The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence’s Mate by Paul D. Brazill

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence’s Mate

Oliver Peacock had often thought that there was an art to being in the right place at the right time and that life was more than simply a matter of chance, of luck. He supposed he put it down to his late father repeatedly telling him that people made their own luck in the world or perhaps he put it down to experience. After all, Oliver was well aware that the few movers and shakers that he’d encountered over the years had been complete and utter bastards, rather than passive mellow fellows. Robert ‘Liberty’ Valance fit into the former category of course which was one of the reasons that Oliver decided to kill him. Dark clouds spread across the granite grey sky like a cancer as Liberty Valance left Duffy’s Bar, as drunk as a skunk and holding onto Big Barry – one of his regular drinking cronies – for support. Indeed, the inebriated Liberty Valance was the proverbial sitting duck and it really was unfortunate then that a loud thunder crack startled Oliver who accidently shot Big Barry in the buttocks although, as he reasoned to himself later that night, the fat man was a complete and utter bastard, too.

(c) Paul D. Brazill

The Gift That Keeps On Giving by Paul D. Brazill

ONE

Living well is the best revenge, or so my arthritic old grandmother used to say. And , for most of my life, I have lived very well – once I’d broken free of Seatown’s umbilical cord, which was strangling me like a noose.

Fame. Money. Drugs. Travel. Fast cars. Faster women. All of the above.And it felt good. Bloody good.

Or it used to.

TWO

The taxi crept along the coast road, past the worn-out Bed & Breakfasts, half-empty amusement arcades and deserted kebab shops. A shabby looking Santa Clause pissed against the side of a mangy looking Christmas Tree that was stood shaking in the wind outside the public toilets.

‘Do you get home much, these days, Mr Stroud?’ said the crumpled tissue of a taxi driver with the the big, bushy eyebrows.

‘Not so much, these days,’ I said, half yawning. The radio was playing a medley of Christmas carols at a volume so low it was sending me to sleep.

‘Bet it’s a fair bit different to life down the smoke, eh?’ said the taxi driver. ‘Bright lights, big city!’

He slowed down as a raggle-taggle group of rat boys staggered across the road.

‘Vive la différence,’ I said.

The taxi pulled up at a red light. It was early evening and allegedly rush hour but there weren’t too many cars on the road. The granite sky was filling with black, storm clouds.

I gazed out of the window at Booze n News, Seatown’s popular chain of newsagents and off-licences. Booze n News had been the brainchild of Frank Griffin, a local Conservative councillor and father of Craig, my childhood tormentor and font of all of my bile.

Outside the shop was a familiar looking woman being hassled by a whining toddler as she struggled to put a buggy into the back of a Renault Espace. Karen Griffin, Craig’s wife.

Once she’d been the glam of glams and now she was looking more than a little shop soiled. I smiled to myself with satisfaction. This is what I really came ‘home’ for. Bathing in the misery of the people that had caused me so much suffering. Taking pleasure from seeing any spark of life that they’d had dampened by the drab hand of domesticity.

Karen locked eyes with me and smiled but I just turned away and looked at the torn billboard outside the shop.

In red marker pen it proclaimed:

‘Best selling thriller author Julian Stroud to host Rotary Club Christmas Charity Lunch’.

‘Bet it’s gone downhill since you came here last time, eh, Mr Stroud?’ said the taxi driver.

‘Plus ca change,‘ I said, as I slowly let out a silent fart.

‘Aye,’ said the taxi driver, winding down the window.

THREE

I used to lay awake at night thinking of my childhood humiliations. How much I was ridiculed. Laughed at. And over the years I let my my hatred marinade. And congeal.

And then the doctor told me about my body’s uninvited guest. The plague that crawled through my veins. And then I had an idea.

FOUR

‘So, you never heard about Fast Eddy then?’ said Karen Griffin. She downed her fifth Baileys and her face flushed red and her eyes sparkled.

‘No, I hadn’t,’ I said. I looked out of the Carvery window. The sea was grey. Out at sea, a fishing trawler adorned with Christmas lights bobbed up and down on the waves.

‘They say he met a lass on the Internet. Was getting on really well, too, until he sent her his picture, that is, and then she blocked him,’ said Karen.

I remembered Fast Eddy and could understand the girls consternation. He was once described as being like a fatter version of Bernard Manning. Without the charm.

