Bonjour and bienvenue to my blog on this wonderful 12th day of #Fahrenbruary. If you’ve stumbled upon this post by chance you may not be familiar with what a Fahrenbruary is, so let me enhance your knowledge with this handy little link here…
Now that that’s out of the way, what do we have today?
Well today I present to you a 2-4-1 deal in that I am reposting my two mini reviews wot I wrote for Derek Farrell’s “Death Of A Nobody” and “Death Of A Devil” – books 2 and 3 in the Danny Bird Mysteries series.
These two reviews originally appeared on Goodreads and, if you’re at all familiar with my reviews, are very, very short indeed by my usual standards 😂 I can’t remember now why they didn’t get the full Beardy Book Blogger treatment, but I imagine that it was purely down to time; it’s no reflection on the quality of the books themselves.
Tomorrow I present my full review of the 1st in the series, “Death Of A Diva“. I’m presenting them out of order for reasons known only to my beardy brain and it ain’t letting me in on the secret. It has a habit of doing that.
I love these books unconditionally. They are smart, very funny, erudite, sanguine, clever, moving, tightly plotted and populated by the kind of characters that stay with you long after the book is over; they truly feel like family. They’re the kind of books that once read, and a new one in the series arrives, you open with a happy sigh, excited to be back in their company again and to see what calamity has befallen them this time (as I type this the 4th book, “Death Of An Angel” will be released on the 28th of Fahrenbruary 2019. Put that date in your pipe and smoke it, and put your fingers in your ears because I shall be letting out the loudest “SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” that you will have ever heard! Truth *crosses arms gangsta style*).
Derek writes with a wit and style that takes me back to my youth. That is not to say that it is immature, no no no, but to me there’s a certain nostalgia in my nostalgia glands when I read these books. As I mention below, and in my review for Death Of A Diva, I am reminded of some of my favourite writers and TV shows that also feature an ensemble cast with quirky characters, wonderful dialogue and outlandish, yet believable, plots and predicaments. I personally feel that these book would make for a great TV series. Maybe I should start a petition to get them made. 🤔
The love that Derek has for his characters radiates from the pages; it’s in every word, every scenario, in every small trait and quirk. They feel so fully formed that I really want to go and have a drink and hang out in The Marquess Of Queensbury. But then, alas, one realises that it doesn’t actually exist. Bum cheeks 😥 Well, there are certainly places like it, but they won’t have Danny and his boyfriend Nick (a Detective Constable whose guv’nor is the highly unpleasant, homophobic, and right arsey bastard DCI Reid), Lady Caroline (Caz) Victoria Genevieve Jane De Montfort (and her capacious, almost magical, Gladstone bag), the ASBO twins Dash and Ray, bar manager Ali, and all the assorted crazies, misfits, regulars and unwanteds that populate and frequent my beloved Marq. Oh, and that is without all of the dead bodies that seem to find The Marq irresistible for some reason. I blame Ley-lines, or summink.
So, buckle up and take the plunge into Derek’s wonderful world. Ignore the worn and tired looking exterior of The Marquess of Queensbury pub, open the door, walk on in, buy a beverage, sit down in a quiet corner (if such a thing truly exists in The Marq), relax and wait for events to unfold. You’ll make new friends, possibly a couple of enemies too (watch out for the pub’s real owner popping by, one Chopper Falzone; you don’t want to mess with him), but either way you’ll thank me later.
Enjoy. TBBB X
Death Of A Nobody
“When Lady Margaret Wright dies her will stipulates her wake be held in her old neighbourhood. Sensing an opportunity, Danny, Lady Caroline and the gang commit to giving the old girl the wake to end all wakes and at the same time cement the reputation of The Marquess Of Queensbury as South London’s most up and coming gastro-pub.
As usual though things don’t quite go to plan and it isn’t long before the body count starts to mount. Danny and the unflappable Lady Caroline find themselves thrown into a classic murder mystery complete with poison pen letters, family feuds, money, jealousy and a cast of characters that would put the average Agatha Christie country house mystery to shame.
With his love-life and his business seemingly falling around his ears Danny is determined to get to the bottom of things and hopefully put a stop to people getting murdered in his damn pub.”
Another crazy, brilliant and hilarious romp with Danny Bird and the gang from The Marquis Of Queensbury. I adore this series (Death Of A Diva is Book 1 with Death Of A Devil completing the trilogy, but fear not – Death Of An Angel is in the wings), it has everything a great book should have: a great story; fast pace; twists and turns; a cast of brilliant and memorable characters; and writing that leaps off of the page and kisses you on the lips with its beautifulness. Derek Farrell has a wonderful way with words and a keen eye for dialogue that sounds natural. His plots verge on the farcical at times, but that’s what I love about them. There’s more than a dash of David Nobbs, Alan Plater and Tom Sharpe, with a healthy dollop of Agatha Christie and Colombo thrown in for good measure, in these books.
Long live Danny Bird and long live Derek Farrell 🙂
BUY DIRECT FROM Fahrenheit Press:
Death Of A Devil
“In this, the 3rd book of the popular series, life at The Marquess of Queensberry public house has returned to something resembling normality. Although his complicated love life is still in a state of some disarray, things are looking pretty rosy for Danny Bird.
Not for long…
Something horrible is discovered in the cellar, someone horrible comes to threaten one of the gang, and Danny and Lady Caroline are faced with some of their biggest challenges yet.
With local crime-lord Chopper Falzone keeping a watchful eye on his investment, Danny and Lady Caz must unmask a murderer, find some stolen diamonds and thwart a blackmailer – just another day at The Marq.
As the plot races breathlessly towards its conclusion, everyone realises that secrets, no matter how well hidden, can’t stay buried forever.”
Another wonderful installment in the Danny Bird series, and possibly my favourite so far. Danny, Caz (Lady Caroline to you and me), Ali, Dash and Ray are all back for another riotous escapade, this time gadding about trying to find out who killed the body in the basement of the Marq. The opening of this book is hilarious as a team of ghost hunters trying to communicate with the spirits they believe haunt the Marquess Of Queensbury pub, on Halloween, and get more than they bargained for, plunging Danny and Co. into yet another mystery.
The Danny Bird Mysteries are brilliant fun; hilarious, clever, tightly plotted and populated with colourful and outlandish characters. There’s a wonderful element of farce throughout, but never to the point of ridiculousness that pulls you out of the story.
I really can’t recommend these books highly enough. Book 4, Death Of An Angel, is on the horizon and I can’t wait.
BUY DRIECT FROM FAHRENHEIT PRESS: