Sitting in her makeup chair, eyes staring lifelessly ahead, the diva is dead. Her sequinned dress glittering in the light cast from above; the little pools of reflected light sparkling across the paper held tightly in her hand. The policeman carefully prises it out of her grip and unfurls it. It reads, “The Last Will and Blurb of Lyra Day”:
“Danny Bird is having a very bad day. In the space of just a few hours he lost his job, his partner and his home.
Ever the optimist, Danny throws himself headlong into his dream to turn the grimmest pub in London into the coolest nightspot south of the river. Sadly, everything doesn’t go quite as planned when his star turn is found strangled hours before opening night.
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.