‘And what happened?’ I said, almost interested.

Karen was looking good, I had to admit. She’d dolled herself up pretty well. Her idiot husband had been in a drunken sleep on the sofa and hadn’t even noticed her sneak out.

The fatigue was behind her eyes though. I almost felt sorry for her. I was starting to wonder if I could go through with this nasty little plan that I’d hatched.‘Well , he had an idea of where she lived. Some village in Scotland.. And so he started to spend every weekend going up there on the train and walking around the place looking for her. Until he got picked up by the police for being drunk and disorderly. Thing is, though, he’d got the wrong village,anyway!’

And then she laughed.

Karen Griffin’s cruel cackle reminded me of my teenagers years and the agony of just living. And it made up my mind for me.

FIVE

The motel room was dimly lit. Outside, I could the heavy bass of an old Public Image song.

I finished my brandy, popped a viagra and crawled into the bed.

‘Speak French to me Julian, you know it really turns me on, ‘ said Karen, as she pulled me towards her.

I took out a condom that I’d pricked with a pin earlier and put it on.

‘Le Petit Mort,’ I said, with a smirk.

Well, Christmas is a time for sharing, after all.

(c) Paul D. Brazill

New Year Noir: Gumshoe Blues

Gumshoe Blues


In the beginning was the sound. The light came later. The sound was a horrifying wail that skewered its way deep into my unconscious brain, until I awoke swiftly, sharply , drowning in sweat, my heart smashing through my ribcage; my head about to burst. Some twat, somewhere, was playing a U2 song, over and over again, and all was far from friggin’ quiet on New Year’s Day.

I forced my eyes open and squinted until I saw the familiar sight of a fraying Seatown United poster peeling from fuzzy, red-flock wallpaper. 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.

The air in the room was warm and soupy, and I felt a wave of nausea pass over me. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and counted to ten. The dry heaves kicked in around six. A beat. I peeled my eyes open again. The aquarium bubbled and gurgled, bathing the room in a sickly green light. Sickly and yet soothing. I reminded myself that I really had to put some tropical fish in there one day.

I edged onto my side and awkwardly kicked the blanket to the floor. I was fully clothed. My armpits were soaking. My fake Armani shirt was soggy. A sickly smell permeated my pores and the least said about my trousers the better. Beside me was a sticky coffee table that was cluttered with the remnants of the previous night’s drinking session. I picked up an open can of Stella Artois and shook it. It was more than half full. A result, then. I slowly sipped the beer can’s warm, flat contents until I started to get a glow on, like one of the kids in the old Ready-Brek adverts. Booze: central heating for pissheads.

Bonzo, The Ledge, and their musically illiterate pals continued to strangle a cat in the flat next door, and I knew that I was going to have to make a move soon, before my head went all Scanners. I finished the lager, edged myself up to a sitting position, and picked up my glasses from the coffee table. One of the lenses was scratched, but at least they weren’t broken. Another result. The blinking, digital clock-radio that was plonked on top of the television set, said that it was 3.15am. It was always 3.15am, ever since I’d thrown it against the wall during a particularly grating late night phone-in show. In the real dark night of the soul, there was always some twat talking bollocks at three o’clock in the morning.

I grabbed my knock-off Armani jacket from the floor and fumbled in the pockets for my mobile phone. It was just after ten. That gave me enough time to get ready and make myself presentable before my midday meeting with Jack Martin. My stiff joints ached as I shuffled towards the kitchen, and I noticed that my shoes were stained with something that looked a lot like blood, but was much more likely to be chilli sauce from the doner kebab I vaguely remembered stuffing down my gob the night before. I put on the kettle and crushed a couple of diazepam and codeine into an Xmas turkey-flavour Pot Noodle: most important meal of the day.

My headache was starting to settle into a steady throb, but my throat was like a nun’s knickers. I foolishly opened the buzzing fridge to look for a cold beer, but the smell made my stomach lurch and the waves of nausea quickly built to a tsunami. I staggered toward the toilet bowl and evacuated my New Year’s Eve overindulgence. After a minute or two of retching, I kneeled on the linoleum, whimpering and panting like a stray dog. Wiping my mouth on the back of my hand, I went back to the living room and poured myself a large vodka and orange.

Happy New Year. Out with the old and in with the new.

