My comic crime capers Guns of Brixton and Cold London Blues were published by Caffeine Nights Publishing in 2014 and 2016 respectively. And they received a hell of a lot of positive feedback, particularly Guns Of Brixton. However, due to Caffeine Nights decision to reduce their booklist, they have now reverted the rights of the books to me and ceased publication of the titles.
I’m sure both books will be back out and about in some shape or form at a later dater. So watch this space!
In the meantime, the eBook versions of the books are no longer available but there are some paperbacks knocking about.
So if you fancy nabbing one, maybe pop over to Fantastic Fiction:
In the wake of the book blog tour organised by BLACKTHORN BOOK TOURS, Gumshoe Blues: The Peter Ord Yarns has garnered a hell of a lot of positive reviews – mostly 4 and 5 stars. A few more reviews have also have also popped up over at Goodreads and at Amazon.
So, I thought I’d try to do a review round up and hope I haven’t missed any.
And thanks very much to all involved. You are appreciated!
Rough Justice, Crime Fiction Lover –
‘Humour is ever present, often dark, unsophisticated and absurd. The result is a very kind of British noir, as if Jim Thompson had written his stories of doomed losers on the back of bawdy seaside postcards.’
Stephanie Jane, Literary Flits –
‘I love Brazill’s dry humour and scathing turns of phrase which contrast well with his eye for an absurd situation. All of his characters have a ring of authenticity to them with even people who only put in the briefest of appearances being utterly believable.’
Ross Jeffery –
‘The result is dark, witty, farcical and thoroughly entertaining.’
Kevin McNamara –
‘Filled with colorful characters and Mr. Brazill’s wonderful wit.’
Terry (TBC) –
‘northern grit & grim & honestly funny’
Christi M –
‘Overall, fans of gritty noir stories will enjoy this book. Characters are quirky and memorable and it doesn’t hurt that it comes with a good dose of dark humor. Also want to give props to the author for all the extremely well-thought out characters. It must have been incredibly fun to create all their backstories.’
Robert B –
‘This book engrossed me so much that I finished it in two sessions. I highly recommend it’
Isobel Blackthorn –
‘Told masterfully with tremendous wit and realism in taut, punchy prose, Gumshoe Blues contributes a work of considerable merit to the noir crime stable.’
Susan Hampson –
‘Paul Brazill is a master of one-liner dry-humour beauties that constantly roll from each page. His descriptions of people are unique, the like of which you have never heard before but it brings each character to life in its own memorable way. Yes, Paul Brazill, you are a genius in my eyes and I want everyone to read your books.’
Paul Matts –
‘Paul D Brazill has produced another collection of gritty, gutter-laden and immensely colourful characters, led by the main man himself. Plots develop and musical references abound. Really enjoyable stuff.’
Julie Porter –
‘Brazill transports the genre to England where he not only pays tribute to the hard boiled detectives but updates the genre to give it a postmodern Millennial sensibility making the hard edges even harder, the cynical detective even more self-aware, and filling it with pop culture references and technology to amuse modern Readers.’
David Burnham –
‘The pages oozed with rich, multi-layered plot progression and detail.’
Amit Verma –
‘Not a long boring, uselessly burdened thriller book, but short Quirky and interesting stuff you are going to like.’
Amy Shannon –
‘Brazill writes very well and knows how to keep the balance between dark and light, as well as humoristic satire and farce.’
Lel Budge –
‘Utter madness, with intense imagery, music references and so darkly funny. Thoroughly entertaining.’
Haley Belinda –
‘Paul Brazill is a very entertaining writer whose work flows and produces quite a lot of laughs as well. I love the dry sense of humour that flows through the book.’
Ruth Ann Garcia –
‘Great and fast read.’
Simon Maltman –
‘Hard boiled and humorous in equal measures.’
Danny Farham –
‘The author never lets the book get too dark, as it is peppered with razor sharp wit and one-liners that had me giggling like a schoolgirl.’
‘I give props to the author for his fantastic descriptions of the setting, as well as those secondary characters.’
‘crime with the feel of a shaggy dog story, complete with running jokes.’
‘Author Paul D. Brazill’s crime noir novel is a collage of characters that roll in and out of the pages. He paints with a brush loaded with dark humor, and his descriptions are what power the book.’
‘Crisp, raw-to-the-bone prose.
Andy Rausch –
‘Brazill is a writer’s writer’
Hector Duarte Jr–
Ray Douglas –
‘A gritty tale full of twists and turns, dark places and dark humour.’
‘Gumshoe Blues is a clever, humorous piece of work and in Peter Ord you have an endearing if perpetually hapless central figure who you can’t help finding yourself rooting for.’
Warren Stalley –
‘The most impressive thing about these stories are the classic one liners and dazzling word play that author Mr Brazill expertly weaves throughout the narrative.’
