Friday, 15 October 2021

Limited time.....


 For a  limited time only

Amazon have the eBook 

for only 99p.


Also available in hardcover,

paperback and audiobook.



940 – France has fallen and Britain stands alone against the might of the German war machine; a fierce battle for supremacy of the air rages in the skies as the Battle of Britain hits full stride. For Chief Inspector Frank Parade, and his much depleted team there are many challenges to policing the small Welsh mining village of Gilfach Goch, for whilst miles away from the theatres of war the Home Front faces unique challenges of its own. The wartime demands thrown on the country mean that each officer in Parade’s team must do the work of two men – three even.Soon the already overwhelming workload is increased when not one but two bodies turn up, and Parade finds himself having to investigate two murders as well as cope with everything else thrown his way. ‘Chief Inspector Frank Parade is going to become the new superstar cop. An excellent book.’ *****

Podcast of the Week

 I listen to a lot of podcasts and there are billions, willions and sqillions out there - some are excellent, many are great and a lot are not so good. 


Whatever your interest you will, believe me, find a podcast that covers it. 

Where do you start, though?


Good question.


Which is why, every week here on the Archive I will point you to a podcast (myriad subjects will be covered) that I think you may enjoy.


And so this week I direct you to the excellent, Partners in Crime podcast


Hosted by bestselling crime authors, Adam Croft and Robert Daws the show is set out in a kind of magazine format. Think The Breakfast Show with knives! The show features genre news, interviews with well known authors and general chit chat. The latter is often hilarious.

The two hosts have a great chemistry and as well as the usual audio feeds there are several video episodes available on You Tube.

You can get the show from most of the podcast providers out there, and you can visit the Partners in Crime website by clicking HERE


Adam Croft is a highly successful English writer of crime/mystery fiction and a advocate of independent publishing.                      

Robert Daws is a stage, television and film actor as well as a writer of a series of successful crime thrillers.

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Book Reviews: The Hawks of Delamere by Edward Marston


 I've been reading a lot of historical fiction over recent months, but this is the first time that I've dipped into Edward Marston's works - the book is set in the historical mystery subgenre and is set in the 11th Century. 

This is actually the seventh book in the series set around the compilation of the Domesday Book, and featuring Ralph Delchard and Grevase Bret who have been tasked by William the Conqueror to look into serious irregularities that arise while engaging in the great survey.

Those who know their history know that the Doomsday Book, or to use it's Middle English spelling, The Domesday Book was the result of agents being tasked to survey every shire in England and a goodly part of Wales in order to secure taxes and discover the strength of power following the Norman conquest.

This being a crime novel rather than a straight historical book means that the reader gets a lot of the colour of the period, whilst the main thrust of the story is the mystery that unfolds with the historical landscape very much setting the parameters within which the fiction works.



The book opens with boastful Earl of Chester ( a vile tub of lard of a character) out with an hunting party when his beloved Hawk is shot out of the sky in Delamere Forest. Two poachers, a father and son are found nearby and with no evidence they are accused of killing the bird and cruelly lynched. Not long afterwards, Ralph Delchard and Gervase Bret arrive in Cheshire in order to carry out work related to Domesday. It is not long before another man is killed by an arrow and it becomes evident that the earl may have carried out his cruel justice in the woods on the wrong men.

The medieval slueths' are soon up to all manner of intrigue as they try and stop and killer and avert an all out war.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and followed the story easily without having read any of the other books in the series that preceded it, so I guess that each of the novels can be picked up and read in any order.


I'll certainly be reading more of this series and anyone who enjoys mystery with history will no doubt find a lot to like here.


Available both digitally and in print

     

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Available now





 There are few other crime writers in the same league *****


Print, digital and audiobook

Monday, 11 October 2021

The Red Beret digital version available....

 Digital copies of my latest Commando title, The Red Beret can be picked up HERE



Commando #5469: The Red Beret

The tattered red beret sat upon Major John Bell's head. He and his crack team of paratroopers were on a suicide mission to destroy a bridge to clear the way for D-Day operations. They all knew the risks, they all knew that they might not come back -- but they were brave and their determination was like no other! So why did Bell wear a tattered red beret when his men donned their helmets? As a symbol of survival and luck he hoped would take them to victory!

Down Among the Dead FREE CHAPTER

 


Down Among the Dead

Available now

print/electronic/audiobook


1940 – France has fallen and Britain stands alone against the might of the German war machine; a fierce battle for supremacy of the air rages in the skies as the Battle of Britain hits full stride. For Chief Inspector Frank Parade, and his much depleted team there are many challenges to policing the small Welsh mining village of Gilfach Goch, for whilst miles away from the theatres of war the Home Front faces unique challenges of its own. The wartime demands thrown on the country mean that each officer in Parade’s team must do the work of two men – three even.Soon the already overwhelming workload is increased when not one but two bodies turn up, and Parade finds himself having to investigate two murders as well as cope with everything else thrown his way. ‘Chief Inspector Frank Parade is going to become the new superstar cop. An excellent book.’ *****


The book is a very good tale of crime and murder, and also gives an insight into the conditions people in rural Wales lived in during the war years. The narration is great and very easy to listen to.