GRAB GUMSHOE BLUES HERE!

A Story For Sunday: Everyday People

Brendan Burke was a creature of narrow habit and come rain or come shine, come hell or high water, he always ate meat on Fridays, even though, around the time of his seventieth birthday, it had begun to play havoc with his digestion.

‘Rebellion,’ said Brendan to Tony Naylor. ‘Rebellion against the shackles of my Catholic upbringing.’

‘Power to the people,’ said Tony, raising a clenched fist.

Tony had been a butcher since leaving school, as were his father and grandfather, but business hadn’t been so good since the influx of supermarkets selling cut price cuts of meat. Curmudgeons like Brendan were a godsend for Tony.

Brendan put the meat in his checked shopping bag and headed off.

‘Post office, next?’ said Tony.

‘As per usual,’ said Brendan. The social kept trying to convince him to have his pension paid into the bank but Brendan dug his heels in, stuck to his guns. He hated banks and enjoyed his trips to the post office, the centre of the local tittle tattle. ‘And then I’m off to the naval club, though I still don’t know if I’m an inny or an outty.’

He chuckled to himself and was still chuckling when a lime-coloured scooter jumped a light and knocked him arse over tit.
*

‘Jeezus, don’t send for her!’ said Brendan.

Skye, the featherlight social worker that hovered over him – looking like a delicate flower next to the oak of a man – had suggested phoning his daughter, Sue, in London and getting her to come and take care of him for a while. He’d barely been in the hospital a week, discharging himself after complaining about missing two drinking sessions at the club.

‘She’s worse than her bloody mother was for fussin’ and fannying around,’ said Brendan.

‘Well, you do need a carer, Mr B.,’ said Skye.

Brendan shook his head as he looked at her. She was sparkling and fresh, from somewhere down south – home counties, maybe. How could she possibly have a clue about anything?

‘Do you know anyone?’ she asked.

Brendan just stared at her nose stud with disgust.

*

Oliver Sweet had ducked into his flat as soon as he saw the social worker enter the building. He’d seen her before in the record shop where he hung around. She’d bought a Janis Ian CD and he had tried to make conversation about it but it wasn’t exactly his cup of cocoa. Neither was small talk.

Oliver was a bit off a mouse, who kept himself to himself, although it would have surprised most people to know that he loved to listen Sly Stone, Bootsy Collins and Funkadelic. These were what blew his skirt up. Along with taxidermy – his flat was cluttered with pigeons, rats, even a leathery black bat – collecting funk on vinyl was the centre of his life.

When Brendan moved into the flat opposite, Oliver was a bit worried that the old man would complain about the noise but after talking to him a couple of times, he relaxed. Brendan was as deaf as a post.

He was listing to Sly Stone and changing into his ASDA uniform when he heard the scream and the bang. He stuck his head out of the door and saw that Brendan’s door was open. And then he heard coughing, choking.

‘Are you alright, Mr Burke?’ he said. No reply.

He went to Burke’s door and knocked.

‘Mr Burke?’ said Oliver, louder this time. He went into the flat and saw Brendan doubled over and red-faced. Oliver ran towards him.

Are you alright?’

Brendan looked up with tears in his eyes. Tears of laughter.

‘Sorry…Sorry, Sweety,’ said Brendan. Oliver blushed. He hated that nickname.

‘I couldn’t resist.’ He wheezed. ‘I just wanted her to piss off, so…’ he coughed. ‘So, I asked her to check the boil on my bum. The stuck up little cow soon scarpered then.’

‘So, you’re okay,’ said a blushing Oliver.

‘Aye,’ said Brendan. ‘Do us a favour and pass us that bottle of vodka from the mantelpiece and get two glasses from the kitchenette.’

Oliver wasn’t much of a drinker but he thought he needed to calm down before heading off to work.

He poured the drinks.

‘A toast,’ said Brendan.

‘Na zdrowia, as Polish Tom used to say. To your health.’

Brendan downed the vodka in one and Oliver did the same but it burned like molten lava.
*

After a week or two it was decided that Oliver would be Brendan’s carer. He’d do the shopping, cash his pension and pop in now and again to keep an eye on him.

