Saturday 10 December 2016

BLOG TOUR: Late Whitsun by Jasper Kent (Giveaway)

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?
Dr Who
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?
The dog.
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?
Pinkie Brown
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?
Selling it.
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)

Author Spotlight

The Author Spotlight is a slightly different take on the interview style questions, it is a snap shot look at your life AWAY from writing.
Its aim is to allow your readers an insight into other aspects of your life that they may not get from other sources.
If you could tell us a bit about each of the following things, in no more than 10 sentences if possible!

·         Years Ago
 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.

·        Family 
I’m from quite a small family. Both my parents are only-children, I have no kids and my sister has two. Somehow we’ve all discovered the trick of getting on very well. There are two secrets to it, the first of which is separation. My parents both grew up – unknown to one another – in Yorkshire and moved to Birmingham, where they met. Thus the idea of moving a nice long way from the family home – in my case, to Brighton – seemed natural. I get back up there five or six time a year, and it does turn out that absence makes the heart grow fonder. The second trick is eating together. It was always pretty strict when we were young that we would sit round the table for the main meal of the day (with the one exception, I recall, of when we were doing something on a Saturday evening which meant dinner clashed with Dr Who, in which case we would move the dining table into the living room so we could watch TV). It carries on today – whenever the whole family is together, things will essentially be arranged around a meal. 

·         Work
After three years of studying, I was a bit fed up with physics and ended up working in software development. I’d done some programming on our VIC-20 at home, but I wasn’t one of those expert self-taught programmers who were around at the time, and I quickly realized the actual ability to write code isn’t what’s most needed in professional software development. More than half the problems you face are down to the difficulties of communication within the development team. Programming on your own is fairly easy, but you can’t produce very much – working in a team means you don’t just have to understand what you’re doing, you have to be able to explain it to others. As a result of that, most of my work nowadays involves training other people in how to develop software, but I still keep my hand in at the code face. Even today it gives a great sense of achievement – quite different from that of writing a novel – to write a program and then to watch it doing what it’s supposed to do, without any further intervention from myself.

·         Hobbies
I suppose my most noticeable hobby is music; I play piano and bass guitar and I used to sing a bit too. For a while I had half an ambition to be a composer, but it turns out I’m more successful at writing squiggles than dots. I also like to cook and I think I do it with a degree of dedication that elevates it from necessity to hobby. I enjoy running too. I’ve done one marathon, about five years ago, which was fun, but the training really takes over your life. In future, I think half-marathons will be the maximum. Some might think I should mention the dog and seven rats here, but if listed anywhere they would be under the heading of ‘Family’.

·         Future
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. 

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You can also buy Late Whitsun from and it's available in Kindle and Paperback.

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I'd be so happy if you could leave a comment telling me what you think...good or bad, thankyou :-)