New humorous crime novel – Spitting Image

Now for something a little different and entirely self-promotional. If you like humorous crime / mystery fiction, please take a look at my book Spitting Image  on Amazon. It features, among other things, Miami, Key West, cigars, a Jaguar E-type, cats, more cigars, a goldfish–and of course murder, mystery and mayhem.

Here’s the run-down:

 SOME PEOPLE WON’T GO TO PARADISE UNLESS YOU PAY THEM.

Simone Darling has an empty bank account, a boring boyfriend, and an irrational fear of Miami, capital of vice and crime. No way will she set foot in Florida, not even to visit her mother. But when her mother offers her a quick job for a lot of $$$$, she relents and to travels to Florida, her boyfriend Kevin in tow.

First stop: Miami. All seems normal—until Simone finds a dead man inside her mother’s fridge. A man who could be Kevin’s twin. Too late she realizes she has walked into a trap where Kevin is the bait. And now troubles follow hard and fast, and so do the questions:

Who is after Kevin?

Where can she acquire hard-core weapons?

Has her mother turned into a gangster’s moll?

And are the two handsome FBI agents really what they seem?

Newly armed and dangerous, Simone and Kevin embark on a hilarious adventure from Miami to Key West as they try to outwit a gang of drug smugglers and FBI agents, while trying to rekindle their passion for each other and survive a family reunion marked by murder and mayhem.

If you like it, tell your friends (or write a review). If you don’t, tell me (and I’ll try to make the next one better). Thanks!

You can get it here:  Spitting Image

The Angels’ Share by Laurence Shames (Quickie Book Review)

When one of your favorite authors suddenly stops writing, you naturally assume something calamitous has happened. So you trawl the Internet for information–only to be confronted with the stark reality that, though alive and kicking, said author has simply hung up his novelist’s hat until further notice, and all because he moved from Key West to California.

Fair enough, everyone’s entitled to pause in their tracks and rethink life as they know it. Nevertheless, you, the reader, feel bereft. At least, I did.

But Laurence Shames fans can now rejoice. He has at long last published a new novel: The Angels’ Share.

But it’s not what you might expect. It’s not a Key West book; in fact, it doesn’t even mention Key West. And there is not a single mafioso to be had. Instead of taking up where he left off, Shames has written a love story, or rather, three love stories that take place in Santa Barbara wine country and–brace yourselves–in the afterworld. And it has angels in it. Angels who descend to earth and meddle in the affairs of still-living humans. But it is not what might come to mind with a romance involving angels. It is not soppy, and it’s not twee. For one, Shames doesn’t do soppy and twee. As always, his style is elegant, sensitive, and smart, with an underlying dry humor that suits the story perfectly.

The plot is simple: Darcy’s father, a philandering cheat, dies on the operating table and goes to the afterworld. There, he meets his still-resentful ex-wife. Despite her frosty welcome, they find a common ground in their concern for their daughter’s happiness. Before long they start interfering in her budding romance with Paul, a wine maker. But love is not for mortals only. Up in the afterworld, Darcy’s parents confront old regrets, lost opportunities, and the potential of love everlasting. The third love story involves two musicians who met and parted too young and spent the last fifty years on earth pining for one another. That’s basically it, albeit in a very small nutshell.

There are no cliffhangers here. But you don’t need them, or even want them, because this novel is not about the plot. It is about feelings and understanding that may come too late, about redemption, forgiveness, hope, and the strength to follow your heart–all good stuff. And Shames writes in such an engaging style that you’ll want to finish it in one sitting, and you don’t mind at all that it ends the way you thought and hoped it would end. In short, The Angels’ Share is a sweet, philosophical novel told with sensitivity and sense, and if you’ve enjoyed Shames’ previous novels, you won’t be disappointed with this one.

Short grumble: I just wish he had written it sooner!

Oh, and it’s only available as an e-book on Amazon. It looks like Shames has joined the growing band of indies.

See http://www.laurenceshames.com

David Gaughran

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