Oliver started to like drinking with Brendan and the carer’s allowance that he received meant that he could give up his job at ASDA. In fact all was tickety boo until November.
*

Tony Naylor’s voice was like a dripping tap to Oliver and the woman at the Post office was even worse. Still, he endured and managed to pop into the record shop before lunchtime to buy Parliament’s ‘Up For The Down Stroke.’

‘Pricey stuff, this,’ said John, the owner of the shop. ‘Been saving up your pennies, Sweety?’

Oliver ignored him and headed back home.
*

‘The Post Office was packed again,’ said Oliver to Brendan, as he put the shopping bags on the orange, plastic, Formica table.

Brendan said nothing, of course. He’d said nothing since he’d broken his neck falling out of the bath on Bonfire Night. Oliver still liked these evenings, though. Steak, vodka and a bit of Bootsy Collins playing in the background. He glanced over at Brendan’s massive frame as he unpacked the rest of the shopping and thought that he really should have bought some more formaldehyde.

A Story For Sunday: Silver Lady

There was a storm building inside Ray’s skull. Waiting to break. And it was all because Ray hadn’t seen her for over a week now. Twenty-seven days and seventeen hours, to be precise. And he was starting to wonder if he’d imagined her. Created some kind of wish fulfilment figure. His stomach cramped.

It wouldn’t have been the first time that his imagination had set him off on a wild goose chase, after all. Sent him racing and stumbling headfirst into a collision with cold, cruel reality. Made him look a fool.

But just after midnight, at the exact moment he turned on the car’s ignition, the night sky was gutted with crack of thunder, a flash of lighting and a cleansing rain.

He looked up and there she was. Shimmering in the silver glow of the street light that was in front of the sex shop on the corner of Langdon Street and Spender Grove.

And she was … resplendent. Yes. That was the word. That really was what she was.

As she had been the first time he’d gazed upon her.

*

It was late October when Ray had decided to stop going to his night class. It was the dark evenings that had put him off at first, there were too many animals crawling the streets at night these days. Filth everywhere.

Although he knew deep down that wasn’t the only reason he’d stopped attending the course. He hadn’t been making a great deal of progress – French never felt as natural to him as German or Latin -and he knew that he’d never actually go to France, anyway, so there was no real point continuing.

At the end of the month he’d called into the College of Further Education and paid for the rest of the course, it was the decent thing to do after all, and money wasn’t a problem for him. He shook hands with the tutor and headed off home, once again feeling that something was missing in his life.

The winter night bit like a beast as he headed off to the bus stop, avoiding the begging trick-or-treaters in their identical Halloween costumes. Ray loathed this time of year.

His doctor had once said that he suffered from SAD: Seasonal Adjustment Disorder and that he should go away to somewhere sunny, since he had lots of free time these days. But even the thought of travel was an abomination to Ray, who had only left Seatown once in all of his thirty- five years. That was a trip to London to visit St Paul’s Cathedral. And that was an unpleasant experience that he certainly didn’t want to repeat.

They say bad luck comes in threes and Ray certainly had his share that night, and he really couldn’t count how many things went wrong. The 94 bus at Warden Green left early and, despite racing after it, it didn’t stop. But it did splash through a puddle as it drove past him, soaking his brown corduroy trousers . And then it started to rain. Pour. He leaned against a kebab shop doorway catching his breath. His chest burning. The smell of sizzling animal flesh making him heave.

He decided to take a short cut through a nearby alleyway and was soaked through by the time he got to the end, which came out directly on Barclay Common. A couple of cars, their headlamps dipped, cruised past, the drivers examining the girls –and boys- that worked there. Ray kept his head down, ignoring their beckoning calls. Whenever he walked past the common it produced the usual cocktail of feelings -disgust, guilt, shame, embarrassment, resentment. And desire.

He gave a cursive glance at the prostitutes, seeing the usual shaking anorexics or overweight grannies. But then there was a sort of fizzing, popping sound, and a lamp post came to life. And there, underneath that flickering streetlamp was a vision.

Tall, blonde. Wearing a shining silver dress and boots. Looking completely alien to her grimy surroundings. More than human. An angel. And she smiled at him.

*

After that, his days, and nights were haunted by the Silver Lady. His dreams more so. And even during his waking hours, little pin pricks at the back of his mind made him turn sharply, expecting to see her.

At times he did see her, too. Just out of reach, At the edge of his vision. If he squinted, she was at the end of the street. Or a mannequin in a shop window. Sometimes, when he blinked, he saw her in the darkness.

