Saturday, 29 October 2016

That's Christmas: Merchant Seafaring Through Word War 1 1914-1918

That's Christmas: Merchant Seafaring Through Word War 1 1914-1918: Merchant Seafaring Through Word War 1 1914-1918 is a new book by Peter Lyon, Peter Lyon is an acknowledged expert on maritime matters an...

That's Christmas: "Amma Tell Me" a fantastic Christmas gift for your...

That's Christmas: "Amma Tell Me" a fantastic Christmas gift for your...: Amma, Tell Me About Holi is a remarkable book for children parents and grandparents alike. It is written by Bhakti Mathur and stunningly...

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Tony Collins: Football Master Spy

Tony Collins: Football Master Spy tells the fascinating and enlightening story of Tony Collins who was dubbed as football's "master spy" and who was also the Football League's first black football club manager.

The book, written by Quentin Cope and Sarita Collins, tells the story of his life, his childhood, his time in the army during World War 2. particular his time serving in Italy.

It also covers his time as a professional footballer, with 47 appearances with Fourth Division Rochdale, before he was promoted to the manager of Rochdale, a position he held for seven years from 1960 until 1967.

His career as a footballer and manager was far from easy. He suffered racial prejudice and scorn, yet he was able to time and time again prove the doubters to be in error as he garnered well-deserved sobriquets such as "The Teacher" and "Football's Master Spy."

He discovered and nurtured some football players who would become some of the greatest names in this modern history of football.

He had battles with the likes of Clough and Ferguson during his 44 days as the manager of Leeds United.

However he had close relationships with the real men of English football management, such as Don Revie and Ron "Big Ron" Atkinson.

And the remarkable thing? This book is the first time the story of Tony Collins has been told!

And as Tony is 90 year old, it's a very welcome publication!

It's published by the Book Guild in paperback at £9.99.

The book is written by Tony's daughter Sarita,with the assistance of Quentin Cope.

There is also a fulsome and heartfelt introduction by "Big Ron" Atkinson, himself.

This book will make an ideal Christmas present for the footie fan in your life. You can purchase it via the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop which you can access here:-

Libya, A Love Lived, A Life Betrayed

Libya, A Love Lived, A Life Betrayed is a memoir by Susan M. Sandover.

It is a real love story that spans multiple decades and several continents.

The genesis of the 320 page memoir was one blog post that Susan write after the death of her beloved husband.

With a twelve hour period that blog post had received in excess of 6,000 hits.

Many of the readers of the blog post pleaded with Susan to expand on the post to tell the story behind it.

And in 2014 Susan began to write the entire story.

Susan had chosen her spouse well, Bashir was a career diplomat i the Libyan Civil Service, who was a very enlightened and forward-thinking man.

They were there for each other, through thick and thin, living through the dangerous time of the Libyan Gaddafi regime, of dangers and traumas, of horrifying experiences brought about by Gaddafi and his government, the bombings by NATO armies including the USA.

There were also coups and a revolution and a blasphemy case, too.

But Susan does not want her readers to think that it was all bad. For Susan and her husband Bashir also enjoyed good times and good years together.

Unfortunately, Bashir fell ill and his family, who hated her and who tried to steal his lands during his illness, attempted to, unsuccessfully, destroy their relationship.

After his death Sharia law would only allow her to take one quarter of his property, the three quarters going to his siblings.

It is a truly gripping memoir and will be a wonderful Christmas gift for those people in your life who are interested in the stories of real people and the personal stories behind recent history.

It is published in paperback by Matador at £8.99 and is available from the That's Books and Entertainment book shop, the link to which is here:-

Low Life Lawyer

Low Life Lawyer is the story of the rise and precipitous fall and rise again of a colourful lawyer who is also something of a talent in the world of jazz music, the clarinet being his weapon of choice.

Richard Gregory is his name and the novel is set back in the heady days of the 1950s and 1960s.

The novel comes from the pen of author and retired lawyer and journalist Michael Simmons.

Richard's career as a solicitor had been a stunningly successful one. But things hadn't gone quite to plan, well, in truth there had been a rather spectacular failure that pitched him into the different world of being down and out.

He had, by dint of hard work and a little bit of luck, managed to claw his way back up to some semblance of his previous elevated heights.

But then came a further setback and he had failed to renew his career as a successful solicitor. Well, as any type of solicitor, to be honest.

Yet he still posses his very own slightly careworn piece of paper that announced to the world that he was a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales.

However, that would only carry a fellow so far. For if anyone were to bother to attempt to verify his credentials with the Law Society they would find that he was not a member in good standing. There was the little matter of not actually having paid his membership dues in a considerable period of time, plus there were some rather, let's say unfortunate, blots of his record at the Law Society.

This is the exceptionally well-crafted and beautifully written novel of what happened after this and what Richard "Dick" Gregory did next.

