Category Archives: Big City Blues

Big City Blues is FREE!

Big City Blues
Big City Blues

British coppers, an American private eye, London gangsters, international spies, and a serial killer known as The Black Crow all collide violently and hilariously in Big City Blues, another fast-moving and funny slice of Brit Grit from Paul D. Brazill.

Grab BIG CITY BLUES  for FREE from Amazon.com , Amazon.co.uk and the rest.

Get it while it’s HOT!

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James Newman Reviews Big City Blues

Big City Blues
Big City Blues

And says:

‘Brazill has a way with words and, yeah, he uses them here wisely. The character building is solid in all his books, the locations are real enough to touch and smell, and the humor is omnipresent. This man’s books are laugh-aloud hilarious simply because Brazill is a wickedly smart humorous writer who never misses a trick. Great stuff. Read it. Spread it. Enjoy the infection.’

Col’s Criminal Library Reviews Big City Blues

Big City Blues
Big City Blues

And says:

‘A bit of what we had in store………. coppers with a penchant for karaoke, criminal families, a Polish policewoman on secondment to the UK, a serial killer called Marjorie Razorblades, an American alcoholic and his irritated wife, prostitutes, death by knitting needle, death by baseball bat, dual settings of London and New York, with a bit of time in Cambridge and Madrid, a few jokes that were old when Noah was a boy, some hat-tips to some bands from yonder-year….Buzzcocks, Penetration, Magazine, The Fall. (Nostalgia rules.) And lots more beside.’

Read the rest here. 

I’m Interviewed By Fiona McVie.

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N2TK

 

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

I’m Paul D. Brazill and I’ve shockingly made it to 55.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I was born in Hartlepool, England and live in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

.Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

Well, 3 of my novellas are now only 99p. They are: Too Many Crooks, Big City Blues, and A Case Of Noir. They are all published by Near To The Knuckle. I have a short story collection coming out in the next few weeks. It’s called Small Time Crimes.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Apart from a rubbish screenplay in the ‘90s, I started writing in 2008 when I discovered flash fiction.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Only when someone tells me I am one.

READ THE REST OF THE INTERVIEW HERE.

99p eBooks!

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N2TK

My NEAR TO THE KNUCKLE novellas are now only 99p each!

TOO MANY CROOKS

Too Many Crooks is a blackly comic Brit Grit romp from the author of Guns Of Brixton and Kill Me Quick! When high-class fence Leslie Hawkins meets Peter Rhatigan in a sleazy London pub, he offers her the chance to get her hands on the Totenkopfring, a legendary piece of World War Two memorabilia. However, after a violent encounter with a member of a biker gang, things soon spiral wildly and dangerously out of control. Meanwhile in Poland, Dr Anna Nowak finds an amnesiac Englishman half-dead in the snow…

A CASE OF NOIR

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.

BIG CITY BLUES

London Detective Sergeant Ronnie Burke and Polish cop Jola Lach are on the trail of a serial killer, and New York private eye Solitaire is sent to Spain to track down a missing rich kid. See how their lives intertwine in Big City Blues. British coppers, an American private eye, London gangsters, international spies, and a serial killer known as The Black Crow all collide violently and hilariously in Big City Blues, another fast-moving and funny Brit Grit novella from Paul D. Brazill.

 

And you can still also grab 13 SHOTS OF NOIR and KILL ME QUICK! for less than a quid, too!

CLIP: BIG CITY BLUES

Big City Blues
Big City Blues
London Detective Sergeant Ronnie Burke and Polish cop Jola Lach are on the trail of a serial killer, and New York private eye Solitaire is sent to Spain to track down a missing rich kid. See how their lives intertwine in Big City Blues. British coppers, an American private eye, London gangsters, international spies, and a serial killer known as The Black Crow all collide violently and hilariously in Big City Blues, another fast-moving and funny Brit Grit novella from Paul D. Brazill.

And here’s a CLIP!

New York, USA.

The waiting room was filled with the sound of muzak – sleepy synthesizers and yawning saxophones. The pastel walls were covered with generic abstract paintings – all splashes, dots and sharp lines – that were probably worth a fortune.  The view from the window was terrific, despite the sky being granite grey.  The Manhattan skyline was everything it was supposed to be.