I enjoyed the story and am looking forward to hearing more from this author.
Review of the Audible edition *****


Down Among The Dead

The following extract is taken from Chapter Two of Down Among The Dead (C) Gary Dobbs


‘You say they’ve found a body in a graveyard?’ Detective Chief Inspector Francis Charles Parade frowned. ‘Not an unlikely place to find one.’

            Detective Sergeant Hugh Llewellyn looked at his superior, unsure of how to answer.  The inspector had only been stationed in the village a few weeks, transferred from the town of Pontypridd, and Llewellyn had yet to get used to his ways.

            ‘A little levity,’ Parade said, noticing the look on the sergeant’s face. He grabbed his heavy coat from the hanger besides the door and slipped into it. It was nearing the middle of a blazing hot July but the mornings still held a chill and the inspector couldn’t tolerate the cold. It never used to bother him that much but these days he felt it bone deep. A sign of getting old, he supposed.

            ‘Well come on then,’ he said. ‘Let’s go investigate. It is after all what we get paid for.’         

‘Sir,’ Llewellyn said and followed behind the inspector. There was a police car waiting for them outside the station, a young constable at the wheel. Parade and the sergeant jumped into the back of the vehicle and the sergeant brought the inspector up to date.

The dead man was thought to be somewhere in his early fifties and by all accounts, had been discovered, face caved in, amongst the ruins of Llanbad Church.

‘Dan Elkins found the body while out looking for stray sheep,’ Llewellyn said, consulting his notebook. It was he who had taken the telephone call from the frantic farmer. He had immediately sent for the police doctor and ordered two constables to secure the scene before waking the inspector. ‘Reckons it must have been about two in the morning when he stumbled across the body.’


‘And he telephoned at what time?’

‘Just after four,’ Llewellyn replied.

‘Why the delay?’

‘Well he went back to his own place,’ Llewellyn had already asked Elkins the same question. ‘He said he didn’t think anyone would be in the office of the nearby colliery, and he knew it would be pointless trying to wake Tom Coggins at the Griffin Inn, which was only a mile or so away. Elkins said he was in shock at the time, not thinking clearly. Finding the body gave him quite a nasty turn.’

‘I imagine it would, ‘Parade nodded. ‘It took him some time to get home?’

Again Llewellyn consulted the notebook before speaking. ‘A good hour and a half. There was a thick fog down and he said he stumbled over the mountains, getting lost in the process. He then took a drink, homebrewed ale -he was very specific on that. He said he then collected his thoughts and made his way into the village to find a telephone. They don’t have one at the farmhouse, you see.’

‘Not uncommon,’ Parade said. ‘Not to have a telephone. Even in this day and age.’ 

‘ I spoke to Elkins on the telephone myself since I’d pulled night duty at the station,’ Llewellyn continued. ‘It was evident that he was still very much shocked by his discovery.’

Parade nodded.

‘And where is this Elkins now?’ he asked.

‘I believe he’s at home,’ Llewellyn replied. ‘Taken to his bed. ’

‘Well we’ll likely be getting him out of there before too long,’ Parade said. ‘If he wanted to sleep he shouldn’t go around turning up dead bodies.’

 The police vehicle pulled into the yard of the Hendreforgan Colliery. Constable Watkins who directed them to park the car besides the colliery office, which was situated directly to the left, met them at the gates. Ahead of them stood the imposing structure of the wheel, which would lower the workforce into the bowels of the earth where they would spend their shifts. Smoke bellowed from the huge chimneys, which towered towards the sky, choking the early morning light while the sound of straining metal echoed from the winding house.

‘Got a bit of a climb, sir,’ the constable said as Parade and Llewellyn stepped from the vehicle. ‘The doctor’s gone up a few minutes ago.’

‘Then lead the way, Constable.’ Parade said. ‘Nothing like a brisk early morning stroll.’

Llewellyn smiled weakly, getting used to his superior’s odd manner.

‘We’ve got a horse and cart waiting, sir,’ the constable said. ‘And that’ll take you some of the way but you’ll have to use shanks’ mare for the last part of the journey. No tracks up to the old church, sir. Not anymore.’

‘This is the easiest way to the site,’ Llewellyn said. ‘Elkins came upon it over the mountains. His farm is a mile or so yonder in the other direction.’

Parade nodded and climbed up into the cart, which was driven by a local man, whom Parade knew by sight but not by name. Llewellyn climbed up besides the inspector and the cart pulled off.

‘I ordered a couple of constables to secure the scene,’ Llewellyn explained. ‘And the police photographer’s up there but the crime scene should still be fresh.’

‘Good,’ Parade replied and thumbed Rubicon tobacco into the bowl of the pipe he had pulled from his coat. ‘I do so like a fresh murder scene. We are assuming this was murder?’

‘Elkins said the head had been bashed in, so yes.’

Parade nodded, looking ahead as the trail they were upon steepened. It would be a bugger to have to walk up here.