And also what happened when he met and played with Sidney Bechet.

An ideal Christmas gift for the lover of legal thrillers, it's published by The Book Guild at a rather nifty £7.99 in paperback.

You can buy a copy at the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop at this link here


The Loony Bin Blues

The Loony Bin Blues is a collection of poems from the pen of Tristram Cooke.

The subject matter is wide ranging and extremely thought-provoking.

What happens to a person if the are "sectioned" and placed in a "loony bin?"

For as the first line of his poem "The Loony Bin Blues" "There ain't no cure for the loony bin blues."

Other subjects dealt with in a lively and succinct fashion are  stigma and prejudice, what happens if people gather around the wrong flag, what it is like to be an underdog in Mexico, what the rise of Jeremy Corbyn looks like to a British person living in Mexico.

We read about poets and where they might gather, our capital city (that's London) the works of William Blake, secularism, how a FE college grew into a university, exchange trips, and much more, besides, plus an interesting poem about the late Amy Winehouse.

The anthology is well-illustrated with colourful pieces of art.

It is published by Matador at £8.99.

It is available for purchase at the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop at

Latest release from Penguin Books: The Obsidian Throne

Top selling writer J. D. Oswald's fantasy series is reputedly one of the best ever in the history of fantasy writing.

But now with his latest work, J. D. Oswald brings this stunning series to a truly staggering conclusion.

For the Northlands, annihilation is looming.

Will it be utter destruction by the dragons?

Or will it be utter devastation by Queen Beulah?

Either way, things are not looking too promising for the Northlands.

However, beneath the city rests a sectret that the House of Balwen have closely guarded for millennia.

It is a treasure so vast that it is beyond comprehension and beyond counting.

However, in truth only a direct descendent of the original Balwen could open the escape routes from this subterranean cavern.

However, in order to unlock the power of this treasure, Pincess Iowen must needs to claim the Obsidian throne for herself.

At the same time, Errol and Sir Benfro are discovering that their destinies are drawing ever closer together.

In fact the future of all life within the Twin Kingdoms rests in the uneasy hands of these two heroes, unlikely though that might appear.

There must be dreadful betrayals and terrible self-sacrifice. And events will forever change the lives of both boy and dragon.

But who or what will prevail?

This is a perfect conclusion to this stunning series and at only £7.99 for nearly 600 pages will make a wonderful Christmas gift for the fantasy readers in your life.

You can buy it, and the other books in this series, at the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop at this link here


Monday, 24 October 2016

Titanic Rose Walsh McLean's Story

Titanic Rose Walsh McLean's Story is a novel by Walden DCaprio Carrington which takes a fictional look at the life of Rose Walsh McLean and the time that she spent on board the Titanic.

We read how Molly Brown has decided to thrown a 16th birthday party for Rose Walsh McLean. This was in the May of 1911.

Rose bumps into Cad Carnegie in the foyer of the venue and on the 4th of July, he proposes marriage to her. She accepts his proposal.

Their engagement lasts until April the following year (1912). At this point the wedding party is making the return crossing of the Atlantic from Europe to the United States of America.

Unfortunately they were travelling on the maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic.

Rose captivates a handsome steerage passenger by the name of Jake Lawnsan. He is more impecunious than pecunious, but he manages to captivate the youthful young fiancee of another man.

When disaster strikes the ship Rose makes the decision to renounce her betrothal to her fiancee and to throw her lot in with Jake.

She remains with Jake as the ship sinks to its watery grave, taking the name Rose Lawnsan when she boards the Carpathia and she makes the return trip to Denver with Molly.

But in the pocket of her overcoat she has the Blue Heart Diamond necklace that Cad had deposited in the pocket.

Many decades later Rose looks at a TV news broadcast that contains a report of the efforts of Brice Bruhaven who is in charge of the attempts to undertake an excavation of the Titanic wreck site.

Rose realises that now she must tell her story and the story of the man she has always loved.

But Rose realises that there is one more thing that she must do.

This is an interesting novelisation of the James Cameron Titanic film.

Fans of the characters will consider this to be a most excellent Christmas gift, as it goes inot more depth than the part of the story depicted in the film.

It is published by The Book Guild at £8.99 and is available from the That's Books and Entertainment book shop. You'll find it to the right of this book review.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Rendezvous With Death

Rendezvous With Death is the latest novel by former lawyer turned novelist Gil Hogg.

A VIP in the form of a British diplomat has been abducted in Pakistan.

At first it is believed that the kidnapping is a terrorist outrage. But then evidence comes to light that this may not be the case, that the disappearance may have been engineered on behalf of a powerful tycoon with vendetta on his mind.