Lisi Solitaire checked her reflection in the mirror that hung on the back of the door, knowing that you didn’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Especially with big shot clients like the one she was about to meet. She was pleased with what she saw. She thought she looked as sharp as a razor. Dressed  all in black with thick black framed glasses and her head recently shaven she thought he looked more like a successful New York psychiatrist than a struggling private eye, even if her designer threads were all knock offs.

She picked up a magazine from the mahogany coffee table and flicked through it. She was reading an article about whether or not Superman was a scab – how the man of steel’s habit of working for free was reducing the salaries of hard – working cops and firemen- when she heard the cough.

The night before, she’d been playing the celebrity lookalike game with her roommate Dana, who was a dead ringer for ‘Father Of The Bride’ era Martin Short. Solitaire herself, it had been decided, was like ‘Alien 3’ era Sigourney Weaver. When she looked up she saw a more than passable Lauren Bacall lookalike standing in the doorway to her office. Doctor Katherine Howard was elegant, tall and beautiful.  Her raven black hair was tied back and her half-moon glasses hung from a chain around her neck. Solitaire guessed that Doctor Howard’s designer clothes were all bona fide. Unlike Solitaire, she was a genuinely successful New York psychiatrist and she could afford the real deal.

‘Ms Solitaire?’ she said in a husky voice that fit the way she looked perfectly.

‘That’s me,’ she said. ‘The only game in town.’

She winked.

‘Well, I don’t know about that but it certainly seems there aren’t too many female private detectives about these days, I’ll admit,’ said Katherine, with a warm smile.

Katherine held out a perfectly manicured hand.

‘Katherine Howard,’ she said. They shook. ‘Do I call you Antoinette or just Lisi?’

‘Call me anything you like but don’t call me early.’

She winked. Katherine smiled weakly.

Solitaire cringed.

‘Sorry, lame line. Most people call me Solitaire,’ she said.

‘Come into my office,’ said Katherine.

This certainly wasn’t the first time that Solitaire had been in a headshrinker’s office. Far from it.  In the past, though, the rooms’ design had been anonymous, minimal, Spartan. Devoid of any trace of personality. Much like most of the shrinks she’d encountered, truth be told. But Katherine Howard’s office was different, which led her to believe she was different from those other psychiatrists, too.

On one wall was a large print of Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks and on another a number of framed vinyl album covers – Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bessie Smith, Tom Waits, Van Morrison, Edith Piaf. There were photographs of Katherine Howard socialising with various celebrities- Al Martino, David Bowie, George Clooney, OJ Simpson. There was a wall length shelf of vinyl albums and book case containing the works of Albert Camus, Dostoevsky and Graham Greene, amongst others. Solitaire realised that this was more of a masculine office than she’d expected.

‘Take a seat please,’ said Katherine.

Solitaire sat in a leather armchair.

‘Nice room,’ said Solitaire. ‘Not what I expected. Not a typical psychiatrist’s office.’

‘Oh, I don’t see my patients here,’ she said. ‘This is my sanctum sanctorum. My dojo. My home away from home. Would you like coffee or tea?’

‘Espresso would be great.’

She went over to a machine and made two death black espressos. Gave one to Solitaire and sat on the edge of the desk.

‘So what can help you with, doctor?’ said Solitaire.

‘Call me Katherine. It’s nothing complicated, really. I just want you to find my husband.’

‘How long has he been missing?’

‘Oh, only a few days.  It seems Howard has gone on one of his drinking binges – he does this every now and again- and I need him back here to sign some important papers.’

She handed Solitaire a piece of paper.

‘These are his regular boozing haunts. He’s sure to be at one of them,’ she said.

Solitaire looked at the list.

‘I’m not one to turn down work but why can’t you go? Doesn’t seem that difficult a task, since you pretty much know where he’ll be.’

‘I’m a recovering alcoholic, Mr Solitaire. It would be too much temptation. Especially under such stressful circumstances.’

‘Do you expect it to be stressful?’

‘For sure. You’ll need to use your brain as well as your brawn to drag Howard out of there. You know what, he’s like, right?’

‘Well …’

‘I’m sure my husband’s reputation has preceded him.’

Solitaire smiled.