Her voice, though he had never heard it, called to him. Sang along with the sound his alarm made as it dragged him by his greasy hair from his fitful sleep.

So, tonight he’d plucked up his courage and borrowed his Uncle Ricky’s car and headed off to cruise Barclay Common.

The night hadn’t started well. Uncle Ricky’s car had been specially adapted to suit his disabilities- Ray wasn’t completely sure what they were – and it was a pain to manoeuvre. And Ray wasn’t exactly the most experienced driver, although he’d passed his test some fifteen years before.

So, he’d stalled about a hundred times and panicked that he might be spotted in Barclay Common by someone he knew. He drove around until darkness fell.

And he waited. He waited all night, and, as he was about to head off home at last, she appeared. There she was. As clear as day. He squinted to see her more clearly. She was mouthing something. The red lips so clear against her alabaster skin. It was hard to work out exactly what she’d said at first but later he was he was sure it was: save me. Of course it was. And Ray knew he would.

*

That night he’d had the thickest, most vivid dream of all. She’d crept into his bed and she’d begged him to save her. To set her free. She’d called him My Ray Of Hope. My Ray Of Light.

And he had made love to her. But this time was nothing like that horrible night in London. This time had been something so special that he had awoken with tears. Tears of bliss.

He knew then that he was a caterpillar waiting for the right moment to transform into a butterfly for his Silver Lady.

*

And then she was gone again. As winter bled into spring. there was no sign of her. He drove to Barclay Common so many times that the prostitutes had started to recognise him. A couple of the pimps had even approached him one night, to say or do Lord knows what, but seeing his dog collar they had stepped back.

After that, some of them called out ‘Hello Preacher,’ when they saw him, though most of them ignored him. And he them. But there was still no sign of the Silver Lady. They had taken her. These animals. And he knew, as the storm clouds gathered, that he must take their lives in revenge.

*

The glow from the burning car was warm. Comforting. The screams of the burning prostitutes and pimps calming. The storm had broken. Was over. He felt sated, wet at his crotch.

Ray had filled the car with as much flammable material as possible and sent it into the pack of vermin that lined Barclay Common. He’d thrown a Molotov cocktail and the blast had ripped the sky open.

With an aching heart, he walked toward the streetlight where his Silver Lady had stood. As he got closer, he felt a stomach cramp as saw the sex shop’s demolished facade. He rushed forward and burnt his hands as he gripped the metal shutters that had been ripped open by the blast. He smashed at the glass that was already shattered to reveal the twisted, torn form of an alabaster mannequin, its silver mini skirt ripped to reveal her burning flesh. The blood red lips. The blank, dead eyes.

And Ray laughed. He laughed so much that it melded into the sound of the police cars and ambulances that drew close. And the storm that had returned.

#99cents/ #99p! ‘Gumshoe Blues’ by Paul D. Brazill is 99p/ 99cents on Kindle.

gumshoe 99

 Gumshoe Blues’ by Paul D. Brazill going for 99p/ 99cents on Kindle. Time is running out so get your copy today on Amazon!!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gumshoe-Blues-Peter-O…/…/B07TQD4DR8

#99centstore #99cents #99pence #bargain #kindle

Grab it from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk etc

PhotoFunia-1597344107

News, reviews, and Small Town Blues

man of the world final

Over at the All Due Respect blog, I talk about small town noir and Man Of The World.

SMALL TOWN BLUES is here.

At Bristol Noir, I have a new short story called IN THE COLD, COLD NIGHT.

Episode 2 of Darren Sant’s Tiny Tales podcast has my yarn THE TUT, and Episode 3 has Peter Ord‘s song GUMSHOE BLUES.

MAN OF THE WORLD is out now and has picked up a couple of very tasty reviews.

K A Laity:

5.0 out of 5 stars From laid-back humour to grievous bodily harm!

Reviewed in the United States on April 18, 2020

Verified Purchase
It’s always good news to hear that Mr B has a new book out. I even got my grubby mitts on an advanced copy so read ’em and weep, folks — I already have! Read it, that is. And ordered the paperback, too.

I missed Seatown! It’s great to be back there. Tommy Bennett is back: he was Last Year’s Man but now he’s even more lethal. He’d really rather retire. He’s almost making peace with the ghosts that haunt him. But the old life pulls him back in every time. And as we all know, the dead don’t always stay dead.