Nick Dyson is a London-based Barrister who decides to accept an  apparently lucrative position as the personal assistant to an old friend of his, Robert Laidlaw who is employed as a Special Envoy to the Middle East, based in Islamabad.

Unfortunately Robert and his wife Emma and also now Nick have made a bitter personal enemy of an influential tycoon who is based in the city of Islamabad, a man by the name of Gerald Macbeth.

Robert suddenly vanishes and his security guard is discovered, beheaded.

Nicks' suspicions are raised and he begins to believe that Gerald Macbeth, and not 'terrorists' are involved in the murder of the security guard and the disappearance of Robert Laidlaw.

He attempts to persuade Emma to escape from Pakistan with him.

But is Nick all that he seems? And who, exactly, are the guilty ones?

Who are the real sinners? Who the really sinned against?

And what dreadful events from the past have reached their bony fingers down to the present day?

This is a fascinating book with more than a few twists and some rather unexpected turns.

It's a welcome addition to the canon of works of Gil Hogg.

It is priced at £8.99 and is published by Matador and is an excellent stocking filler for the mystery novel fan in your life.

You can buy it from the That's Books and Entertainment book shop and gift shop. You'll find the portal to said shop just to the right hand side of this book review.


Find a Better Life

You can Find a Better Life. That's the promise of author Brian Fitzpatrick.

Throughout much of his life he felt that there was something that was lacking. Something missing.

He took the decision to dig deeper and to consider a new view.

Brian said: "I went in search of answers and finally found the clarity and contentment I had been lacking."

He decided that he would not merely keep what he had discovered to himself, that he would share it with everyone else who was struggling for answers, for a sense of direction.

There's a good deal of information and advice available to us from all types of sources.

But if that is the case, how is it that worry, tension and stress are always so close at hand?

Brain acknowledges that there are many causes for this, but he believes that the major cause is a lack of personal growth. A common problem, he asserts.

Brian's book will help you to take a step back and take in the wider, broader view. To eschew the temptation to just follow the crowd.

Brian feels that we must ask ourselves some deep and penetrating questions, even if this might make us feel somewhat uncomfortable.

But by following the principles in this book you can Find a Better Life.

It is published by Matador at £9.99 and will be a good Christmas gift for the thinker in your life.

You can buy it at the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop and gift shop, the portal to which is just to the right of this book review.

You can also find some related music that Brian has created in the store. Just search under "Love & Happiness Brian Fitzpatrick."

Little Professor and his Robot Factory

Little Professor and His Robot Factory is a wonderful new book for children -and their parents and grandparents, too!- that takes the reader on a whacky and wondrous journey through the world of science.

Marienne Parry is a retired teacher and she originally wrote The Little Professor and His Robot Factory as part of a lesson she was teaching her class about the world of robotics,

She eventually decided to re-write it as a book for all children.

It consists of three stories that introduce children to the fields of magnetism, electricity and light.

The readers follow the adventures of three of Little Professor's robots who are aided and abetted by their little helper friend, Scooper Man.

Children will learn about what happens when Magnet Man decided, not long after he had been built, to go out into the world beyond the factory to explore things for himself.

But as he is magnetic he attracts lots of metal things to himself, including a car, a gate and various other metallic items. 

In fact, local people mistake him for a weird monster!

Electric Man is a friend of Magnet Man. He can work out sums really, really quickly. so he goes to the local school to help the teacher. But what happens when the children misbehave? You might be surprised!

And then there is their best friend, Light Man. He is a little bit envious of his two friends who have had such big adventures outside the factory, but soon he, too, is having a wonderful adventure all by himself!

Then Light Man hits on the idea of holding a street party with the help and assistance of his friends and Scooper Man, to the delight of the local families!

The book is also charmingly illustrated.

This is a must buy book if you have children up to Primary School age and it is great for self-reading for older children and for parents or grandparents to read aloud to the children.

It's an excellent Christmas stocking filler.

It will be ideal for schools and local children's libraries. It can be bought via the That's Books and Entertainment book shop, which is just to the right hand side of this book review.

Thinking Lies Learning how to Believe in Yourself

Thinking Lies Learning how to Believe in Yourself is the new book from David Hulman.

It is based on and inspired by his own person experience and it is aimed at inspiring people aged 16 to 25 to gain belief in themselves and to go ahead with their lives and achieve their own dreams.

David Hulman points out that 16 to 25 is a period of immense physical and emotional changes for all of us.

He offers nine special techniques and strategies based on intensive research into the fields of numerous theories, psychology, neuro-linguistic-programming and a number of inspirational stories that are designed to help the reader to develop self-belief.

The background to this book is fascinating.

He developed a mental complex at the age of seven, which he called "thinking lies." He could not trust his own thoughts, what he believed or even what he remembered, or thought he remembered.

