Another Great Review for Too Many Crooks!

too-many-crooks
Too Many Crooks

Over at his blog, DAVID NEMETH says:

It took me a few pages of Paul D. Brazill’s Too Many Crooks (Near to the Knuckle) to settle into Brazill’s style — a Tarantino humor with Leonard’s directness. And, who names one of the main characters McGuffin? Either you’ll laugh at this joke or not. I laughed and I think you will too.

This McGuffin thing is a literary easter egg, if you will, and  Brazill sprinkles many others throughout Too Many Crooks. There is a family of characters name Rhatigan — I presume named after Chris Rhatigan, a crime fiction writer and editor. The novel’s title even comes from a British movie comedy of the same name “about a bunch of inept crooks who kidnap the wrong woman.” Hell, even some of the chapter titles are jokes that I got. What other jokes and references will you find?

Too Many Crooks moves quickly between London and Warsaw and back again as well as criminal to criminal. Like all good crime books, it begins with a murder.

Ted Singh had really had enough of Bobby Jake’s incessant whining and he was more than somewhat relieved when Ziggy eventually shot the annoying fucker in the back of the head, spraying blood and gunk down the front of Jake’s previously pristine white Fred Perry t– shirt.

Ted’s guts churned. Although he certainly had no qualms about the moral aspects of murdering Bobby Jake, he didn’t really have the stomach for the gory stuff. He never had, truth be told.

“Hold onto this for me,” said Ziggy, handing the Glock to Ted whose hands shook as he took the gun.

The novel might actually have too many crooks, but don’t worry, that’s why the criminals carry firearms. The felonious herd is thinned out repeatedly and with great effect. But nasty killings are not the only things you will find in Too Many Crooks, Brazill’s writing is fast-paced and humorous which makes this one-sitting novel a lively read.

Amazon: AU CA UK US 

Recommended Reads: February 2017

ryan-bracha-jeebiesPhoebe Jeebies and The Man Who Annoyed Everybody by Ryan Bracha

Tony is a horrible man, he really is. He’s one of ‘the enlightened’ – a group of oddballs who are paid by a nasty rich kid to annoy people. Not in any major way but just enough to entertain the kid. And he’s good at it too. And then he meets Phoebe and she’s lovely, she really is.

Phoebe Jeebies and The Man Who Annoyed Everybody is bloody marvelous and really showcases Ryan Bracha’s strengths as a storyteller. In lesser hands, Phoebe Jeebies and The Man Who Annoyed Everybody would have just been an entertaining but slight scattershot of high-brow farce, low-brow satire, 6th form japes and jibes.  Bracha, however, has crafted a book that is artful, full of heart and really quite lovely.

The Origins Of Benjamin Hackett by Gerald M O’Connor benjamin-hacket

Five days in the life of eighteen-year-old Benjamin Hackett as his world is turned upside down. The Origins of Benjamin Hackett by Gerald M  O’Connor is a raucous and riotous coming of age story that is brutal, tender and hilarious.

vicious-dogsVicious Dogs by Henry Brock

Derek Lasker is a down on his luck PI who is hired to follow a wayward son and inevitably digs himself deeper and deeper into the mire. Henry Brock’s Vicious Dogs is a brutal slice of lowlife noir that smartly blends Charles Bukowski with Eddie Bunker and breathes new life into the PI novel. I bloody loved it!

Check It Out! The Odds are Against Us: A Military-Fiction Anthology.

antho

Have you ever wished that people could publish the books that you wanted to read? Now, you can make that wish a reality! The Odds Are Against Us will be an anthology of military-fiction short stories, broadly defined, that celebrate the courage of those who push on despite the likelihood of failure. (Read the details here.) Open to new and experienced authors, this anthology is meant to serve an unfairly neglected genre—providing a place to tell stories about honor, will, cunning, and the other martial virtues that we admire.

The goal is to publish ten or more short stories, of between 3,500 and 7,000 words, and to pay the authors fairly for their work. Your donations will help support the authors whose work you want to read! (It’s part of a concept I like to call audience-driven writing.)

CHECK IT OUT! 