I’ll give you a bit more info about Man Of The World at a later date. In the meantime, here’s the SP on Last Year’s Man:
A troubled, ageing hit man leaves London and returns to his hometown in the north east of England hoping for peace. But the ghosts of his past return to haunt him.
Last Year’s Man is a violent and blackly comic slice of Brit Grit noir.
Praise for LAST YEAR’S MAN:
“Brazill offers a series of amusing episodes filled with breezy banter in this offbeat slice of British noir.” – Publishers Weekly
“It’s all here, everything you’ve come to expect from a Paul D. Brazill caper – the fast pace, the witty banter, the grim humour and the classic tunes – except this time he’s REALLY outdone himself. Unlike the lament in the song the title takes its name from, Paul’s best years are surely still ahead of him.” – Paul Heatley, author of Fatboy
“Paul D. Brazill is the Crown Prince of Noir. That’s my opinion, granted, but I stand by it. For those who require proof, just pick up his latest novel, Last Year’s Man, and it will be clear why I make that statement. All hail the crown prince!” – Les Edgerton, author of The Rapist, The Bitch, Just Like That and others
“Brazill is brilliant, a unique voice which stands out from the crowd.” – Keith Nixon, author of the Solomon Gray books.
‘Death has ripples’
‘Death is contagious’
Sarah is only a young a child when her father talks to her about death and she is haunted by its spectre all her life.
In fact, Sarah is not the only one of the characters in Steve Mosby’s brilliant Still Bleeding to have felt death’s ripples.
Her close friend Alex Connor, for instance, has been living in self-imposed exile since his wife’s shocking death. But he is propelled back to England when he learns that Sarah has been murdered. And his brother has confessed to the killing.
And then there’s Paul Kearney, a homicide detective, who is working on a serial killer case in which women are kidnapped and drained of their blood. Kearney is a man obsessed, brutalised by his work.
Both Conner and Kearney dig deep into the underbelly of society and eventually their investigations intertwine in a gripping story with some great twists and turns.
Still Bleeding is a powerful novel that gives you a great story, wonderfully atmospheric writing, realistic characters and a whip crack pace. And more than a few emotional whallops, too!
JJ Stoner is a guitar-playing, Harley Davidson-riding contract killer who works for the shadier side of the British secret service. When his boss asks him to head off to Russia on a mission, and a friend asks him to kill an African despot, Stoner’s world gets even murkier than usual.
Frank Westworth’s Czech M8 is a whip crack of a read. This vivid and violent short story is marvellously well- written. It’s choc-full of fast-action, dry humour, sharp twists and turns and well-drawn characters.
Welcome to a place where ethics and loyalty might rely on who bought the last round. Peter Ord is our detective/tour guide, and we are treated to an intimate peek into the swamp that is his life. Bad things happen, and Peter is one of those folks who will be around to clean up.
As long as he gets paid, of course.
Author Paul D. Brazill’s crime noir novel is a collage of characters that roll in and out of the pages. He paints with a brush loaded with dark humor, and his descriptions are what power the book. Two sentences from the first page say so much: “I was lying on a brown tweed sofa and tangled up in a tartan blanket that had seen better days and nights. I was home.”
Gumshoe Blues is a series of vignettes rather than one long case. Peter’s cases are far from ordinary, possibly due to the quirkiness of the people he knows and deals with on a daily basis. Strange cases lead to strange solutions, and the author’s wry comments keep the book funny and constantly moving forward. A character introduced in one spot might have a leading role the next week. Life is constantly moving in Peter’s world, especially when flavored with a heavy dose of noir. Quick fun read, and never a dull moment. Five stars.‘
Well, GUMSHOE BLUES: THE PETER ORD YARNS continues to garner some well tasty reviews.
At THE HAUNTED PEN, David Burnham says:
‘Brazill’s descriptive work shines as he paints a written image of the colorful, memorable characters and places Ord encounters – pubs, bars, strip joints, cemeteries, and caravan sites to list just a few. I believe that in noir the location is just as much a character as the people who live there, and the author knocks it out of the park with his descriptions and dialog.’
You can read the rest of the review here.
‘Liberally laced with black humour, with a spritz of Don Quixote laid on top for good measure, Gumshoe Blues (2019) is some kinda read. Some kinda rough, cheeky, up-yours kinda read, I should add.‘
Read the rest of the review here.
At CRIME FICTION LOVER, Michael Parker says:
‘The result is a very kind of British noir, as if Jim Thompson had written his stories of doomed losers on the back of bawdy seaside postcards.’
You can read the rest of the review here.
GRAHAM WYND says:
‘The northern setting of Gumshoe Blues offers a laconic pace which suits the humour and makes the stark failures of the impromptu gumshoe Peter Ord a little (dare I say it?) poignant.’
You can read the rest of the review here.
ANDY RAUSCH says:
‘ Brazill is a master at work here, and I for one cannot wait to see what he does next. FIVE STARS. If I could give it more, I would. It’s that good.’
You can read the rest of the review here.
And, if it takes your fancy, you can pick up GUMSHOE BLUES here.