As he grew up and matured, he came to realise that this mental complex was merely doubt, something that everyone experiences but which, if left unchecked, can stop us from ever reaching our full potential. Which can thwart our attempts to attain our dreams.

David has written this book to enable those aged 16 to 25 to reduce or eliminate self-doubt and to help them attain their goals.

The book is published by The Book Guild at a remarkably decent price of only £7.99 and it will make a fantastic stocking filler for any person aged between 16 to 25.

He also runs a Youtube channel, #HelpFromHulman, in which he gives answers to commonly asked questions.

This book is available now from the That's Books and Entertainment book and gift shop. The portal to enter this bookshop is over to the right of this review.

Shine on, Marquee Moon

Shine on, Marquee Moon is the debut novel of Zoe Howe who is one of the UK's leading music writers.

Although this is her first novel, Zoe has written five non-fiction books on thr world of rock music and she is also a drummer.

The novel tells the story of Sylvie who works as a dresser for a New Romantic band that is currently undergoing something of a 21st century revival.

Sylvie manages to become romantically involved with band member Nick. Nick is a fairly rare bird in the music industry, one might say. how so? He is the least unhinged member of the band and although he is something of a heart-throb, he is a somewhat reluctant heart-throb.

Sylvie and Nick bond amidst the drama, angst, fun and chaos of the tour of the band. They have a shared passion for the highly important album by the group Television, called "Marquee Moon."

Things are going very well for them. Perhaps too well?

 For a secret, a rather dark, dirty secret, at that, could threaten to totally wreck and destroy not only their relationship and blight any possibility of a future for them as a couple, but it could bring about an even wider circle of destruction, too.

The novel is a free flowing excursion through the public and private lives of Sylvie, her fiance Nick, his dog Brando and the other members of the entourage of the New Romantic band Concierge as they toured again.

But what does actually happen when the band is on the tour bus, between gigs? You might be surprised to learn the truth.

And what occurs to Sylvie and Nick and the other extremely well-drawn characters in this novel? You'll want to find out, as you'll be gripped from the first paragraph to the last of this refreshing, highly readable novel.

It is to be hoped that this is the first of many novels by Zoe Howe.

It is published by Matador in paperback and a remarkably affordable £8.99 and will make a most excellent Christmas present for the modern music fan in your life.

It's available from the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop and gift store.The portal to which you will find on the right side of this review.

If You Can't Take a Joke

The Travels of a Naval Salesman is a memoir written by Gordon Gray, relating how he began his career in sales as an utter novice and how he rose through the ranks of his peers to become an expert in the field of the worldwide field of naval defence sales.

It's a fascinating read and is a tell all book that covers a vast range of subjects, topics and the highly intelligent musings of a man who has been there, done that and also sold it!

Join Gordon as he drinks some highly illegal and absolutely disgusting moonshine alcohol in Saudi Arabia. Gordon reveals that, on balance, he would rather have been drinking Cola!

Also puzzle with Gordon as to why certain sections of the media (you know who they are!) prefer to eschew the pedestrian descriptive phrase "international Defence Salesman) for the somewhat more pejorative term: "Arms Dealer?"

It couldn't be because they are -gasp!- clueless as to the reality of the situation, or perhaps even just a little bit biased?

It's clear from reading Gordon's book that this is his viewpoint and one that he puts forward with admirable alacrity and commonsense.

Travel with Gordon as he takes his first steps in his career in 1977 with Decca Radar/Racal Decca, where he worked as Sales Manager and Far East Sales Manager, culminating with a position as International Sales Executive for BAE Systems. From which he took early retirement at age 57, with a voluntary redundancy package.

Find out why, during his career after he left the Royal Navy he turned down and eyewateringly high salary increase to tempt him to take a new job, and how some time later he was proven to be absolutely correct to turn the job down and the several desperate entreaties for him to please reconsider his decision.

Learn about Gordon's first and long lusted for first sales trip. Which was all the way to Bradford in West Yorkshire. Which helped him to decide on a sideways move to another part of the Decca group which, eventually brought Gordon to the field of international sales and visits to Saudi Arabia, Korea, Hong Kong and beyond.

This is a highly entertaining and informative read, amply illustrated with a variety of photographs,  and your reviewer can recommend this book as a stocking filler this Christmas for people in sales and also for those who are fans of well-written biographical memoirs.

It is published in paperback by Matador at a very reasonable £9.99 and is available to purchase from the That's Books and Entertainment book and gift shop, the portal to which you will find to the righthand side of this review.

Times Change

Times Change is the debut novel of solicitor turned novelist John Ellison.

It is set ten years prior to the introduction of the Children Act of 1989.

That act brought about radical and far reaching changes to a legal framework that had not changed in many decades and which struggled to be relevant in the modern world.

Newly qualified solicitor Robert Fordham has made the move from rural Somerset to the London Borough of Haringey.