Small Town Creed at Shotgun Honey

shotgun-honey-5-yearsI’m over at SHOTGUN HONEY again with a little yarn called SMALL TOWN CREED.

‘A golf club slammed into the side of Sammy Lee’s face. He fell to the ground and looked up at Crispin.

 ‘Is that the best you’ve got? You soft Southern shite,’ he said through broken teeth. He spat blood as he spoke and laughed, although he really felt like screaming.’

YOU CAN CHECK OUT THE REST HERE.

Pat McDonald Reviews Too Many Crooks

too-many-crooks
Too Many Crooks

Over at the Amazons, crime writer Pat McDonald says:

on February 20, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
Cherchez the valuable and original Nazi Totenkopfring a death head ring purported to be owned by Himmler whom it is reputed gave away copies to his SS favourites. The search to find the genuine article swings back and forth from London to Warsaw, and is interspersed with violent vendettas to be settled in a way only Mr Brazill can imagine. The characters are straight out of the ‘essential guide to the underworld’ making you wonder how they survived for so long.
Another noir comedy (more tongue in cheek than slapstick) where the women are beautiful but dangerous – you just have to love that – and Boots or Rimmell would love to sponsor their own range of red lipstick! An explosive ending that you just can’t miss. Nice one, keep them coming! Pat McDonald British Crime Author.

Pre-order A Case Of Noir for 99p!

a-case-of-noir-n2tkThe eBook of the all-new A CASE OF NOIR is available for pre-order and it’s only 99p!

Here’s the blurb:

In snow smothered Warsaw, Luke Case, a boozy English hack with a dark secret, starts a dangerous affair with a gangster’s wife. Case escapes to the sweltering Spanish heat where he meets a colourful cast of characters, including a mysterious torch singer and a former East End villain with a criminal business proposition. While in stormy Toulouse, he encounters a blast from the past that is positively seismic which forces him to return to England and confront his past.

A Case Of Noir is a strong shot of international noir from Paul D. Brazill.

You can grab it from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and any other Amazon that takes your fancy. The paperback is on its way.

Roman Dalton Howls In Polish

polski-noir-logoThe first Roman Dalton – Werewolf PI yarn, Drunk On The Moon, has been translated into Polish by Aneta Uszyńska.

Check out  NA KSIĘŻYCOWEJ BANI – PAUL D. BRAZILL (PRZEŁ. ANETA USZYŃSKA ) over at POLSKI NOIR.

And you can still get any number of Roman Dalton yarns over at Amazon, in English and even in  Slovene. 

 

Renato Bratkovic Reviews To Many Crooks

too-many-crooksOver at Amazon.com , The Big Bratkovsky says:

on February 12, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
… when it’s Paul D. Brazill’s book, that is. It’s another great piece of noir literature by the man himself. He literally put the McGuffin into this one along with a bunch of other characters you’d expect to meet in a Brazill’s book. There can’t be too many crooks in his stories, so grab the book, become one of them and indulge yourself with a healthy dose of vivid imagery and laugh-out-loud word phrases.

Short, Sharp Interview: Chris Bell.

faces-in-things-coverPDB: Can you pitch FACES IN THINGS  in 25 words or less?

“My second story collection, all written in New Zealand, a variety of genres including food, music, science fiction, fantasy and magical realism, 13 previously unpublished.”

PDB: Which music, books, films, songs or television shows do you wish you had written?

Music: Anything by Thelonious Monk because you can’t argue with the man who said, ‘The piano ain’t got no wrong notes.’ A piece of music I don’t so much wish I’d written as often wish I had playing while writing is the David Sylvian (of Japan) and Holger Czukay (of Can) collaboration ‘Plight and Premonition’. It’s full of the spiralling of winter ghosts and Czukay’s virtuoso twiddling of radio dials lends the promise of creative potential lurking behind the ambience and bursts of interference.

Book: ‘Pilgermann’ by Russell Hoban, for its sheer audacity of vision and the fact that it was (in my view unjustly) overshadowed by his post-apocalyptic Huck Finn, ‘Riddley Walker’. ‘Pilgermann’ is a magical realist’s history of the Crusades as if from the palette of Hieronymus Bosch. It so vividly depicts ancient Antioch that I once dreamt I was an owl flying over its ruins.

