Book reviews, Classic Fiction, Crime thriller

Shamus Dust by Janet Roger – Book Review


London, 1947. A hard-nosed American detective with a hard-boiled mystery to solve.

It’s Christmastime 1947, in the City of London’s square mile of high finance. A seeming vice killing spooks a City councilor into hiring Newman, an expatriate American shamus, to keep his name out of a murder. Newman’s private inquiries split two different ways.

One takes him to the rackets, to the police murder investigation, and to the City’s own grandees. The second takes him into the ruins left behind by the blitz, to make sense of what he’s finding out about his own client. 

In a square mile where money interests hold all the aces, Louis the hotel barber is his sage: Choices you make, Mr. Newman, are not such a complicated thing…


“Elegant and spare but still cloaks itself in a terrific atmosphere. I liked the backstreet whores and the tipster barbers; the gold-leaf dining rooms and the tenement bedrooms. A grey-skied, British ‘Big Sleep’.” ATLANTIC BOOKS

If you love Chandler and the golden-age detectives, you will enjoy this hard-boiled thriller set in the financial heart of London in the early days of the cold war. An American detective has to be tough if he cannot carry a gun.

Captures the period and London locations perfectly. They were under the cloud of the A-bomb, but dammit they knew how to dress.



Set in London, 1947. This is a murder mystery in a classic, noir style. A proper whodunnit very reminiscent of Sam Spade et al.

In this tale there have been several murders and PI Newman is tasked with finding the killer. But the story is so much more than just that, there’s a vice ring, corruption at every turn, more murders and even an archeological discovery which could put paid to plans, by a wealthy cabal, to rebuild a damaged London.

Beautifully written and highly descriptive, it is so atmospheric you can almost smell the smoky air……a book to take your time over and savour. 

Thank you to Ben at Cameron Publicity & Marketing for the opportunity to read this for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.




JANET ROGER: Lumberjack. Head of special education. Head of software testing in the City. Owner of a tech startup. Bought out by a FTSE 100 Company. Crime writer.

Shamus Dust is available for pre-order now on Amazon and will be available at all good outlets in ebook and paperback upon publication. Find out more at:




Comedy, Crime thriller

Merde And Mandarins (Kind Hearts And Martinets #5) by Pete Adams – Book Review


A Defence Secretary shooting. The collapse of the Home Office Secretary. London’s high-ranking civil servants are being targeted, and DCI Jack Austin is drawn out of retirement. 

When his wife is kidnapped, inept savant DCI Austin leads the rescue mission while trying to solve the recent mystery, and discover the motives of the master conspirator.

Racing towards the chaotic conclusion, can he find solace in a welcome retirement, and uncover the supreme Machiavellian plot?




Number 5 in the Kind Hearts And Martinets series.

Jack Austin and Mandy are married, he’s retired and enjoying life in their madcap way.

However, the Banana boys, Keef, Jeremy and Brains, would be gangsters and so hilariously dumb. They are working for a serious criminal who has a plan to kidnap Jack’s beloved wife, Mandy……things are going to get messy.

With senior civil servants, the mandarins, being targeted, the plan being to destabilise the government…but why?

When Mandy is kidnapped, Jack comes out of retirement!

This has its serious moments in a clever, twisty plot, it is utterly hilarious- the randomness of Jack’s habit of mixing up his words and his nicknames for everyone really will have you laughing out loud.

Will Jack and Mandy finally retire? I hope not as I love this odd, mismatched couple and their bizarre, madcap lives.

Thank you to Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review. 



About Pete Adams:


Pete Adams is an architect with a practice in Portsmouth, UK, and from there he has, over forty years, designed and built buildings across England and Wales. Pete took up writing after listening to a radio interview of the writer Michael Connolly whilst driving home from Leeds. A passionate reader, the notion of writing his own novel was compelling, but he had always been told you must have a mind map for the book; Jeez, he could never get that.

Et Voila, Connolly responding to a question, said he never can plan a book, and starts with an idea for chapter one and looks forward to seeing where it would lead. Job done, and that evening Pete started writing and the series, Kind Hearts and Martinets, was on the starting blocks. That was some eight years ago, and hardly a day has passed where Pete has not worked on his writing, and currently, is halfway through his tenth book, has a growing number of short stories, one, critically acclaimed and published by Bloodhound, and has written and illustrated a series of historical nonsense stories called, Whopping Tales.

Pete describes himself as an inveterate daydreamer, and escapes into those dreams by writing crime thrillers with a thoughtful dash of social commentary. He has a writing style shaped by his formative years on an estate that re-housed London families after WWII, and his books have been likened to the writing of Tom Sharpe; his most cherished review, “made me laugh, made me cry, and made me think”.

Pete lives in Southsea with his partner, and Charlie the star-struck Border terrier, the children having flown the coop, and has 3 beautiful granddaughters who will play with him so long as he promises not to be silly.



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