He starts working on some fairly tough and stressful child removal court cases and also on the perhaps equally stressful task of finding himself a woman to share his new life with.

The author has based the novel on his own experiences as a solicitor working for the London Borough of Haringey during the time in which this novel is set.

He explains: "In those days, child protection law was a mess. On the one hand, when strictly applied, the rules deciding what evidence be given in the juvenile court to support the making of a care order were absurdly restrictive.

"But on the other hand," he continued: " the rights of both parents and children to be represented were inadequate. Results all too often resembled lotteries. But whilst it is true that the legal framework today is much safer, social work time has become obsessed with computer record keeping and impossibly restricted."

The novel explores the social life of Robert Fordham and also the professional life which saw Labour council members refusing to implement budget cuts demanded by the newly elected Conservative government and what happens when he comes face-to-face with the magistrate's bench in Haringey, a bench lead by a strong-willed female magistrates.

The book is published by Matador at £8.99.

Happiness Diary

Happiness Diary is a splendid new book from psychologist and researcher Narissa Phipps.

Narissa has undertaken detailed research on the concept of happiness and the result is this highly useful and extremely readable book called Happiness Diary.

It is aimed at helping and uplifting late teens and adults and helping them to become more happy.

Readers are encouraged to use the book for just five minutes a day and it is aimed at helping the reader to be able to create healthy and log-lasting habits towards happiness.

There are daily contemplations that are designed to inspire the read, plus there are daily challenges that are intended to test the reader.

It is intended that people reading this book will soon be able to experience the fact that actions really are better than mere words.

Narissa believes: "One day at a time, you can make a difference." And she is confidant that this can start for people once they begin to read her book.

The book can help readers to become inspired to change their attitudes to their own surroundings and also to others in their lives, in order to bring about a way of life that is truly happier.

Narissa was able to draw upon her qualifications as a psychologist and her experiences employed in the field of children's mental health.

The book will make an ideal Christmas present for those who are faced with the vicissitudes of life and who might need the highly valuable help that this book can offer.

It is published in hardback by The Book Guild and costs £11.99.

It is available from the That's Books and Entertainment book and gift shop, the portal to which you will find to the right hand side of this book review.

I believe this book will make a most excellent stocking filler this Christmas.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Peginoor Land of the Lost

Peginoor Land of the Lost is a new novel for children by Nanna Lambert.

What happens to all the objects ad things that get irretrievably lost?

They all travel to a very special, mystical land called Peginoor.

Sometimes they travel to Peginoor because they feel a call to go there because they are required there.

Sometimes they decide to travel there of their own volition, because they feel that they are unloved and unwanted.

Brother and sister Jack And Marcie are holidaying with their grandparents and whilst exploring their grandfather’s allotment they discover a strange code hidden there.

This single event is just the beginning of a fantastical journey which eventually leads them to the secret land that is Peginoor!

It is a truly wondrous place filled with mystery wisdom and much, much more.

But eventually they come to understand that the very realm of Peginoor is under threat from dark forces that challenge the important goodness that is at the very heart of the existence of Peginoor.

Jack and Marcie find themselves at the heart of a battle to defeat these dark forces, yet they ultimately become aware that Peginoor is holding them both captive. And to free themselves they must seek out and discover the object that they are searching for.

This is an ideal Christmas present for children aged 7+ (for parents or grandparents to read from) or for older children aged 9 and upwards.

The book is published by Matador at a very reasonable £7.99 and will make an excellent stocking filler.

You can buy this book just over to the right from the That’s Books and Entertainment bookshop.

Ilona Lost

Ilona Lost is a romantic yet tragic novel by author Jim Pinnells.

It is set during the First World War and it tells the story of an English nurse called Evelyn who is working with the wounded on the Eastern Front in the year 1916.

She witnesses great horrors, the mutilations, the loss of sight, the illnesses like tetanus, the problems caused by gangrene and even worse as the “lucky” ones are invalided back home to face an unknowable future filled with pain and heartache.

Evelyn rescues a teenage Polish girl, Illona, from being raped by Cossack cavalry.

Numbed by the horrors that they have seen the two women manage to flee as Lenin and the Red Army begin to take over and they fall in love.

Eventually they arrive in England but they quarrel and part.

But is their love story over?

Or is there still more tragedy to follow?

Read this novel to find out more.

It is published by Matador at £7.99.

Twelve Thrilling Tales

Twelve Thrilling Tales by Rita Cheminais is exactly what it says on the tin. Twelve thrilling tales.

Each of the stories is short, yet are packed with several punches lacking in some novel length works that I could mention. But wont!

And the twists within each story? Oh, how beautifully they are executed!

And all with a touch of humour that certainly helps to boil the pot just a little more!

