Category Archives: Books

Tapestry

The Tapestry of Death
(The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage #3)
by Howard of Warwick (2015)

England 1067: Briston the weaver has been murdered – in a very special way – and it is up to his old friend Wat to avenge his death.
Brother Hermitage will naturally support his companion in the quest, but the young monk worries as the number of suspects keeps rising. He’s never been good with crowds.

In the third episode, the two main characters are more even in intuition and action. Howard comes across a smarter than before. Then there are the Normans who are like the big dumb lugs of the story.

The plot does slow down near the end and things get a bit confusing in the final chapter. But you don’t get a teaser for the next story.

 

 

 

Garderobe

The Garderobe of Death
(The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage #2)
by Howard of Warwick (2015)

What the hell is a Garderobe ??

As the book explains, it is a long-drop (toilet) constructed within a castle designed to deposit fecal matter outside the building. Only this time it’s internal and has been boarded up..

And someone has been shot from it, up into the bum with a cross-bow. It’s this murder that the bumbling pair Brother Hermitage and Wat the Weaver have to solve.

In the second book, things descend into the toilet, but the humour rises. Definitely a  better and funnier book than the first.

De’ath

The Heretics of De’Ath
(The Chronicles of Brother Hermitage #1)
by Howard of Warwick (2010)

England 1066: At the monastery of De’Ath’s Dingle, during a completely pointless theological debate, there is a mysterious death.


Promoted as historical humour, it isn’t really outrageously funny.

It is well written, with clear characters and plot. It doesn’t meander and ultimately provides a good whodunit I enjoyed, There was a teaser at the end, so I proceeded to the next expsode…

Alter

Alter
by Jeremy Robinson (2018)

Stranded in the Amazon rainforest, a lost man fights for survival and discovers that the root of evil doesn’t just reside in the world’s darkest corners, but inside the hearts of all mankind.


Not one of Robinson’s fun reads. This plots the descent of a man lost in the Amazon into a savage beast. It’s dark and depressing, but still compelling reading. It gets a bit strange and confusing near the end, but ultimately redeems itself in the epilogue.

 

Outpost

The Outpost
by Mike Resnick (2002)

 

On the planet Henry II, orbiting the twin suns of Plantagenet and Tudor, at the very edge of the great black hole at the center of the Milky Way, there is a tavern called The Outpost. Through the doors of The Outpost have come the greatest heroes, villains, and adventurers of the galaxy – to drink, to brag, and to swap tales.

This is a series of short stories told in three sections. In the first, the characters gather at a tavern and tell stories of their heroics with the barman as narrator. In the second section, the stories are of a war. Then in the third they return and tell the war stories.

As this is a series of stories, there is little character development and plot. However Mike Resnick’s witty dialogue keeps things interesting and holds the stories together. An unusual structure and probably only for Mike Resnick fans.

 

Jet Op 0.2

JET – Ops Files II: Terror Alert
(Jet 0.6)
by Russell Blake (2015)

The second in the prequels, this puts Jet on a mission to stop a terrorist bombing. There is plenty of action and the plot keeps up the pace and there are plenty of plot twists.

The story ends in England, and reminds me a lot of the Dick Francis thrillers. Good read for a thriller fan.

Jet 0.1

Ops Files
(Jet 0.5)
by Russell Blake (2014)
 

This is a prequel to the series of (currently) 14 novels.

It’s a typical story of a naturally gifted young girl who suffers abuse early, learns to cope and enters the military. She is soon targeted for covert operations and takes on a mission to destroy a poison.

Despite the setup, its much the same as the other novels; super-girl agent avoids the bullets, gets the better of her enemies and stacks up a large body count.

Just what you thought it would be. !

 

Albion

Albion: A Hal Spacejock Novella
by Simon Haynes (2018)
 

Hal takes an odd call from a team of scientists, and minutes later he and Clunk are boarding a shuttle for the nearby orbiter. Turns out the scientists need some vital information, and only Hal can help.

This story follows directly after Hal Spacejock 8: Double Trouble, it’s a pity as I read it after #9 Max Damage and had forgotten most of the plot.

The story illustrates the problem with the novella length, it’s too long for a short, punchy story but not long enough to develop the setups that a comedic story requires. Still, it’s well told (although a little confusing around the physics of black holes) and a good read for fans of the series.

 

Fishy

Fish Fingered
by David Blake (2016)
David Blake is sick. Also silly weird and prone to dark humour. These are the early work of the author of the Space Police series.

They range from very short to shocking, but all show signs of the humour to emerge in his later novels.

Worth a read for the completest.

Max Damage

Max Damage
(Hal Spacejock #9)
by Simon Haynes (2018)
 

Hal and Clunk answer a distress call, and they discover a fellow pilot stranded deep inside an asteroid field. Clunk is busy at the controls, dodging incoming rocks, so Hal dons a spacesuit, takes the jetbike and sets off on a heroic rescue mission.


You can expect the usual comedic science fiction. But in the final act it almost changes to Military Science Fiction. !