We Have Lost The Pelicans by Paul Mathews

We Have Lost The Pelicans by Paul Mathews

London, 2044. The St James’ Park pelicans have gone missing – the day before the British President unveils the country’s new pelican flag. At the same time, British intelligence uncovers coded messages about possible anti-Government activity. Who are the bird-nappers? What do they want with London’s prized pelicans? And who is behind those secret messages? Britain’s hungriest secret agent, Howie Pond – licence to lunch – reluctantly agrees to try and find out.

Howie’s newshound fiancée, Britt, has a secret mission of her own – to identify the mysterious owner of Windsor Castle. That means calling on the help of her alter ego, Miss Pellie Cann, and her American charms. And to add to the chaos, Howie and Britt are supposed to be getting married tomorrow…

‘We Have Lost The Pelicans’ is the second comedy-thriller novel in the We Have Lost series and carries on from where ‘We Have Lost The President’ left off. It’s packed with the same great humour and exciting action, and a double mystery that will keep you guessing. Meet some old friends and a host of new characters when you take another trip to London, 2044.

We Have Lost The Pelicans is the second outing for Paul Mathews’ hapless secret agent wannabe Howard “Howie” Pond. Some months after the brief disappearance of President Jan Polak and the election of Vice President Zayn Winner, Howie looks forward to carrying on a sedentary life as Presidential spokesman.
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Just when life seems to be calming down for him, head of National Security and Intelligence Service Martha Blake sweeps back into his world with another Code Red situation. Some encrypted e-comms have been intercepted, and seem to imply some suspect activity. Not great news on the eve of the President unveiling his new flag for the Republic.

To make matters worse, the pelicans of St James Park – the symbol of the Republic – have gone missing. Given his contract to work for Martha was a 12 month contract, Howie sees he has no choice but to investigate what is going on. The evidence points to the disgruntled and failed opponent to President Winner being involved in the disappearance of the pelicans. Is she attempting to bring down the President to put herself in the big job?

Meanwhile, Britt is offered an opportunity to move out of the small pod she shares with Howie, and earn herself an incredible pre-wedding gift from the owner of the newspaper she works for, a luxury apartment. At what price? All she needs to do is track down the name of the owner of Windsor Castle, so he can make an offer to buy it.

Doning her persona of American journalist Pellie Cann, Britt sets out to uncover the true identity of Windsor Castle’s mysterious owner, even if that means breaking in. Her investigation ends up with her and a former Presidential staff member in a dangerous situation. Howie’s investigation crosses paths with that of his wife-to-be with the same dangers along the way.

We Have Lost The Pelicans is a brilliant follow-up to We Have Lost The President. It brings the laughs like it’s predecessor, but with a hint more menace. It’s well paced, entertaining and brings mystery, deception and Royal uprising along for the ride, setting things up very nicely for the third book. Something the author does very well is covering the trials Howie goes through in both his private life and in the course of his work, without either one tripping the other up.

My rating:
goodread

Friday Face-Off – 23rd June 2017

Friday Face-Off – 23rd June 2017

Friday Face-Off is an idea originally thought up by Books By Proxy which I stole from the fantastic The Tattooed Book Geek. The idea originally was to compare UK and US covers based on an assigned theme each week and choose the winning cover. I will be twisting it slightly: not specifically US and UK covers, just different editions.

This week’s theme is a cover featuring a gold: “All that is gold does not glitter”.

This week, the world’s greatest secret agent James Bond makes a reappearanceI’ve chosen the classic novel, Goldfinger.

Cover A:

gold1

Cover B:

gold2

Cover C:

gold3

Cover D:

gold4

Cover E:

gold5

Cover F:

gold6

Cover G:

gold7

Cover H:

gold8

Cover I:

gold9

Cover J:

gold10

And the winner is… cover A!