There’s a couple who meet up with a dead woman on a luxury cruise ship, a murder mystery weekend with a difference, a very unfortunate occurrence at the Hotel California, a little trouble in an overgrown jungle of a garden, some problems at a writers’ circle and a variety of other grim, yet gripping, stories.

Rita Cheminais is a film and TV extra, a voice over artiste and also works as a promotional model when she is not penning cracking short stories. And she is also a member of a writers’ club.

The book is published by Matador at the rather nifty price of £7.99 and will make an excellent Christmas gift for the reader in your life.

It's ideal for reading in front of an open fire, with brandy and minced pies at your side on Christmas afternoon!

You can buy it from the That’s Books and Entertainment bookshop. You’ll find the portal just to the right hand side of this review.

You can also purchase thousands of other books, Christmas presents, Christmas food and drink, etc., there, too.

Belinda: The Forest How Red Squirrel

Belinda: The Forest How Red Squirrel is an utterly charming and highly captivating book that is a three-year photographic study of red squirrels in their natural habitat by squirrel enthusiast Peter Trimming.

The study was undertaken by Peter in Forest How, which is situated in Eskdale, Cumbria.

During his research he witnesses a terrible and highly destructive outbreak of squirrel pox. Sadly this outbreak killed the entire adult population in Forest How.

However, despite this dreadful event a small number of the younger red squirrels who were born in the spring of 2014 managed to survive the outbreak and began to rebuild their shattered colony.

They emerged in gu4esthouse gardens from the late summer of 2014. A squirrel, named as Belinda, is chosen by Peter as a special recipient of his attention and he watches her closely.

This book is about wildlife conservation and it contains a wealth of detail about the colony, but it also features a multiplicity of full-colour images of the squirrels and their lay-to-day lives.

The introduction was written by Helen Butler MBE, who is of the Wight Squirrel Project and the IOW Red Squirrel Trust.

As Helen Butler MBE puts it: “Peter is not only a keen observer but a very good photographer.”

The book is published by the Book Guild in hardback at £12.95 and is a must buy Christmas present for the wildlife lovers in your life. Or even for your own Christmas stocking!

You can buy it from the That’s Books and Entertainment bookshop, which you will find just to the right of this book review.

A Door Marked Hawker

A Door Marked Hawker is an intriguing mystery, written by novelist Nigel Milliner.

It tells the story of Dorgy Pascoe, a village artisan and what happens after is untimely demise.

Jack is faced with the task of acting as the executor of the estate of Dorgy.

Jack believes that the matter will be a simple affair which he would be able to deal with in a very straightforward manner.

But Jack soon learns that nothing could be further from the truth.

Jack discovers there is a complicated web of intrigue surrounding Dorgy Pascoe. And that some attacks that seemed to surround Pascoe before his death had more significance than might have seemed possible at the time.

Jack feels compelled to dig deeper into matters that took place in the past and he becomes aware that the past that he is uncovering is far more dark and dangerous than he could have imagined possible.

Will Jack be able to resolve the matters that he has discovered to the satisfaction of the Pascoe family?

Or might the dark and murky past of Pascoe mean that Jack might even be endangering his own life?
This is an ideal Christmas present for those who like their mysteries.

It’s published by The Bookguild at £9.95.

It is available from the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop, which you'll find to the right of this review.

Sunday, 9 October 2016


Kieran. He is a normal, average businessman, running a normal, average (but high end) ticket agency.

But the truth is that Kieran is not, by any means, what he seems.

In truth Kieran, with his degree in Child Psychology, runs a high end agency, a very high end agency indeed, that deals in a very precious commodity.

In fact, Kieran deals in the most precious commodity that there is. Stolen children.

It's probable that you could describe his business as being a sort of adoption agency. Although the parents and the child are unwitting and completely non-consenting participants.

All goes well for Kieran as children are spirited away from their families to be delivered to super rich oligarchs who have much more money than sense or moral fibre.

Until, that is, Kieran decides to kidnap Thomas who lives in the London borough of Chiswick.

He is on holiday with his family and it is planned that the family's au pair will snatch Thomas.

However, things go very badly wrong and the consequences for everyone concerned, but especially Kieran, are, to put it mildly, shocking.

This is a very well written book and will make an ideal Christmas present for lovers of thriller novels.

It is published by Matador at £7.99 and is available from the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop, which you will find to the right of this book review.


Eugene is a novel from author John G. Smith.

John G. Smith was talking with a veteran of WW2. He heard a tragic story of how the veteran was torn from his first true love, a beautiful Burmese girl.

Even now, all these years later, he secretly carried a photograph of himself and his girlfriend, hidden within his wallet.

As it does with every other good author, this set up a "what if...?" moment within the imagination of John G. Smith.

And he brings to his readers the story of Eugene.

Eugene had been conscripted into the RAF and suffered a particularly harrowing tour of duty in Burma.

