the east coast of America. Chaos descends onto his doorstep initially with the arrival of Kate, his old high school girlfriend, who happens to be on the run from an abusive husband. Naturally, this stirs feelings in Early both as a professional and in a rather more protective capacity too.

Alongside this arrival, there is a much more dangerous duo who have appeared, the Cain brothers, fresh from a home invasion that went dramatically wrong. Violence seems to be their method of communication, and they are intent on wreaking havoc in Blackwater. This causes a host of problems to Early and the residents of the town.

What follows is a riot of action, violence and mayhem. These bursts of drama are interspersed beautifully with rare moments of calm through vignettes into Early’s life both now, and in the past. I genuinely loved Early as a character as he is so well-drawn that its nigh on impossible not to become invested in his fate and that of those he cares about. The reader is rooting for him from the beginning, willing him on and hoping that he can prevail over the evil that the Cain brothers are intent on bringing to Blackwater.

American crime fiction at its best and most gripping, Blackwater will grab you by the throat from the first chapter and won’t let go. Addictive as f***!

Highly, HIGHLY recommended!

 

Dead is Best by Jo Perry

jp1

*Many thanks to Chris at Fahrenheit Press for my review copy*

About the book:

Charlie and Rose are back in their much anticipated new adventure.

Charlie’s step daughter lies dying on a beach. She needs help. Some serious help. But how did she get there and what can on earth can a dead guy and his dead dog do?

Plenty as it turns out.

As Charlie & Rose ride to the rescue in their own unique way it soon becomes clear that the body on the beach was only the beginning….

Dead is Best is published by Fahrenheit Press. Click HERE to get your copy!

About the author:

Jo Perry earned a Ph.D. in English, taught college literature and writing, produced and wrote episodic television,
and has published articles,  book reviews, and poetry.

She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, novelist Thomas Perry.

They have two adult children. Their three cats and two dogs are rescues.

jp2

My thoughts:

I’ve had this on my kindle for too long, and I couldn’t leave it any longer. I broke my TBR rules to squeeze this beauty in and I wasn’t disappointed. Charlie and Rose are the coolest, deadest crime fighting duo on the block. And Dead is Best is proof of just how great they are.

Preceding each chapter is a quote about Death, and I absolutely love it because it’s morbid but brilliant at the same time. Death is different for everyone, but Jo Perry has written yet another book that gives death the finger. Charlie and Rose might be dead, but they are super cool with it.

In Dead is Best, Charlie and Rose are confronted with his stepdaughter, who is alive… isn’t she?

Caught up with bad kids, and a bank rolled lifestyle, Cali is in trouble. Big trouble. The kind that you end up dead because of. Someone gets an attack of conscience though, and Cali is brought back from the brink. But that’s not the end. Because that would be to easy right? Goddamn right!

What follows is yet another harrowing journey through both life (Cali) and the afterlife (Charlie and Rose) and it was one which I wasn’t prepared for. Something about the #DeadDog book make me get a little emotional. They touch on some tough subjects, even though they are dealt with really well, they can be a little sad to read.

I cannot recommend these books highly enough. If you haven’t read them, you really should. Different, brilliant and all round awesome, this series just gets better and better. I can’t wait for book three!!!

As Fahrenheit are prone to say, “just read the damn books” 📚

Previous Jo Perry posts:

Dead Is Better by Jo Perry

**Exclusive Author Interview- Jo Perry**

Fahrenheit Press is 1! Giveaway Time!

One of my fave publishers turned one and they are just growing up so fast! 🙂 To celebrate this milestone, Fahrenheit are giving away a subscription to their Book Club, which means the winner will receive all the books published in 2016, 50+ books in case you were wondering!!! More on this in a bit!

Fahrenheit Press is the brainchild of Chris McVeigh. And to be fair, he’s a bit of a rebel… Here’s some info from their website.

About Fahrenheit Press:

“Hot Punk Publishers”

 

That’s what they’re calling us and who are we to disagree?

The brains behind Fahrenheit Press have worked in the publishing industry for over 25 years and we figured it was time we created the publishing company we always dreamed of. We shoot from the lip and we call it like we see it – if that rubs people up the wrong way we can live with that.

Fahrenheit Press are a brand new publishing house founded by international publishing veteran Chris McVeigh.