Film: Terry Gilliam’s ‘Brazil’ is my favourite film and an important inspiration. It takes true genius to make a funny dystopia, and Gilliam’s interpretation of Tom Stoppard’s screenplay is so detailed and multi-faceted that I never tire of watching it.

Songs: Justin Currie’s ‘No, Surrender’ (part one: https://youtu.be/-4b_dBMfBf0 part two: https://youtu.be/BVmtie4JlPQ) and ‘The Fight To Be Human’ (https://youtu.be/S3jJg3oqlu0 – audio only), which between them encapsulate pretty much everything I wish I’d said about modern life and then some.

TV: ‘Fargo’. I was sceptical before watching a TV extrapolation of a classic film and didn’t expect to enjoy it (in fact, the first time I saw the Coen Brothers’ film I was underwhelmed by it, but Carter Burwell’s theme and musical score crept up on me slowly over the years and eventually the film lodged itself in my consciousness). Season One of the TV show was superbly written and cast. Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman and Allison Tolman gave such extraordinary performances that now I’m sceptical about the prospect of Season Two – could the producers possibly pull it off again?”

PDB: Which of your books do you think would make good films or TV series?

“I wrote a screenplay version of my first novel, ‘Liquidambar’ (http://amzn.to/2cDKzM3) – which is set in the world of 12 of Edward Hopper’s paintings – and years ago had talks about it with Weta Digital’s Richard Taylor and Gayle Munro. Richard kindly offered to make a show reel at no cost if I could interest a producer. I tried but needless to say failed.

“My latest novel, ‘Songshifting’ (http://amzn.to/2e1PUu8) – a dystopia set in an alternative world of touring bands gigging under a repressive regime headed by a shadowy impresario – also has filmic potential, but I imagine most writers say that about their most recent work because if it doesn’t come alive in their own heads they haven’t done a good enough job of imagining it.”

PDB: Who are your favourite writers?

“In chronological order of reading: Stephen King for ‘The Stand’, ‘The Shining’, ‘Christine’, ‘Cujo’, ‘The Dead Zone’ and ‘Different Seasons’; Russell Hoban for every one of his novels; Richard Brautigan for ‘Sombrero Fallout’ and ‘So The Wind Won’t Blow It All Away’;

Russell H. Greenan for ‘It Happened In Boston?’; J. P. Donleavy for ‘A Fairy Tale of New York’ and ‘The Ginger Man’; Martin Amis for ‘London Fields’; Thomas Pynchon for ‘Inherent Vice’; Graham Greene for everything of his that I’ve read; Evelyn Waugh for ‘Scoop’; Richard Price for ‘Clockers’ and ‘Lush Life’; and W. Somerset Maugham for ‘The Narrow Corner’.

songshifting-jacket

PDB: What’s your favourite joke?

It would probably be one of Tommy Cooper’s. How about, “This man knocks at his neighbour’s door and the neighbour’s wife answers. ‘Hello,’ says the man, ‘is Charlie in?’ The woman says, ‘I’m sorry but Charlie died last night.’ The man says, ‘Oh. He didn’t say anything about a can of paint?’”

PDB: What’s your favourite song?

“Inevitably this changes over time – music is indispensable to me while working; as my protagonist Rarity Dean says in ‘Songshifting’, ‘A day with no soundtrack is a wasted day.’ I’ve always loved Elvis Costello’s ‘Shipbuilding’, and I even love all the different cover versions of it – from Robert Wyatt’s (https://youtu.be/MoZiOOD0HRU) to Suede’s (https://youtu.be/KDPa6AJMQkw) and tRANSELEMENt’s (https://transelement.bandcamp.com/track/shipbuilding), as well as Elvis’s recording with the late Chet Baker’s trumpet solo (audio: https://youtu.be/pIzcqfvi8RI). Who’d have thought you could write a pop hit about the Falklands War?