All Eugene wanted to do was to return home to Britain and to be welcomed back into the family butchery business.

But due to the infighting of his brothers and the fact that at 74 his father had lost control of the business, Eugene was, in effect, banished from the family business.

He decides to move forward, setting out to become a successful businessman in his own right, embracing the opportunities that existed in post World War 2 Britain.

For all his advancements in his life, both business and pleasure, Eugene still resents the fact that he had to leave behind him is girlfriend, a Burmese nurse called Chit.

Because so-called fraternisation with a local girl was considered a serious offence.

Eugene thrives commercially, even during times when others are going under, yet his personal life began to disintegrate around him.

This is a well-written and very moving novel.

It is published by Matador at £8.99.

In No Time At All

Do you remember the novel by N. A. Millington, Time for Tanechka?

Now it is time for In No Time At All, the long-waited sequel, which also features Ary and Tatiana as they find themselves, once more, grappling with the problems and vicissitudes of travelling through time.

Winston Peabody is described as being "incomparable." He is a cat burglar and jewel thief for part of his life. And for the rest of his life? He is an apparently blameless dean of a very famous college in the English county of Lancashire.

He has been given an assignment by a shadowy and somewhat sinister organisation called the Masters Club.

The task? One that seems impossible. To track down and purloin or rescue a religious relic known as the Parchment of Life.

This relic is said to be so important that whoever is in possession of it would gain utter and total control over the whole of humanity.

There are two devices, cunningly disguised to make them look like egg timers, that are able to transport whoever handles it through time, both the past and the future.

During this operation Winston Peabody is shadowed by his accomplice Charles Henry Smith.

They are compelled to experience a horrifying range of unpleasant and nightmarish events and situations in order to comply with the dark desires of not only the mysterious Masters Club, but also of the dark desires of Winston Peabody himself.

However, there's many a slip between the cup and the lip, as they say. Especially when time travelling is involved!

It's published by Matador at £9.99 and will make a nifty Christmas present for the book lover in your life.

You can purchase it now by visiting the That's Books and Entertainment book shop, which you will find to the right of this book review. Along with tens of thousands of other books and Christmas presents and food and drink of all types.

The Road to Corbyn

The Road to Corbyn a Modern Day Pilgrim's Progress, is a new book from author Rob Donovan.

When the financial crisis burst forth in 2008, Rob Donovan was able to sense the historical significance of the event.

He began to collect and collate material from a wide range of sources. He hoped that this activity would help him to understand what had happened and what was still happening.

By the year 2013 Rob Donovan had begun the task of writing what he described as "a secular fantasy" in the style of a pilgrimage through the landscape of the UK.

In this way, he proposed to "expose the real meaning behind austerity and Tory neo-Liberalism."

In the style of Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, The Road to Corbyn starts with the conceit of a dream in which Pilgrim, described as a "contemporary seeker after truth" is introduced to the characters of Hope, Charity and the Interpreter.

The role of the Interpreter is to act as Pilgrim's guide, offering him the "big picture" of humanity and its developmental, especially during the last several centuries.

The book is, in essence, a sort of anti-Pilgrim's Progress, working as a anti-Christian counterpoint to the beliefs of John Bunyan.

I am sorry to say that I fear the book does not work particularly well in that it is based on a number of presumptions that might or might not have any validity.

It is published by Matador at £8.99.


In his latest work, Abdication, historian and biographer Mark Hichens takes a detailed and percipient look at the story of the man who could well have been Britain's shortest serving monarch, King Edward VIII.

This year 2016, is the 80th anniversary of the dramatic abdication of King Edward VIII.

Mark Hichens realised that there were still questions from those events that remained unanswered, and ambiguities that remained unsettled.

He undertakes a detailed examination of the psychological character of King Edward VIII, making note of the various character flaws that were identified and noted by his peers.

Chief of which and one might hold the most damaging for a person in his postilion was the instability of his character and his lack of maturity.

He also examines the Duchess. She was arguably a woman who possessed no great beauty and had somewhat limited intellectual gifts. Yet she had captivated and married two men, plus had a number of lovers, before she captured the heart of someone described by some as "the world's best-loved man."  

The book looks at how she was able to bring the Prince to his knees.

Mark Hichens looks at the key players in this rather sordid episode, including Stanley Baldwin, King Edward VII's Prime Minister, who was the lead figure in the negotiations.

Although a book which adheres to academic rigour, it is written throughout in a style that is open and accessible.

It is published in hardback by The Book Guild at £14.99 and will make a warmly received Christmas present for lovers of history or biography.

It's also available from the That's Books and Entertainment book shop. Just take a look to the right hand side of this book review and you will finds the portal to the book shop. You'll also find thousands of other books, plus DVDs, Christmas gifts and festive food and drink.