“We’re intent on doing things differently and we’re building a publishing company that’s heavy on curation and deadly serious about marketing.”

After many years helping the world’s biggest publishers build authors and create best-selling titles we’ve decided the time is right to step out from behind the curtain, set up our own publishing house and do things the way we think they should be done. We definitely won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but that’s just the way we like it. If we’re not ruffling some feathers, we reckon we’re doing something wrong.

“It’s fair to say I’ve never looked much like a traditional publisher. I’m not suited, I’m not booted, and the nearest I’ve come to tweed is the Jean Paul Gaultier kilt I wore for a few years back in the nineties.”

For sure our punk ethos runs through everything we do but don’t mistake our tone for unprofessionalism – over the years we’ve helped shift literally millions of books for some of the biggest publishers in the world.

We’ve only just started out on this journey and we really appreciate all the support you’ve given us so far – it’s been a real blast – we have no idea where this will take us but we promise you the ride will never be boring.

 

I’ve been folllowing Fahrenheit since they first appeared, and I’ve been very lucky to be a part of some of the cool stuff they have done!

In a world first, Fahrenheit Press uploaded a book to Amazon with no title, no author and no description. And that book now has my name in it, as well as the other people who took a chance and bought what turned out to be The Lobster Boy and the Fat Lady’s Daughter by Charles KrielThis book was one of my top reads of 2015!

As well as Lobster, I’ve also had the privilege of having both Jo Perry and Paul Charles join me on the blog and you can see those here:

Dead Is Better by Jo Perry

**Exclusive Author Interview- Jo Perry**

Saturday Series Spotlight: Paul Charles

You can check out the absolutely stellar line up of authors published by Fahrenheit Press HERE.

And the full list of books HERE.

***GIVEAWAY***

To celebrate turning one, Fahrenheit Press are giving one of you lucky folks a subscription to their Book Club. This means that you get every book published by Fahrenheit in 2016, which hopefully will be 50+ books! (Click HERE to read about it on their website). How awesome it that for a prize?! All you have to do to be in with a chance to win, is comment on THIS blog post!

It is THAT EASY!!!

Good luck everyone 😊📚

*Giveaway is ebooks only, there is no alternative. Competition closes at midnight on September 16th. Winner will be notified accordingly.*

Saturday Series Spotlight: Paul Charles

So, as you will have noticed, this feature has changed both in name and in scheduling. The Saturday Series Spotlight will run weekly and feature posts from authors and bloggers alike. This week, I’m thrilled to have Paul Charles on the blog.

About Paul:

Paul Charles was born and raised in Magherafelt in the north of Ireland and divides his time between writing and working in the music business in London. He is the author of ten critically acclaimed Detective Inspector Christy Kennedy mysteries, set in Camden Town, the most recent of which was A Pleasure To Do Death With You.

In addition to his distinguished writing career, Paul is one of the UK music industry’s most respected figures. In a career spanning over 30 years, he has been the agent for a wide range of quality music acts.

Author_Paul

 

Without further ado, I’ll hand you over to the man himself….

Another Series.

 

So far I have worked on four series of books. The D.I. Christy Kennedy series – 10 mysteries so far; The Inspector Starrett – the 3rd book has just been published; McCusker just one so far, and then of course the Castlemartin titles. One of Our Jeans is Missing (Fahrenheit Press) is the third and final Castlemartin story

 

I started work on this book a long time ago, as was the case with the other two Castlemartin books (The Last Dance and The Lonesome heart is Angry). Castlemartin is a fictitious village, located about four miles away from (the very real) Magherafelt, on the shores of Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland, where I spent the first seventeen years of my life. All three books are set in the mid to late1960s. In One of Our Jeans Is Missing, however, David Buchanan, the main character, moves from Castlemartin to London and… well perhaps there’s a wee bit of: you can take the man out of Ulster but you can never take Ulster out of the man.   

 

In one of his many classics, Paul McCartney famously asked, “All the lonely people, where do they all come from?”

 

Well let’s see now. DAVID BUCHANAN is from Castlemartin in Mid-Ulster; MARY SKEFFINGTON is from Bath; JEAN SIMPSON and JEAN KERR – yes that’s the two Jeans – are childhood best friends from Matlock in Derbyshire; JOHN HARRISON is from Scotland. All are in their late teens – so late, in fact, that they will soon leave them and (hopefully) their innocence behind.