This was a pretty easy pick for me this week. Cover A feels the most like the opening credits of a James Bond film.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week I will be looking for a cover featuring a boat: “The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea, in a beautiful pea green boat…”

We Have Lost The President by Paul Mathews

We Have Lost The President by Paul Mathews

London, 2044. Britain is a Republic. President Jan Polak has vanished overnight from Buckingham Palace, just weeks before an election. Has he been kidnapped? Or even killed? One man is determined to find out – as soon as he’s had his breakfast. His name is Pond. Howie Pond – the President’s official spokesperson and wannabe secret agent. With just a love of James Bond films to guide him, Howie sets out on a mission to solve the missing-President mystery. But with Howie’s journalist girlfriend, Britt, soon onto the story, the race is on to see who gets to the truth first…

This debut comedy-thriller novel from British writer Paul Mathews is packed with sharp humour, great characters, dynamic dialogue and a mystery that will keep you guessing from beginning to end. It will transport you to a low-tech, high-drama, post-revolution Britain of the future. A world where some things, like the complete lack of internet and mobile phone access, are quite different. But other aspects, such as politics and big business, are very much the same.


On the 28th June I will be reviewing Paul Mathews’ third book in his series, entitled We Have Lost the Coffee as part of a blog tour. Before then, I am aiming to read the first and second books in the series. Today I bring you my thoughts on book 1, We Have Lost The President. Having read a fair number of thrillers recently, it was a nice change of pace to try a comedy-thriller. Having read It’s Killing Jerry not too long ago, I was eager to try this debut book from Paul Mathews.
31290976We Have Lost The President takes place in a near-future version of London where the monarchy have taken flight to live out their days in Florida, and the Republic of Britain now operates a presidency. Revolution took place to dethrone the royal family, leading to the change in ruling power. And since then, all has gone well, or at least, it had been until just a short time before a major presidential election, the President goes missing.

The task of finding him falls on the shoulders of Howard “Howie” Pond – 007 fantasist and presidential spokesman. Howie finds himself appointed into a security role to allow him to investigate the disappearance before the press get a sniff of a headline that might have catastrophic effects. Unfortunately for Howie, thinking is journalist girlfriend is asleep, mentions enough to his cat that she realises something is amiss.

While Howie faces a race against time to uncover the mystery surrounding the disappearance of the widely popular President Jan Polak, his girlfriend Britt Pointer faces the same race to uncover the details in time for her groundbreaking news story. The two investigations take very different, though at times equally ludicrous turns as both stop at nothing to uncover the answer. The book culminates with the mystery revealing itself to all involved, and bringing a headline of sorts for the intrepid journalist too, while setting things up nicely ahead of book two.

We Have Lost The President is a wonderfully fun mystery, with plenty of comedic elements to lift the story into something different. The story is well crafted, leading the reader on an enjoyable journey that sets the benchmark for the rest of the series.

My rating:
goodread

Friday Face-Off – 16th June 2017

Friday Face-Off – 16th June 2017

Friday Face-Off is an idea originally thought up by Books By Proxy which I stole from the fantastic The Tattooed Book Geek. The idea originally was to compare UK and US covers based on an assigned theme each week and choose the winning cover. I will be twisting it slightly: not specifically US and UK covers, just different editions.

This week’s theme is a cover featuring a hat: “It is always cruel to laugh at people, of course, although sometimes if they are wearing an ugly hat it is hard to control yourself”.

I have gone with A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess.

Cover A:

hat1

Cover B:

hat2

Cover C:

hat3

Cover D:

hat4

Cover E:

hat5

Cover F:

hat6

Cover G:

hat7

Cover H:

hat8

Cover I:

hat9

Cover J:

hat10

Cover K:

hat11

Cover L:

hat12

And the winner is… cover G!

I haven’t read this or seen the film, but this was the first thing I thought of when it came to something with the theme of a book with a hat. Cover G really intrigued me, I like the dark yet quirky style to it.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week I will be looking for a cover featuring gold: “All that is gold does not glitter”.

Broken Branches by M. Jonathan Lee

Broken Branches by M. Jonathan Lee

‘Family curses don’t exist. Sure, some families seem to suffer more pain than others, but a curse? An actual curse? I don’t think so.’