Tears of the West

Tears of the West is the third novel from Ted York.

In it York explores the terrifying possibility of biological warfare.

The source of inspiration for this novel? His wife's makeup bag.

He happened to glance at the long list of chemical ingredients in them and began to wonder who, if anyone, was monitoring the contents of the various makeup products?

How easy would it be, he mused, to secretly begin adding toxic agents into the products?

The novel follows Dee, a postgrad student who is working on her PhD thesis at Imperial College London.

The title of her thesis? "Is Nanotechnology being Properly Controlled?"

She begins to investigate the growing number of potentially dangerous nanoparticles that some cosmetic firms, but one in particular, are starting to use.

She realises that something is wrong. The nanoparticles' composition is unlike anything she has ever seen before, so she decides to call upon the assistance of two people, a friend of hers and a tutor.

Soon afterwards, both are found dead.

However, it seems that the people behind the murders might be accused of a lack of due diligence in that Dee's godfather Colonel John Harriman is a retired SAS officer. And SAS officers never, really, retire...

The Colonel readily agrees to help Dee in her investigations and they make a horrifying discovery.

Meanwhile the CIA is also running an investigation into the cosmetic nanoparticles as they are concerned that the ingredients discovered in some cosmetics could severely impact fertility.

The true and horrific nature of the plot is discovered when they uncover a link to al-Qaeda.

A manhunt is triggered to uncover those behind the plot. But is it to late to stop their nefarious scheme?

This book is published by Matador at £8.99 and is a great Christmas gift for lovers of adventure fiction.

You can buy it from the That's Books and Entertainment book shop, just to the right of this book review.

Second Strand

Second Strand is the latest novel from Devon's very own mystery writer, Carolyn McCrae.

Alex and Teri are in a difficult situation. They have been together for 12 years and they are now on the verge of splitting up and and going their separate ways.

However, an elderly neighbour is found dying, which forces them to put their plans on hold at least for the immediate future.

But the police have decided that their only suspect for the killing is Alex and he quickly vanishes, leaving no trace.

Teri decides that she must know what has happened and wants, obviously, to know where Alex is, so she hires two private  investigators, Skye and Fergal, to find Alex and to see what they could find out about the death of their late neighbour.

However, Skye and Fergal uncover some rather startling facts about a hitherto unknown link between Alex and the victim, a link that proves surprisingly difficult to trace.

Skye and Fergal are sure that Alex is innocent, however they realise that the murder is actually linked to another, as yet, unsolved slaying in the same town two years previously.

Is Alex innocent? And if Alex is innocent, what is the exact nature of the link between Alex and the latest murder victim? And who committed both murders?

It's a very intelligently written book and explores not only the traditional nuts and bolts of a murder mystery but examines the frailties of human relationships and how things can go wrong without people even noticing.

This book is heartily recommended as the ideal stocking filler for the mystery novel reader in your life. Or it might even make an even better present for you!

You can buy it at the That's Book and Entertainment book shop, which you will find just to the right hand side of this book review. Along with a whole plethora of other books and a wide range of gifts, presents and Christmas foods and drinks.

Stay Put? Make a Move?

Thomas Nevins is an international labour and human resource development consultant.

He is the founder and chief consultant with TMT Inc., which you can find at

He established TMT in Tokyo almost 40 years ago, in 1978.

He is the author of a number of books aimed at the business community, covering human resources, employment matter and the like.

And now there is his latest book, Stay Put? Make a Move, from Lake Waccabuc to Omotesando.

Thomas Nevins claims that the book came about because he took dictation from his blind dog.

And, from his prosaic and very touching description of his dog (who started to lose his sight from age three) one can only presume that he might, indeed, have received some sort of inspiration to pen this book from his dogged (no pun intended) canine companion.

The book weighs in at nearly 400 pages and it is a book that is both fun and yet also of serious intent.

There are hundreds of stories, little and some large snippets of pop culture and a stupendous range of facts, current and/or historical, of people, places and things.

Tom also uses the book as a way to gently and amusingly make a sort of a sales pitch for moving to Tokyo and enjoying life in this Japanese city.

Learn about love hotels (which have bigger baths than most other hotels, apparently) about the very strict drinking and driving laws in Japan, the man who kept two hissing monkeys as pets, and took them for walks, one on each shoulder.

He also relates his early life in America, which included petting the cows of one of America's wartime leaders and how he got sick from eating a tin of beef stew and related that he realised it was all his own fault.

It's a stunning work of social history filled with praise and criticism in almost equal measure.

It's published by Matador at a very reasonable £12.99 and will make an excellent Christmas present for the person in your life who loves facts and opinions. It is also available as an e-book.

You can learn more about Thomas Nevins by visiting where you will also see a video trailer and picture tour of Tom's New York hometown and the area in which he lives in Tokyo.