 

David meets up with Mary, John, Jean and Jean and they start to enjoy each other, and music, and each other a bit more, and then one of them disappears. At least two of remaining quartet start to consider what might be the perfect murder.

 

I had the title from the get-go for this book. This isn’t always the case for me. Tanita Tikaram an artist I was managing at the time visited China for a holiday. She took her two best friends with her. Both of her friends were (in fact still are) called Gillian.  One day Tanita telephoned me from China in a panic.

 

“One of our Gillians is missing,” she gushed.

 

I laughed. In my defence I laughed, not so much at the fact that one of her best friends was missing in a foreign land, but more at the way she had put it.

 

“No PC,” Tanita pleaded, “she’s seriously missing!”

 

When I set the phone down and had got D.I. Christy Kennedy, Inspector Starrett and McCusker, on the missing Gillians case, I started to think that ‘seriously missing’ – as opposed to ‘casually missing,’ or even just, ‘missing’ – would be a great title for a book, but for some reason or other when it came time to write it up in my wee ideas book I only wrote, ‘One of our Gillians is missing.’

 

Sometime later when I had the idea for this story of David Buchanan and his four fellow teenage exiles in 1960s’ London, the title presented itself to me at pretty much the same time. In fact the original working title for the book was, One of Our Gillians is Missing. Then I started to date a lady called Gillian (yet another one) for a while, and so in order to protect the three Gillians I changed the title to One of Our Jeans is Missing a.k.a. OOOJim (pronounced ‘Oh Jim!’

 

Apart from being exiled from the home you grew up in, another of the main themes of the story is how music, big pieces of music, becomes very important as soundtracks to parts of our lives. I suppose the other important point to mention here is that we are all equally passionate about the music we dislike as we are about the music we love. A lot of the music references in the book – Dylan,  John Lee Hooker, The Spencer Davies Group, Taste and Stevie Winwood – have all had major influences in my life and, along with quite a few other artists, helped me during my move from Ulster to London in 1967. Yes, music certainly helped me deal with the potentially debilitating illness known as homesickness. Even today every time I listen to Neil Diamond’s classic, I Am… I Said, I can still recall vividly the intensity of the helplessness of the bed-sitter days. With hindsight if I had been a doctor I would have prescribed a twice weekly listening session of I Am… I Said, one or Mr Diamond’s most soulful statements.  Just to know that others had suffered and were suffering from your ailment could be a comfort.  With the benefit of that same hindsight I would probably add a thrice weekly visit from Jean Simpson into the potent healing mix. Hopefully you’ll see what I mean should you visit the pages of One Of Our Jeans Is Missing.

 

This is my first title to be published by Fahrenheit Press.  I found main man Chris McVeigh refreshingly straightforward to deal with.  His view seemed to be that if he read the book and liked it (and assuming that I could spell Fahrenheit) he would publish it without any publisher interference, fuss or delay.  His only other observation was, “If you want to be treated like a delicate little snowflake we’re definitely NOT the publisher for you – try Faber & Faber, they’re lovely.”  That was certainly good enough for me.  

 

Going back to the series of books theme for a minute, for me one of the all-time great series of books would have to be the Colin Dexter Inspector Morse collection of 14 books (including one volume of short stories) published between 1975 and 1999.

 

I got into this series thanks to John Thaw’s superb work on the small screen. I remember seeing that he was involved in a new police series but I hadn’t bothered to check it out because the Sweeney and their “crash, bang, wallop, ‘Right you’re nicked!’ wasn’t really my cup of tea. I was touring Italy with an American singer songwriter and my friends back in London were sending me various videos to help while away the hours on the tour bus and there was so much travel each day I was happy to be distracted by anything. So I set up the Morse video. One hour and forty minutes later (the video used to be a great way of missing the adverts!) I was totally floored. There was one scene I remember vividly. Morse (John Thaw) and Lewis (Kevin Whatley) had just been to the scene of the crime for their initial visit and they leave the SOCO unit to complete their work while the two detectives drive back into Oxford to start into the investigation. On the drive back through the countryside they stop off at by the gate to this field before them is this incredible scene where you have the famous burgundy coloured Mark 2 Jaguar, the golden field of corn, the green hedges and trees and all set off by a stunning beautiful blue sky with white fluffy clouds. Morse and Lewis (with backs to the camera) lean on the gate gazing over this incredible inspiring picture. This particular scene was about three minutes long but there was no dialogue, just Barrington Pheloung’s soulful soundtrack. The point of it was to allow Morse, Lewis and the TV audience a chance to reflect on the life that just been lost and the details of the case so far.  I thought it was incredible brave television and I immediately started to wonder if it was the writer, Colin Dexter, or the director who had been responsible for such powerful work.

