The Liquidator

British Special Security are tired of embarrassing situations; it inevitably leads to embarrassing questions. It’s decided that action is needed to avoid situations in the future. Mostyn, the second-in-command is entrusted with ensuring that problems are removed before they become a problem and he believes he knows just the man – Boysie Oakes. When Oakes heads off for a weekend away with Mostyn’s secretary, he soon finds himself embroiled in a plot that would result in a situation beyond embarrassing. Can Oakes save the day?

The Liquidator is the first in the Boysie Oakes series and gives the back story as to how Oakes became a secret agent. It also shows what type of character Oakes is and he’s not the standard secret agent/assassin material.

A gentle comedy combined with a thriller, it’s different to what I’ve read before and was an enjoyable read.

Rating (out of 5): ****

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The Complete Dregs Of History

We’ve all heard of Henry VIII. And Elizabeth I. And William Shakespeare. And countless others who have made an impact on history. But what about the everyday person? Or someone who has had an impact for a strange reason? Enter ‘The complete dregs of history’

Numerous characters are introduced in chronological order, with a summary of what they did and why they are included. Fripley’s characters are all entertaining and the book was easy to read and enjoyable. The characters can be a bit hit and miss, but none are worth skipping. A book to return to and pick a character at random.

Rating (out of 5): ***

Erasmus Hobart and the Golden Arrow

How true are legends? We’ll never know. To know the truth behind legends, we’d need to travel back in time. Which is just what Erasmus Hobart, a school teacher (History and Physics) is able to do. He’s developed a time machine and decides to find out the truth behind the legend of Robin Hood ahead of the school play.

The opening chapter reads like the opening to a James Bond film as we’re introduced to Hobart and his time travelling machine. He’s travelled back to when Lady Godiva took to the streets and is lucky to escape. His journey back to Robin Hood’s time is trickier when he makes an enemy of Guy Gisborne and gets separated from the machine. He soon discovers what Robin Hood was like and has to ensure that he doesn’t ruin history. What was Robin Hood like? Well, that would spoil the book!

An easy to read and enjoyable book. Hobart’s adventure is a great one to follow and I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Give it a go and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Rating (out of 5): *****

Very British Problems Volume 3: Still Awkward, Still Raining

There seem to be so many unwritten rules in Britain and Very British Problems highlights them. The problems are separated into different areas and it’s amazing how many you have encountered or, even better, do yourself. I would have to agree that it’s close to impossible to watch cricket without miming a forward defensive shot. The ones I recognise myself doing were the ones I found funniest.

As well as being an enjoyable read (although being British, I should probably say it’s, ‘alright’) it got me thinking about other things that may be termed British problems. I wonder if I’m the only one who will cross the road at traffic lights checking that the light has turned red; it’s for two reasons: I want to make sure that the green man actually means I can cross and also to let the drivers waiting that I can see it’s red so I know I should be crossing.

It’s a short book and quickly read, but every page is excellent.

Rating (out of 5): *****

Memoirs of a bar steward

Jacob Cox is named as the landlord for the pub his family have bought on the coast. He has the vision to make the pub one of the most successful in the country, nevermind the town. His family just can’t see his plans and how they will lead to success. Of course, it might just be because the ideas aren’t actually that great…

A short book that’s easy to pick up and get in to. It is humorous throughout and ends on a cliffhanger after Jacob’s visit to a rival pub. Well worth a read.

Rating (out of 5): ****

Foggy’s Blog

Morton Astley Fogarty (Foggy) is blogging about his life. He lives at home, works in an insurance call centre and is involved in an amateur dramatic production of Grease. However, in all aspects, he’s out of his depth. Despite being out of his depth, he’s blissfully unaware and looks for the best in everyone and everything. This results in plenty of mis-understandings, the highlight being when Foggy is called in for a disciplinary meeting at work. Foggy is a lovable character and it’s a short, amusing book.

Rating (out of 5): *****

The Pirates! In an adventure with Moby Dick

The Pirate Captain decides that their ship has seen better days (with the mast constantly collapsing, he’s probably right). The Pirates buy a new ship from Cutlass Liz. She’s famed for dealing with non-payers brutally. Which could be a major problem as the Pirates don’t have the 6000 doubloons the new ship costs. The Pirate Captain has a number of ideas to raise the necessary money, but they don’t work out and keep on bumping into a character called Ahab, who lost his leg to a whale and wants revenge. The reward to anyone who catches the whale? 6000 doubloons. The Pirates look to find the whale, claim the reward and pay for their ship.

An easy read and fun story. The pirates are named according to distinguishing features that they possess and the Pirate Captain is a lovable character, but often seems out of his depth. I recommend this to everyone.

Rating (out of 5): *****