Tag Archives: Review Requests

Fleeting Memory (an Enescu Fleet Mystery) by Sherban Young

Fleeting Memory by Sherban YoungI received a complimentary copy of Fleeting Memory from the author, in exchange for a review on this blog, but I have to say, I would gladly pay the author for this book – it was well worth it!

Product Description

The answer lies with Keats… With these cryptic last words, the man sprawled out on the floor of the rustic cabin expires – murdered.  What could he have meant?  Why Keats?  Which answer?  (For that matter, what was the question?)

All this and more passes through the mind of the young householder who discovers the body.  If only he knew the guy’s name.  Or anybody’s name.  Including his own…

From here, our hero is hurtled along a path of self-discovery. With the help of Enescu Fleet, retired private detective and (according to some) the world’s most fascinating man, he will delve into an exciting new game show called Deadly Allusions, where trivia and murder compete for top billing. Along the way, he will attempt to figure out the dead man’s clue – and quite possibly nab a murderer who is too smart for his own good.

I have had this little gem tucked away on my kindle for a very long time (sorry about that Mr. Young!). Truth be told, I have read some real stinkers in the not so distant past, which had been given to me in exchange for reviews, books which I have had to go back to the author & say, “look, I’m not going to be able to say anything nice about this book, so are you really sure you want me to review it?” Unexpectedly, the answer has always been “Thanks, but no thanks!” – so, I had been a little put off about reading review books for a while, which is such a shame, as this is such a fab book!

I recently read a review on amazon, where the reviewer said that it “was hard to go a page without finding something to snicker about.” I heartily agree. Many a morning & afternoon I was sat on the bus snickering to myself over some witty comment, or situation that the crazy cast of characters in Fleeting Memory found themselves embroiled in. There were points where I laughed out loud at something Enescu said or did – much to the amusement of my fellow passengers, I am sure!

Growing up, my father religiously watched Columbo & Perry Mason and Diagnosis: Murder, & my mother liked to torture us with Murder, She Wrote. Enescu Fleet reminds me of a modern Columbo – with the same smart mind, cutting wit & quick attention to detail, with a little bit of (shudder) Jessica Fletcher and Dr. Mark Sloan thrown in the mix. So, having grown up in a house where these kind of characters were a constant presence, I found myself drawn to Enescu Fleet and his methods.

Young has a real gift for making the reading of Fleeting Memory seem like you are a witness to a play, or television show, but at the same time, I could easily imagine Enescu Fleet and his merry cast of crazy followers being the cast & characters on an old Radio Serial – Fleeting Memory is an interesting & funny mix of the old world style story, with a modern twist.

I know that I have not told you anything about the book, but that is a very deliberate decision on my part – I think that the Product description above tells you all you need to know – anything else I might say would just serve to ruin the story for you. Just let me leave you with this: If you are looking for a lighthearted, funny, quick paced delightful read – well, I just found you your next book!

And Mr. Young? I can’t wait to read the follow up you tell me you are currently writing!




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A reviewer's dilemma

So, at the moment I am reading a book on Thor (not the book that is in the picture to the right, btw), which was sent to me by the author to read & review here. Only – 5 torturous chapters in, I am ready to slit my wrists & find myself wanting poke my eyes out & to scream “No more! I surrender!”

Yes, it really is that bad! So, the dilemma? Well, I have already stated on several occasions that I will be honest about my opinions of people’s books that I read, so saying I enjoyed this book is just not going to happen. I am tempted to email the author & tell them that I just don’t think I can review the book & give them the option of withdrawing their book, but is that the right thing to do, or even the fair thing to do? I think it’s a bit of a cop-out to me, my blog & to the people who may read it, but I don’t know how I can review this book & bite my tongue about it. I mean, I would be polite, but I would point out what was wrong & would have to give examples of why I feel the way I do about the book/writing. Is this wrong?

What should I do?


Filed under Relaxing reading

The Undertaker by William F. Brown

I was contacted by the author of The Undertaker ages ago, asking if I would review his book. I agreed, never in a million years thinking it would take me 8 months to read the book – though that has absolutely nothing to do with the quality & everything to do with my inability to make myself read any books on my laptop. I finally got Thor, my kindle, at Christmas & when I got back to the UK I was able to add The Undertaker to it, to start reading on the bus to & from work. Well, let me just say that it is a shame I had to wait so long to read this book!