 

I resolved to try and solve this puzzle and so the next day in Milan in a dusty book store with a humble English language section, I tried to track down some of the work by Colin Dexter and eventually (but nearly not) I managed to purchase two Morse paperbacks, namely, The Dead of Jericho and Last Bus to Woodstock.  Anyway I discovered that if the scene had come from the director the mood had most definitely come from Colin Dexter. I absolutely loved both books. I became aware of slowing down my reading pace just so I could savour the experience.  That’s one of the great things in the world isn’t it? You know, discovering the work of an author you previously hadn’t read but then when you do and realise how much you love their work and then you find that they have a an entire series of book with the same characters waiting for you. Oh just sheer bliss.

 

Paul Charles

    


 

I have a couple of Paul’s books on my TBR and I can’t wait to read them! Here’s a few links if you want to check out some more of Paul’s work…

Paul Charles Books website

Fahrenheit Press– Paul’s ultra cool publisher

Thanks for reading! 🙂

**Exclusive Author Interview- Jo Perry**

Today, I’m super excited to say that Jo Perry, author of Dead Is Better is joining me on the blog for a little Q&A session! 

Last month, I had the absolute pleasure of reading Dead Is Better thanks to Chris McVeigh at Fahrenheit Press. I’ll be posting my full review tomorrow so make sure to check back and have a read of my thoughts. 

  


(Author pic from http://www.authorjoperry.com)


So, without further ado…


Hi Jo,

Welcome to Bibliophile Book Club and thanks for taking the time to answer some questions 🙂

First off, could you tell us a little about yourself? 

I have a Ph.D. in English, taught writing and literature, wrote and produced television shows, have written articles and reviews, etc. I’m the mother of two grown children—one in chaplaincy school and the other in medical school. I live in Los Angeles with my husband, novelist Thomas Perry, and a quartet of rescue cats and dogs. 

How did you begin writing?

I always wrote. Poetry mostly. My father was a comedy writer, so seeing him working at his typewriter was a normal part of life. I wrote academic stuff, too (my dissertation was on the representation of feeling in the novels of Samuel Richardson—yikes!), then t.v. scripts, then freelance stuff. I came to fiction late. 


Your novel, Dead Is Better has been published before and now you’re with Fahrenheit Press, how did that come about? 

My relationship with Fahrenheit Press was a completely weird, accidental, wonderful fluke. I discovered Fahrenheit Press on Twitter—loved the chinless skull––and checked out the website. More skulls! A smart, smartass, no bullshit modus operandi at work. Terrific books. A book club. Such energy. 

So I sent off my sequel, DEAD IS BEST, with a very brief introductory note to Chris McVeigh, Fahrenheit Commander in Chief. 

And to my delighted surprise–Fahrenheit was unlike other publishers. Those guys rarely answer queries in a timely manner (i.e. during your lifetime), and if they do agree to look at something, they demand all sorts of painful and time-devouring reformatting, word counting, font-changing, and then––if they do respond––it’s after a year or so and you‘ve forgotten all about them.

So imagine my shock when I heard from Chris rather promptly, and my amazement when I learned that he’d actually read my manuscript and was familiar with Dead Is Better.

So here we are. Fahrenheit Press is a miracle.

* (I should note here that Chris is blazing a trail through the publishing world lately, so much fun to watch on Twitter!)*


You have a follow up to Dead Is Better coming up, can you tell us about Dead Is Best? (I’ve read the start and I’m excited for it!) 

Dead Is Best has Charles and the #deaddog Rose returning to the world of the living once again. 

This time Charles is not searching for his own murderer as he was in Dead Is Better, but trying help his charm-free and spoiled step-daughter get out of trouble. Along the way, Charles must confront his failed marriage, his failure as a stepfather, and he must revisit the place he hates most on earth, the place he calls “Beverly Fucking Hills.” 

