I received a copy of this book free of charge, in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
This is the first book in the planned Charlie (Big Bad) Woolf trilogy and having read the blurb, I thought this would be just my cup of tea.
Late Whitsun is set in 1938 and centres around private detective Charlie Woolf - or Big Bad as one former colleague nicknamed him. The handing over of one small package was the only job he was asked to do, easy money he thought, but even nothing ever comes that easy. Upon returning home from doing this 'small' job, he discovers that the man whom he was doing the job for, has been found dead in Charlies flat, and the finger of suspicion points straight to him. Can he manage to clear his name before things get out of hand, or worse, any more murders occur?
This book didn't grab my attention from the get go, but a slight curiosity started forming in my head the further into it I read. Although a little confusing at times (I had to check back through occasionally), the idea of the story is a good one, and there were a few little twists I didn't see coming which kept it interesting. I wouldn't have minded knowing a little more of Charlies background, but hopefully we'll learn more within the pages of the next two books - which I look forward to reading!
Keep reading for your chance to win 1 of 2 signed copies!!
Here are a few questions which were asked of Jasper:
What is the first book you remember reading or having read to you?
Just William, or maybe another of Richmal Crompton's William books, read to me by my dad.
Who is your favourite literary character?
Porfiry Petrovich, the detective in Crime and Punishment.
Which book have you always wanted to get round to reading, but not managed yet?
So many, but top of the list, Catch 22.
If you could only take one book with you on a desert island, what would it be?
War and Peace. If I'm allowed, I'd like it in Russian along with a Russian-English dictionary. That said, quite a bit of it was written in French, so I might struggle without a French-English dictionary too.
What are you currently reading?
Restoration London by Liza Picard - research for my next book.
Who would be at your dream dinner party, alive, dead or fictional?
Alan Turing, Dianna Rigg, Seth MacFarlane, Willow Rosenberg and Graham Greene.
What's the best advice you've ever received?
Get your pet rats sprayed at 3 months - it virtually eliminates mammary tumours in later life.
What's the worst advice you've ever received?
Don't learn the french horn, learn the tuba.
Who is your hero/heroine, real or fiction?
Where are you happiest?
In the pub, with the dog.
Who would you like to star in the film of your life?
Glenda Jackson. I'm off to see her playing Lear soon. If she can do him, I'm sure she could have a good crack at me.
Describe your best ever holiday:
Paris a couple of years ago. Lunch on the Seine, Cav and Pag at the Opera Bastille, dinner at Maceo.
If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do? (easy, tiger!)
Go swimming - it would be an interesting effect.
If I joined you on your perfect day, what would we be doing?
Cooking, then eating with friends.
What do you think is the best thing about social media?
You can turn it off!!
And the worst....?!
The degree to which we perceive our opinions as reinforced and approved.
What is the most important item you require for a quiet night in?
Is it best to always tell the truth, or is it sometimes better to tell a little white lie?
I cannot answer that question in a way that would be believed.
What's your signature dish?
Do you prefer Twitter or Facebook? Why?
Facebook - I'm longwinded.
Which book character do you wish you'd written?
Why did you decide to write a book?
It was on my bucket list
Why did you chose your particular genre?
I started out with horror because that's what I'd been into as a teenager. I'm currently doing crime because you can hang almost anything you like off it.
If you had to write in a different genre, which would it be?
Espionage. Both my horror and my detective stories seem to touch on the world of spying.
What's the worst thing about writing a book?
What's the best thing about writing a book?
If you could be anyone for just one day, who would it be?
Magnus Carlsen (current World Chess Champion)
Having lead a pretty stable life for most of my adult years, my thoughts on seeing the title ‘Years Ago’ jump immediately to the last time when things were substantially different for me – and that was at Cambridge, where I read Natural Sciences at Trinity Hall from 1986 to 1989. Natural Sciences is an overarching course that covers all the sciences, allowing for later specialization than more specific science courses would. This was good for me, since at the age of 18 I wasn’t sure whether I preferred Physics or Chemistry, though I ended up specializing in Physics. Not having studied anywhere else I can’t say whether the Cambridge experience is particularly unique, but what I remember most – at an academic level – was not the quality of the lectures or supervisions, excellent though they were. What I recall most is the fact that I was never more than a few paces away from someone who was as fascinated and perplexed by the same questions and problems that I was, or by equally interesting issues in their own field of study. I say ‘at an academic level’, but it turned out that the academic and the social overlapped enormously, so such a conversation was as likely to occur in the bar as in the lecture theatre. I remember being back there a few years ago overhearing a couple of students walking down the street and loudly discussing some aspect of quantum physics that I’d once half-understood. It brought back memories. Mind you, it wasn’t all highbrow: Neighbours started showing in the UK at almost exactly the same time that I first went up to Cambridge, and that was always quite a popular topic of conversation.
I’m on a bit of a cusp just now. I’ve had five horror novels published, and I’ve just released my first detective story. My plans regarding the next book are for a purely historical novel set in Restoration London. After that I’m really going to have to decide which of those genres is really my niche – or just keep going at all three. And more dogs and rats.
You can also buy Late Whitsun from Amazon.co.uk and it's available in Kindle and Paperback.