Pike still not dating – Spoof

Barry the Pike, a seven-year from the river just by your house has revealed that he still has not had a single match on Firestarter.com, even though he has posed with Snotty Dave, Keith the Plum, and Gerald the Spinach.

The morose, fish told us, in his surprisingly deep and husky voice ‘Yes, Snotty Dave, Keith the Plum and Gerald the Spinach have all posed with me on Fire-Starter.com, and I am yet to catch the eye of another Pike. I mean, in the photos I don’t look at my best, with my wide eyes, gills popping open all the day, and Dave, Keith and Gerald aren’t actually what you would call catches themselves, but I had hoped for some action by now’.

We wanted to put Barry back in his Plaice, but all of his complaining just gave us a Haddock.

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Book Review – Class Murder by Leigh Russell

Book Review

Class Murder by Leigh Russell

No Exit Press

7 out of 10

After a previous case went wrong, Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel has returned to the fray, but on a different level to the one, she was on before. Her former assistant is now her boss, and the Police have been keeping an eye on the maverick police officer with an impressive record but unorthodox practises.

After three deaths can be linked to the victims collective past, it soon becomes clear that the chief suspect is someone linked to the three, but with hundreds of potential suspects, it is not going to be an easy job. As the tension builds, and the investigation takes in a wide-ranging area of the country, it soon becomes clear that the case is not going to be an easy one to solve, and Steel realises that for a change, perhaps the right thing to do would be to ask for help.

Using all of the skills she has picked up in her many years on the front line of the police force,  Geraldine Steele pieces together the case, as it all unfolds, until a denouement that is both surprising, but also fits in with the story, when a character is introduced at the last moment, before proving to be a red-herring, put in place by the actual murderer who was always there in plain sight.

The book is thrillingly written, with a fast pace, a flawed, but believable and sympathetic central character and a plot that moves along with its own sense of logic.

Ben Macnair

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Have you seen Gary Johnson lately?

Gary Johnson, 48, husband and football fan has not been to the Horse and Whippet, Chutney on the Fritz’s 2nd oldest pub, since he used the word sleeps.

His excellent mate Snotty Dave (so-called because he once had a cold as a toddler) said ‘My heart goes out to Gary, it does. He said that it was only four sleeps until Christmas, and we haven’t seen him since. It was not as bad as that time when he said that Boris Johnson could be a safe pair of hands, but it was still mortifying for everyone. Even Johnny, who tells everyone, and I mean everyone about his bowel movements was quiet for a few minutes. Then, things went back to normal, well as normal as they get around these parts. I hope that Gary is ok. After all, there are only another two sleeps until Christmas. What? Did I say it? I did, didn’t I? I’ll get my coat.’

Gary Johnson was indeed alright, a bit embarrassed, and is now at home with wife Lorraine, son Tommy, Labrador Milly, a selection of Twiglets, mince pies and a single Pringle, who is not looking forward to going into anyone’s stomach.

Gary is also working his way through David ‘Call me Dave’ Cameron’s epic autobiography, so he has more than enough to do, after all, there are only 363 sleeps until next Christmas, aren’t there? Did I say it? I did, didn’t I? Did I? I’ll get my coat.

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Book Review – The Perfect Girlfriend By Karen Hamilton

Book Review

The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton

Wildfire Publishing – 9781472 244253

6 out of 10

Juliette seems to have it all. A successful, jet setting career as an Air Hostess. A loving, handsome boyfriend in Nate. She also has a sociopathic streak, and delusions that she can bend the world to her ways.

Nate broke up with Juliette six months ago, and despite having a new relationship, and despite repeatedly warning Juliette to stay out of his life, she is unable and unwilling to listen. As the story develops, and Juliette becomes increasingly desperate to have Nate back in her life, at any cost, she changes and becomes increasingly deranged.

Following Nate on social media, she knows every facet of his life, better than those closest to him, certainly some family members, and his new Girl-friend. Even though she and Nate were together for less than half a year, she still feels that they should be together.

This is a psychological thriller, and along other recent hits within the genre, such as The Girl on The Train, it is only told from one view-point, Juliette’s, and as the story goes on, we learn that she is not really one for letting things go, so every little gripe, every wrong word, every wrong look is stored for later retribution.

The ending of the book shows that Juliette has no empathy, no feeling, and her actions, which included murder, which would have shocked anyone else, she just sees as being damage, another piece of the puzzle falling into place. The novel starts quickly and is a thrill-ride of escalating action throughout, and although a lot of the set-piece and co-incidences in the book feel contrived, it gets from one plot point to the next in very quick fashion.

If you like your books to be a roller-coaster ride of thrills, this will be for you. However, Juliette is a truly terrifying fictional character, and we just have to hope that we never meet anyone like her in real life.

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Book Review – The Popular Girl by F Scott Fitzgerald

Book Review – The Popular Girl by F.Scott Fitzgerald

‘The Popular Girl’ collects together 5 of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s lesser-known short stories. Like his better-known works ‘The Great Gatsby’, ‘Tender is the Night’ and ‘The Last Tycoon’ these stories are rich in character, with an elegant structure, and look at love and money, and how both gaining and losing each of them can have an impact on people’s lives.

‘The Popular Girl’ looks at the façade built up by Yanci Bowman, bought low and impoverished by her Father’s untimely death, and her efforts to impress Scott Kimberly, the wealthy and handsome man she has just met. She wants to prove to him that she is still ‘The Popular Girl’ he first met, making up friendships and parties that she can’t afford to go to.

‘Love in the night’ looks at the life of Val, and what it is like to half American and half Russian, and how this has affected his life and falling in love, and how his parent’s marriage is not how he might have imagined it to be.

The remaining three stories, ‘The Swimmers’, ‘A New Leaf’, and ‘What a Handsome Pair!’

This is a collection that is well worth looking out for, to find some lesser-known work by one of America’s undisputed greatest 20th Century writers.



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EP Review – Maud by The Aspen Sails

Ep Review – Maud by Aspen Sails

7 out of 10

The five-song EP, ‘Maud’ from the Aspen Sails finds the Lincolnshire duo on good form. Fusing music styles from the likes of Fleet Foxes, and several other Nu-Folk groups with old school folk duos such as Simon and Garfunkel, they have produced a work of autumnal warmth. Although there is nothing here to raise the heart-rate, the five songs are studies in quiet and quality songwriting. The vocals of Charlie Johns and Bertie Telezynski wrap around each other like a scarf, while lightly strummed acoustic guitars and light percussion give the tracks a forward momentum. ‘So Pretty’ and ‘Forest’ are songs of beguiling acoustic beauty, while ‘Mourning Cloak’ is a far deeper proposition. The duo has already received accolades for their live performances, and their first EP shows that they are a musical force of much promise.


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CD Review – Sister Speak – Rise Up For Love




Sister Speak is a band led by the singer-songwriter Sherri Anne, who over the ten tracks on this release, leads her well-drilled ensemble through a quality selection of self-penned songs. Light funk and pop textures are the order of the day, with gently strummed acoustic guitars, piano, and Wurlitzer’s leading the way. There are no solos in these tightly composed songs, with Sherri Anne’s light, melodic voice leading from the front. All of the songs are less than four minutes, and songs such as album opener Chicago Dream and Goodbye My Lover have a pleasing care-worn vocal timbre. There is a change of mood in the second half of the album, with Say You Will and Honestly having a faster pace. Although there are no straight forward blues songs here, there are a lot of melancholy sounds, and if you are a fan of singer/composers such as KT Tunstall, or Stevie Nicks, this album could well be worth your time.


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