Charles and Rose follow his stepdaughter into the American Southwest, where she becomes the victim of a vicious and lethal operation that preys on troubled teens. When things get truly terrible, the human ghost—with the help of his ghost dog and a few others ––must find a way to save her life.  


Do you have any rituals or quirks when you wrote?! Favourite mug? Place to sit? Night or day? 

I try to write every day. Having two dogs shapes my schedule. So after coffee and the morning walk, it’s time to write. More coffee is necessary. The mug doesn’t matter. There is usually a cat on the desk and a dog at my feet. Day is for writing; night is for reading. And martinis.


I know your husband, Thomas, is a Novelist also. Would you/have you thought about collaborating together on a book?

Yes, my husband is Thomas Perry. I love and admire his work. He’s known for his Butcher’s Boy series, his Jane Whitefield series and a number of terrific stand-alone thrillers and mysteries. While we collaborated successfully as television writers, I don’t think we could ever collaborate on a novel. We are very different writers. For one thing, my characters are dead and his are alive. 


Did you find it difficult to get Dead Is Better noticed/published? It’s such an unusual theme, were people reluctant to publish it?

Yes. It’s a weird book––genre-bent or genre-mixed—whichever characterization you prefer––with unusual protagonists, a lot of darkness, humor and swearing. I suppose I didn’t realize how unusual the book was until I was told by one publisher that I had to get rid of the dog, that it wasn’t permissible to have a dead dog as a protagonist.  

Another told me that I couldn’t write a book “that way.” That Dead Is Better wasn’t like other mysteries or crime novels and I’d better make it like them. Or else. 

So many publishers have decided that it’s their job to zealously police the boundaries that separate mystery categories, i.e. noir, cozy, hard-boiled, pet detective, etc. 

Dead Is Better doesn’t fit neatly into any of those slots. 

Which is why I’m beyond lucky to have found a publisher who loves dead dogs as much as I do, who isn’t a member of the Genre Police, and who is interested in the reader’s experience more than anything else. 


The plot for DIB is so well thought out, I know you said they happened to you, but how did Charles and Rose make you write the book?! 

The truth is that I didn’t plan the book; Charles and Rose really and truly just happened to me. I suppose they were lurking in my subconscious for some time. I’d been thinking seriously and deeply about death, about cruelty, and how ineffective we are to stop it. Also, a few years before, a dog found me and changed my life in all sorts of small and powerful ways—the rhythm of my days, the way I looked at things, the way I felt. 

One of my favourite things about the book (morbidity alert!!!) is the quotes relating to death at the start of the chapters. What made you decide to open the chapters with these quotes?

I like them. Also, they give the reader a break from the voice of the first-person narrator, Charles, and provide other voices. They let the reader come up for air every once in awhile. I also hope that funny and not always funny meditations on death bring Charles and the reader closer together. 


If you wanted to tell future readers of your books anything about the book and the message it conveys, what would you tell them?

Hmmm. I guess the message is that we don’t know a fucking thing. About ourselves. About others. About anything. We think we do, but we don’t. 


What are your own reading habits? I always assume writers are voracious readers so I’m always interested to know what books people read! 

I always read my husband’s books, of course. They are part of my life and my mental landscape. For a long time I read mostly nonfiction, but I’m back to reading fiction, too. I confess to being a polyamorous reader; I read a number of books at once and have piles of them around. Recently I’ve really enjoyed Cat Warren’s What The Dog Knows, about the training of cadaver dogs; At Day’s Close: Night In Times Past by A Roger Ekirch—about night—it’s fascinating; I loved Grant Sutherland’s brooding and clever West of the City; and I’m really into Timothy Hallinan’s for the Dead, Lisa Brackman’s Dragon Day and James Craig’s A Slow Death—all brilliant and terrific and completely different.


Where can people find out more about you? Facebook/Twitter/Website? 

I have a website: www.authorjoperry.com

Facebook: Jo Perry Author

I’m on Twitter: @JoPerryAuthor


Lastly, what question do you never get asked but with you did? And what would your answer be?

Funny you should ask this. I’m moderating a panel at Left Coast Crime (a crime writers’ convention) at the end of the month, and have been working on questions for the authors. One is, “What are you most afraid of? What fear do you force your protagonist to face?” The idea being—Are the author and his character fearful of the same things?