‘For sure. He’s a crime fiction writer and a pretty successful one, too. Writers operate by different rules to the rest of us, I expect,’ said Solitaire.

‘Maybe. Or maybe it’s just an excuse for self-indulgence,’ said Katherine.

‘You’d know better than me,’ said Solitaire.

‘Oh, yes,’ said Katherine. ‘So, can I ask you about your name? It’s a tad unusual.’

‘Yes, it’s my real name and yes, before you ask, I am related to Antoine Solitaire.  I’m his daughter, for my sins. Which are not as many and as varied as his, of course.’

‘Antoine Solitaire.  Well, there was a man who operated by a different set of rules to the rest of us.’

‘He certainly did. For better or for worse.’

‘How long is it since he went missing?’

‘Five years, now.’

‘Do you have any leads on the case?’

‘Nope. There’s not a lot the cops can do short of digging up half of Brooklyn.’

‘Is your mother still alive?’

‘Sure is. She’s alive and kicking ass. Literally. She runs an actual dojo Downtown.’

‘Really?’ said Katherine.

‘Yes. She’s working with some has-been action movie star. Teaching the five fingers of death to the local geriatrics.’

Katherine walked over to the window and black clouds spread like a cancer across the skyline.

‘It’s certainly a life of surprises,’ she said.

‘Sure is.’

Solitaire finished her coffee got to her feet.

‘Well, I’d best get going.  I’ve got a long bar crawl ahead of me by the looks of it,’ she said as she looked at the slip of paper that Katherine had given her.

‘It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it,’ she said. ‘I’ll phone you as soon as I’ve found him.’

Katherine nodded.

‘By the way, Howard is a pussycat, even when he’s drunk, but if he’s with Bertie, you’d better be careful.’

‘That wouldn’t be Bertie The Bolt would it?’

‘It would, I’m afraid.’

And so am I, thought Solitaire.

Grab Big City Blues from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and any other Amazon.

 

Warren Stalley reviews Big City Blues

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Over at Amazon.co.uk , Warren Stalley says:

‘Big City Blues is littered with the usual Brazill razor sharp one liners honed to perfection. To summarise this is another polished winner from Paul D Brazill and Near To The Knuckle publishing.’

Graham Wynd Reviews Big City Blues

Big City Blues
Big City Blues

And says:

‘They’re coming fast and furious from Paul D. Brazill: it’s another cracking Near to the Knuckle novella from Mr B, the hardest working man in Brit Grit. This is #9 in the series and like the others a rip-snorter of mayhem and it’s got plenty of humour.

Big City Blues ranges across Europe and over to the colonies, or at least New York, which is a world of its own. Brazill always like a sprawling jumble of wild threads which he slowly knits together over the course of the unpredictable events and connections. Even his Seatown stories make the small burg feel complex. It’s not like wild coincidences either; it’s more like Six Degrees of Separation — or in this case, maybe only three degrees.

There’s a joyful abundance that teeters on the baroque: old cons, old cops, young geezers, unpredictable collisions of desire and convenience, and always sudden bone-crunching violence lurking around the next corner. Some of the jokes my grandfather would know but with a twist that makes them new again, and so many original observations that had me laughing out loud with surprise. And don’t tell anybody but hiding in between the laughs, the grimaces, the double crossing and the name dropping, you’ll find heart-searing observations about the walking wounded and some prose that will knock your socks off:

The night had draped itself over the city, and the moon bit into the sky. He stopped on the neon-soaked street to breathe in the sultry air. He could smell the lust, the sin and the decay.

A shard of sunlight sliced through the blinds, picking out specks of dust that floated in the air. An old electric kettle boiled in another room. A refrigerator hummed. A dishwasher chugged dully. A mangy black and white cat strolled across the newly polished bar before curling up on a wooden bar stool and going to sleep.’

Big City Blues is out NOW!

Big City BluesBritish coppers, an American private eye, London gangsters, international spies, and a serial killer known as The Black Crow all collide violently and hilariously in Big City Blues, another fast-moving and funny slice of Brit Grit from Paul D. Brazill.

Published by NEAR TO THE KNUCKLE. 

Available from Amazon.co.uk as an eBook or a paperback.

You can also grab it from Amazon.com and any other Amazon you mind fancy.