‘By all accounts the man may have been dead sometime,’ Llewellyn said, reading from his notebook.

‘You’ve not seen the body yet, though?’

‘No, I came directly to the station house,’ Llewellyn answered. ‘But Elkins gave quite a colourful description. Said the thing was, “bloody crawling with maggots and had no eyes.” ’

‘Sounds delightful. Just the sort of thing to see before breakfast.’ Parade stuck the pipe into his mouth and brought a match to it. Within seconds he had smoke seeping from the corners of his mouth.


END OF BOOK EXTRACT





The paperback edition retails for £9.32, the audiobook for £16.00 but the electronic eBook is currently available for only 99p with comparable prices in other markets worldwide. 


Clearly the eBook allows you to get the book for a steal, however the new paperback edition is handsome indeed and it's not overly expensive considering the quality of the product you get. There is a way to get the audiobook version, read by the incredibly talented Aubrey Parsons, for free. All you have to do is take out a no risk free trial with Audible and select the book as your first free audio title. This option offers more than five hours entertainment. Imagine five plus hours in the velvet voiced company of Aubrey Parsons.

I recently listened to the audiobook again myself, a chapter or two a day during my daily commute, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The narrator's voice is spot on and he brings out the nuances of each character in his performance. Listen to a sample HERE


It's 1940 - France has fallen, and Britain stands alone against the might of the German war machine; a fierce battle for supremacy of the air rages in the skies as the Battle of Britain hits full stride.

The eBook




For Chief Inspector Frank Parade and his much-depleted team, there are many challenges to policing the small Welsh mining village of Gilfach Goch, for while miles away from the theatres of war, the home front faces unique challenges of its own. The wartime demands thrown on the country mean that each officer in Parade’s team must do the work of two men - three even.

Soon, the already overwhelming workload is increased when not one, but two bodies turn up, and Parade finds himself having to investigate two murders as well as cope with everything else thrown his way.





The book, billed as a Chief Inspector Frank Parade wartime mystery, is just that - the start of a crime series set on the home front during the second world war. Think of Edward Marston's Home Front Detective books or TV's Foyle's War for an idea of what to expect. Though I do think Parade is sufficiently different and should be able to find his own place with the affections of readers everywhere.




I gave this book five stars because it was a murder mystery that was quite similar in style to Agatha Christie with a bit of Sherlock mixed in. The author made me feel like I was actually stood at the side of Chief Inspector Frank Parade watching him work. So if you like murder mysteries I highly recommend you give this book a go. *****



THE AUDIO BOOK




There is now a special large print hardcover version in the works for the public library trade, and as soon as I know the date of publication I will let you, the readers of this blog, know.


Well done police procedural. Chief Inspector Parade is a good cop with a wry humor. Faced with a double murder and little help he must find a muderer. *****

Mr. Dobbs has created a complex character who is both dilligent and compassionate. This is a well written story. a tantalizing mystery and a excellent description of the difficulty of policing in war time. The dectecive sergeant and the young teacher who captures his interest make up the supporting cast--who one hopes to see in future stories.  *****



In the meantime why not check out Down Among the Dead and meet Frank Parade and his team, follow them as they work in the Welsh home front village of Gilfach Goch meeting the demands thrown at them, while the war rages in the skies above them.





Chief Inspector Frank Parade is going to be the next superstar cop *****




 Author's Note from all editions of the book:


The location in which this novel is set is factual – I was brought up in the small Welsh mining village of Gilfach Goch, and still live in the general area. And although I have taken some liberties with the geography of the area, in the interests of telling a story, I have tried to capture its true feel and colour. I hope that readers of this work will find that the village is almost a character in itself. ©2017 Gary Dobbs (P)2019 Gary Dobbs


The Resurrection of the radio star

 

The Radio Years

CLICK IMAGE
Paul over at the CBS Radio Theatre website was so impressed by the Archive that he asked me to add a link. I was only too glad to do this -  I love old time radio and often have a show on in the background while browsing the web. I've placed a link in the sidebar of the Archive or you can click on the image here.

Enjoy.


In 1974 long-time radio producer Himan Brown convinced CBS to green-light a new anthology of Radio Dramas, CBS Radio Mystery Theater (CBSRMT)

Radio Drama had been declared "dead" twelve years before.
CBS Radio Mystery Theater was meant to appeal to an audience that remembered when radio drama was a popular form of family entertainment. Riding on the wave of nostalgia fever, the radio show attracted many younger listeners who would stay up late, hidden under their covers to hear the program on their bedroom radio (and many of them were not able to go to sleep after listening to the frightening program!)
CBSRMT was able to attract a wide array of talent. Many of the voices that were popular during the Golden Age of Radio made appearances on CBS Radio Mystery Theater, and younger talent, often from CBS Daytime Television and NY area stage was used as well.


All 1,399 episodes of CBS Radio Mystery Theater are presented at CBSRMT.com with listings by actor and writer. Please feel free to browse all the old time radio shows and listen to and download your favorite radio show episodes in MP3 format.