My answer: 

Death has its drawbacks, but the prospect of living forever scares the shit out of me.

But cruelty scares me, too. Where does it come from? Like love, it’s a mystery.

For my hero Charles, the greatest fear is failure—and that’s how he finds himself when the book opens, he’s a ghost who has pretty much fucked up his life. 

For my canine heroine, # deaddog Rose, the fear is cruelty. She’s already faced this fear. Death has set her free. 


***********


Massive thanks to Jo for taking the time to answer my questions! 😊 If that doesn’t make you want to read Dead Is Better then I’ll leave you with Chris McVeigh’s thoughts on #DeadDog:

“So here’s the thing, everyone at Fahrenheit Press is in LOVE with the #DeadDog book. It’s smart, funny, sweary and just a lil’bit twisted. If all that doesn’t SCREAM Fahrenheit Press I don’t know what does. To be frank, if you don’t like this one we’re pretty sure your NOT our kinda people and we’re pretty sure we don’t want you in our gang. In fact if you buy this book and don’t enjoy it you can get a full 100% refund – the simple truth is, if you don’t like #DeadDog we don’t want your damn money.” 


Check back here tomorrow for my review… 😊📖

The Lobster Boy and the Fat Lady’s Daughter by Charles Kriel

First off, Happy Publication day to Charles Kriel and all at Fahrenheit Press! 🙂

Massive thanks to the author and to Chris McVeigh for my copy of The Lobster Boy and The Fat Lady’s Daughter.

About the book:

Mel Barry is a detective like no other and when her step-father, Charlie ‘Lobster Boy’ Koontz is arrested and framed for murder, Mel is his only hope.

Surrounded by freaks of the modern circus, Mel pursues a heartless killer through the darkest heart of the gothic South, only to discover the mysteries of her own shadowy past revealed in blood.
Set on the carnival lot of a South Georgia tobacco town, The Lobster Boy And The Fat Lady’s Daughter is a wild Lynch-ian ride through a world that few ‘normal’ people have ever experienced.

My Thoughts:

The Lobster Boy and The Fat Lady’s Daughter is unlike any crime book that I have ever encountered! Pretty sure my Goodreads updates made for  interesting reading for the author! 🙂 I read this book in one evening sitting. I could not put it down once I started reading it!

Charles Kriel has one hell of a writing style. It’s different to any author I’ve read, and completely unique. The carnival setting and its larger than life inhabitants make for an extremely colourful set of characters.

Mel Barry and Charlie Koontz are the two main characters, the former being The Fat Lady’s Daughter, and the latter, Lobster Boy due to both arm and leg deformities. Mel is a fantastic character. Strong, fiery and doesn’t take s*** from anyone.

AWOL from the Military, she’s constantly on her guard. So when she gets a call from Charlie, her step father, she knows he needs her help. Charlie is being framed for murder in a small town that has more wrong with it than I care to mention. Bribery, murder, extortion, trafficking, you name it, it’s probably there!!! He’s by no means innocent in certain aspects, but he’s not a murderer.

Kriel’s knowledge and carnival background are most evident in the descriptions of the fairground and its multitude of attractions. That’s when his writing flourishes, he has a great talent for picture perfect descriptions. More than once I could imagine the scenes I was reading in my mind.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was a pleasure to read. I can’t wait to see what happens next as I’m sure I read an interview with Charles Kriel today and there was a mention of a second book!

Initially I had rated The Lobster Boy and The Fat Lady’s Daughter 4⭐️ on Goodreads, but on reflection, it’s truly deserving of a 5⭐️ rating so a MASSIVE 5 ⭐️ from me!!! 🙂 

You can buy your copy of The Lobster Boy and The Fat Lady’s Daughter here-> The Lobster Boy And The Fat Lady’s Daughter (Mel Barry Investigates Book 1)

I can’t complete this review without telling you all about how this book was marketed. Just in case you missed it! Fahrenheit Press tweeted about their second book going onto Amazon (in a world first) with no author, no cover and no description!!! *hello piqued interest!!!* Naturally I had to preorder it as its like a blind date with a book! 😉 I’m lucky enough to be included in the list of supporters of the book in the book itself too! 😊 I thought it was just the coolest, most exciting way to market their book! Extremely innovative! So massive applause all round for Fahrenheit Press!!! 


Happy reading! 😊📖