It’s 1976, and Britain is in the grip of an unbearable heatwave when Bowen leaves London to return to his home town in northeast Wales. As events spiral out of Bowen’s control, his old partner Nash follows his trail. Meanwhile, young Jay finds a briefcase stuffed with cash.
Math Bird’s Welcome To HolyHell is just fantastic. It has the sharp plotting of peak Elmore Leonard combined with the brooding lyrical atmosphere of James Lee Burke. The characters are all marvelously well-drawn and the sense of time and place is spot on. Welcome To HolyHell is a great slice of hardboiled crime fiction that is also moving and funny.
Ted Lewis is probably best known for his 1970 novel Jack’s Return Home and/or its subsequent film versions – Get Carter (1971) starring Michael Caine, Hit Man starring Bernie Casey (1972), and Get Carter (2000) starring Sylvester Stallone.
GBH was Lewis’ final novel – published in 1980- and it’s pretty damned fantastic. The book’s title is an abbreviation of ‘grievous bodily harm’, a term used in English criminal law to describe a particularly violent form of physical assault. GBH is the story of the decline of London gangster and pornographer George Fowler, and it is cleverly told in two alternating time periods. The earlier period is set in London and is titled The Smoke. The later period is set in an off-season seaside down and is titled The Sea.
GBH has the lot – great characters, sharp dialogue, richly descriptive prose, a cold clammy atmosphere, a powerful sense of time and place, and a cruel, dark humour. It really is a cracking read and is well-deserved of its classic status.
River Cartwright’s short career in the Intelligence Service is almost down the Swanee due to a major screw up on his part. Luckily for him, his grandfather is a bit of a big shot in the Service so he is instead banished to the purgatory of Slough House – home to the Service’s flotsam and jetsam – to work under the bleary and beady eye of the legendary Jackson Lamb.
When a teenager is kidnapped and held hostage, however, things soon go pear shaped and Lamb’s team of misfits and oddball’s is dragged into action, like it or not.
Mick Herron’s Slow Horses is a joy. It’s brilliantly written with rich prose and a sharply drawn cast of characters. The plotting is insidiously clever, the dialogue is smart and funny, and there is a wonderful sense of time and place. Slow Horses ticked all the boxes for me and then some. Bloody marvellous.
10th Rule Radio is a branch of 10th Rule Books and ‘is an old school radio serial featuring bad ass pulp fiction that skips the boring parts. Each episode is a a chapter featuring some cool horror, sci-fi, crime fiction or some combination of the three. Expect both gratuitous violence and possibly inappropriate dark humor.’
I’m pleased to say that the latest podcast includes my flash fiction yarn Anger Management.
GUMSHOE BLUES: THE PETER ORD YARNS continues to get the thumbs up from readers.
‘Another fast read from Paul Brazill, this book is about Seatown PI Peter Ord. Filled with colorful characters and Mr. Brazill’s wonderful wit, these are stories from a seedy town and a new PI who will do just about anything to make a buck. Well written and shows a side of life most of us never see. Looking forward to the next Paul Brazill treasure.‘
‘Paul Brazill always brings the goods with characters you won’t forget thrown into situations they’d love to hit the rewind button on. Peter Ord navigates us through the boozy, blue collar streets of Seatown, spinning yarns best read with a tall pint and pork pie at hand. Two pints up for Gumshoe Blues.’
‘Gumshoe Blues: The Peter Ord Yarns by Paul D Brazill comprises of the following four short stories – Gumshoe Blues, Mr Kiss And Tell, Who Killed Skippy? and The Lady And The Gimp. The book follows the shambling adventures of cut price private eye Peter Ord who lurches in and around Seatown, a rain soaked coastal town in the bleak North East of England. The most impressive thing about these stories are the classic one liners and dazzling word play that author Mr Brazill expertly weaves throughout the narrative. Despite the grim and grey environment there’s a black gallows humour that makes this book a real pleasure to read. If you haven’t read anything before by Paul D Brazill then I suggest Gumshoe Blues is an excellent place to start. Enjoy.‘
and Alan Savage says:
‘Paul D. Brazill is a writer in an over-crowded genre of misfit detectives and their misadventures, but Paul has cornered a niche all of his own. I’d call it knock-about northern Brit Grit, the details can be as ultra-violent as a Tarantino vintage classic, but there is always a salty port-town humour about his writings. He gets better and better and I think he should get his books off to some tv production company because his stories would make great fast-paced dirty drama – destined for cult status surely?‘
All of which is very nice indeed!
Published in 2005, Cathi Unsworth’s The Not Knowing was her first novel. It is set in London in the early ’90s and what a great slice of London life it is. Diane Kemp is a journalist working for the trendy Lux magazine. When an uber-hip British film director goes missing she is dragged into the investigation. Meanwhile, a killer stalks the city.
The Not Knowing is a cracking murder mystery with a great sense of time and place and is a hell of a read.