“But my favourite song is currently another Justin Currie beauty called ‘Little Stars’ (https://youtu.be/4u_Z1_3i2K4) about the pathos and wonder of weddings. As I’ve said elsewhere, no one writes about love and loss better than the former Del Amitri frontman. He’s a pop Leonardo da Vinci – without the long beard and with a better accent.”

PDB: What’s on the cards?

“I’m almost halfway through the first draft of the second part of my ‘Songshifting’ trilogy, which has the working title ‘Requiem For Stage Diver & Bass Guitar’. ‘Songshifting’ plays against the scuffed backdrop of an oppressive regime and is set in an alternative present or a skewed future in which hats are back in style and musicians have developed what seem to be supernatural abilities – during their concerts they levitate, disappear or induce extreme physical reactions among the punters. The impresario has prohibited recordings and home entertainment, meanwhile administering a drug called Sentimental Hygiene at gigs as a secret form of crowd control. I’ve been told this is implausible by people who apparently haven’t noticed what’s going on in the world right now.

“The second book will be a murder mystery in the same setting and with some of the same characters.”

PDB: Anything else?

“My homage to the ghost stories of the 1920s, ‘Shem-el-Nessim’, is set to appear in Eric J. Guignard’s US anthology ‘The Five Senses of Horror’ this year.”

There’s a ‘Songshifting’ website – a kind of wiki for all the bands and characters that appear in the novel – here: http://bit.ly/2kRAY8r and the rest of my stuff is here: http://amzn.to/23A8gVt

chris-bellBio:  Chris Bell was born in Holyhead, North Wales. After working as a musician, a messenger for a small London record company, a freelance music journalist and as editor of Soundcheck!, he moved to Hamburg, Germany where he was employed by a guitar company and an independent music publisher before emigrating in 1997 to New Zealand. His short stories have appeared in The Third Alternative; Postscripts; Grotesque; The Heidelberg Review; TransVersions; Not One of Us and Takahe, as well as on the internet. His short story ‘The Cruel Countess’ was anthologised in The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror (10th Annual Edition), in which his collection The Bumper Book of Lies received an honourable mention. ‘Shem-el-Nessim’ appeared in This Is The Summer of Love, The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 21 and That Haunted Feeling. His poetry has been published in Workshop New Poetry; Snorkel; foam:e and the New Zealand Listener. His first novel, Liquidambar, won UKAuthors’ ‘Search For A Great Read’ competition.

Updates, News Etc

There’s a lot of it about.

First up, the paperback of TOO MANY CROOKS is out now! You can grab it at BARNES&NOBLE, AMAZON, and a few other places, I’m sure,

Also, the paperback of COLD LONDON BLUES is now available from Amazon.com 

A CASE OF NOIR will soon be given a reboot from those classy folk at NEAR TO THE KNUCKLE. It should be out early on in March.

SHOTGUN HONEY will be publishing one of my yarns in early March. It’s called SMALL TOWN CREED.

NICK SWEENEY is over at POLSKI NOIR  at the moment.

My latest BRIT GRIT ALLEY column is up at OUT OF THE GUTTER ONLINE.

And I currently have a guest blog – and eBook giveaway – over at DEBBI MACK’s CRIME CAFE where I talk about flash fiction. Check out KISS.

Martin Stanley Reviews Kill Me Quick!

kill me quick cover
Kill Me Quick

Over at Amazon.co.uk, Martin Stanley reviews Kill Me Quick!

‘5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining crime caper
By M Stanley on 6 Feb. 2017

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

You can always rely on Paul Brazill for a nifty turn of phrase, a superb one-liner, or a nice piece of description. He also delivers cool plots and memorable characters and Kill Me Quick is no exception. When an aging two-hit wonder musician gets his hand busted in London he returns to a seedy town on the northeast coast (basically Hartlepool in everything but name) and gets caught up in all manner of nefarious hijinks. It’s short tale with plenty of meat on its bones and more entertainment per page than many writers in an entire book. If you haven’t read Brazill yet then what the hell are you waiting for. A cracking comic thriller from a master of the form.’

Writer

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