A family tragedy was the catalyst for Ian Perkins to return to the isolated cottage with his wife and young son. But now they are back, it seems yet more grief might befall the family.

There is still time to act, but that means Ian must face the uncomfortable truth about his past. And in doing so, he must uncover the truth behind the supposed family curse.

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Broken Branches is the first book from a new start-up publisher in the UK, Hideaway Fall. As an aside from the book, I have to say that the publisher have done a fantastic job of getting their name out there. Not only did they approach reviewers like myself to review the book, but they also sent out a series of assorted goodies that loosely tie in to their name and logo. A brilliant effort on their part there!
15780940_1383406025003743_6187096019880036073_nNow, on to the book – Broken Branches. Ian Perkins is sat watching his marriage crumble around him, as his once-vibrant wife withdraws and becomes more and more distant. She sleeps in a spare room, behind lock and key, and barely says a single word to Ian if and when their paths cross.

Having grown up with the story of the family curse leading to an early grave for members of the Perkins family, Ian is certain the curse is to blame for his the strange behaviour in his wife. Having all-but given up on trying to talk to Rachel, Ian absorbs himself in researching the family history between the bright moments in his day when his young son Harry is around.

Strange things begin to occur around the house, adding to Ian’s certainty in the existence of said curse. His obsession becomes all consuming and taking over every waking moment, and the sleeping ones too. A showdown conversation with Rachel forces Ian to confront a tragedy in their recent past and come to terms with their issues.

Broken Branches is a little different to the usual psychological thriller I am used to. A history of tragedies build to a crescendo by the end of the book that lend a dark feel to the story. The unravelling of the family history, and the final revelation make for a refreshing new look on psychological thrillers.

My rating
goodread

Friday Face-Off – 9th June 2017

Friday Face-Off – 9th June 2017

Friday Face-Off is an idea originally thought up by Books By Proxy which I stole from the fantastic The Tattooed Book Geek. The idea originally was to compare UK and US covers based on an assigned theme each week and choose the winning cover. I will be twisting it slightly: not specifically US and UK covers, just different editions.

This week’s theme is a cover featuring a cat: “In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this”.

I have opted for childhood classic The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss for this week.

Cover A:

cat1

Cover B:

cat2

Cover C:

cat3

Cover D:

cat4

Cover E:

cat5

And the winner is… COVER A!

It’s simple, effective and totally Dr Seuss. I love the quirky style of his artwork that matches his stories so well.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week I will be looking for a cover featuring a hat: “It is always cruel to laugh at people, of course, although sometimes if they are wearing an ugly hat it is hard to control yourself”.

Cover Reveal – We Have Lost the Coffee by Paul Mathews

Today I have the pleasure of revealing the cover for Paul Mathews’ new book, We Have Lost the Coffee, book three in the We Have Lost series.

London, 2045. Three months into the Coffee Wars and Britain’s caffeine supplies are at critical levels. Brits are drinking even more tea than usual, keeping a stiff upper lip and praying for an end to it all.

A secret Government coffee stockpile could save the day … but then mysteriously disappears overnight.

One man is asked to unravel the missing-coffee mystery. His name is Pond. Howie Pond. And he’s in desperate need of a triple espresso. Meanwhile, his journalist wife, Britt, is hunting royal fugitive Emma Windsor on the streets of the capital.

Can Howie save the British Republic from caffeine-starved chaos? Will the runaway royal be found? And just what will desperate coffee drinkers do for their next caffeine fix? Find out, in Paul Mathews’ latest comedy-thriller set in the Britain of the future…

We Have Lost the Coffee Cover

As a lover of both coffee and comedy, this book hooked my interest, something a little different from the usual daily “grind”. I will be reviewing We Have Lost the Coffee as part of the blog tour, with my stop coming up on Wednesday 28th June. Hopefully that will be just enough time to read books one and two and see what Paul Mathews has “brewing” before I pick up his latest book.

Pre-order We Have Lost the Coffee now on Kindle ahead of its release on June 28th. Keep an eye out for my review later this month!