As I said to Mr. Brown when I recently emailed him to let him know how much I was enjoying The Undertaker – this book is bloody brilliant!!

The Undertaker introduces us to Peter Emmerson Talbott, a recently widowed, self professed computer geek, who has the misfortune of finding out that he is dead – or at least that someone has pronounced him dead! Peter sees his obituary (and that of his already dead & buried wife) in a Columbus, Ohio newspaper & goes there to investigate. While attending his own memorial service Peter realises that there is more to this than what seems to be on the surface (even more than a man being buried under his borrowed name & identity) & makes the mistake of deciding to investigate further, almost losing his life in the process.

I throughly enjoyed The Undertaker – it kept me glued to the edge of my proverbial seat from the first chapter onward. Brown has a style of writing which makes the book flow, dragging you into the story. His characters were likeable & easy to relate to – even if you personally had nothing in common with them – & you find yourself rooting for them to succeed at all cost. The character of Peter Talbott was very well written & Talbott came across as a funny, sarcastic, pain in the ass kind of guy that we have all had as a friend at one time or another, which is perhaps why you can’t wait for him to show up these people & make them pay for what they have done to him & to the memory of his departed wife, Terri.

My only argument with the book (and it is a minor disagreement) is that there are a couple of places where Talbott cracks jokes that I just didn’t get & that really bugged me. The first time is when he checks into a Motel 6 & tells the Front Desk agent that “…Dave sent me & asked if they really left the light on…” It’s obviously a reference to an advert(?) for Motel 6, but never having seen the ad, I found it annoying & frustrating, instead of funny – because I didn’t get the joke & it made me feel thick! The second one was also an American reference, only a lot more obscure. Talbott has just picked up a Cleveland newspaper & inside on page 4 is a story about him, featuring the photo from his California driver’s licence next to the story. Talbott “…made a mental note to cross Arnold Schwarzennegger off my Christmas card list.” Huh? I don’t get it….I suppose it’s something to do with Arnie’s being the governor of California, but I don’t really understand the reference & it bugged me because I was reading it at a time when I didn’t have access to the internet to google for an answer. I know that they are small things & probably the average American would get them & would think Brown very witty for including these references, but I don’t think non-americans are going to get the jokes. I’m Canadian & I didn’t!

Don’t misunderstand me, though. These 2 examples were minor distractions & certainly didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of The Undertaker. I think that Brown is a very talented author, I loved The Undertaker & I can’t wait to read something else by Mr. William F. Brown! I would highly encourage you to go to Amazon & buy this book for your kindle if mystery novels are your thing – you will thank me! And, if you would like more information about Mr. Brown & his other books, go here.


Filed under Relaxing reading, Review Requests

Unsavory Delicacies by Russell Brooks

I was sent Unsavory (I always want to put the “u” in that word!) Delicacies by the author as a review request some while ago, but have really struggled to find time at the weekend to get it read – which is crazy as it’s a very short read!

Unsavory Delicacies is a trilogy of short stories (starter, main & dessert), namely – Crème Brûlée, To the Last Bite & Shashlyk and Morezhenoe. The three stories are very short, very fast paced & quite thrilling! The stories are all interconnected by a restaurant (not the same restaurant, mind) & an underlying theme – revenge. Crème Brûlée begins in a restaurant in Old Montreal (love stories that take place in my native Canada!) & features spies & some serious intrigue. To the Last Bite is about a food critic, Dennis Kirby, who takes great pleasure in ripping restaurants apart in his column. This one is not for the faint of heart, or those with a delicate stomach! Shashlyk and Morezhenoe takes place in Russia & features a character from Crème Brûlée, Ridley Fox & again features spies – this time with a Russian Mafia twist.

All 3 stories are excellently written – my only regret is that they are so short. I think that all 3 could have been a lot longer & still would have been as good. These left you wanting more – a lot more………but maybe that was Brooks’ idea all along!


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