The story turns on a dime from laid-back humour to grievous bodily harm. One minute you’re chuckling as dim-witted low-lifes argue about pop music, then in Chandler-esque fashion a man walks through a door with a gun — and probably dressed as a nun to boot. Brazill makes it all look easy — John Le Mesurier easy. The pace seldom slackens for more than a few pages then we’re off and running again, or rather Tommy is, and he’s left a body or two behind him and a few lively ones chasing him.

True to its title, we start in Seatown but soon we’re off to the Big Smoke and then even further afield. Familiar names pop up: some from his other yarns and beware, crime writing friends of Brazill are likely to wind up dead. All the flourishes you expect from his stories are there: small time crooks improbably questioning the quality of Jane Austen novels, enough song references to fill a day-long radio show, lyrical twists, and you never know what’s lurking behind that closed door though it’s bound to be memorable (I’m still snorting at one of the truly bizarre reveals).

There is more pink than you’d expect in a noir novella.

And I’ll tell you a secret: when he thinks you’re not paying attention Brazill throws in a few lines of absolute poetry. It may seem like finding antique doubloons in busker’s hat full of pennies, but it’s just the thing for those of us lying in the gutter, gazing up at the stars.’

Sonia Kilvington:
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 20, 2020

Verified Purchase

E. Hobart:
Reviewed in the United States on April 17, 2020

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New from All Due Respect: Man of the World by Paul D. Brazill

New from All Due Respect …

 

MAN OF THE WORLD by Paul D. Brazill
Publication Date: April 17, 2020

Buy the trade paperback from the Down & Out Bookstore and receive a FREE digital download of the book!

Also available from the following retailers …
Print: AmazonAmazon UKBarnes & NobleIndieBound
eBook: KindleKindle UKNookiTunesKoboPlay

Synopsis … Ageing hit-man Tommy Bennett left London and returned to his hometown of Seatown, hoping for respite from the ghosts of the violent past that haunted him. However, things don’t go to plan and trouble and violence soon follow Tommy to Seatown. Tommy is soon embroiled in Seatown’s underworld and his hopes of a peaceful retirement are dashed. Tommy deliberates whether or not to leave Seatown and return to London. Or even leave Great Britain altogether. So, he heads back to London where violence and mayhem await him.

Man of the World is a violent and darkly comic slice of Brit Grit noir.

Praise for the Books by Paul D. Brazill:

“If you took Ken Bruen’s candor, the best of Elmore Leonard’s dialogues, sprinkled in some Irvine Welsh, and dragged it all through the dirtiest ditch in South London, the result will be something akin to Brazill’s writing.” —Gabino Iglesias, author of Zero Saints and Gutmouth, for The Last Laugh

“A broad range of cultural strands come together in the melting pot and form a delicious stew of criminal adventure… The observations are sharp and the characters create small nuclear explosions as they collide with each other.” —Nigel Bird, author of Southsiders, for The Last Laugh

“Brazill offers a series of amusing episodes filled with breezy banter in this offbeat slice of British noir.” —Publishers Weekly, for Last Year’s Man

“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, for Last Year’s Man

“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 Genuine, Imitation, Plastic Kidnapping, 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, for Last Year’s Man

man of the world final

Gumshoe Blues Review Round Up

 

gumshoe bluesIn 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.’

Kimberly-

‘I give props to the author for his fantastic descriptions of the setting, as well as those secondary characters.’

Graham Wynd-

‘crime with the feel of a shaggy dog story, complete with running jokes.’

Dee Arr-

‘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.’

Nick Gerrard-

‘Crisp, raw-to-the-bone prose.

Andy Rausch –

‘Brazill is a writer’s writer’

Hector Duarte Jr

‘Punchy fun’

Ray Douglas –

‘A gritty tale full of twists and turns, dark places and dark humour.’

JW-

‘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.’

You can grab GUMSHOE BLUS here, if you fancy it!

 

 

Dee Arr reviews Gumshoe Blues

Over at Amazon.com, broadcaster Dee Arr gives Gumshoe Blues a HELL of a good FIVE STAR review:

‘Dark, Humorous, Liquor-Drenched: Just a Stroll Through Seatown

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.

gumshoe blues