The Hitman and the Thief by Richard Dee

The Hitman and the Thief by Richard Dee

Assassination can be a messy business, especially if you’re having a bad day.

Dan Jones is the ultimate problem solver, the hitman for crime boss Fliss Bauer.

Fliss has a rival, Dan is told to arrange her demise. It’s just another job; until a random event means that it all goes horribly wrong.

To save his skin, Dan is forced to try again, only this time he has to work with a partner. He doesn’t want to but it’s the only chance he’s going to get; if he wants to put things right.

Can the hitman and the thief get the job done this time, more importantly, can they keep each other alive?

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the author.

I’ve known Richard Dee now for some time now having reviewed all of his current Andorra Pett cozy-crime sci-fi novels. I’ve yet to try his steampunk novels but they are firmly on my radar. We spoke recently about an upcoming space-based novel, something very different from the Andorra Pett series, and so I came to read an early draft of The Hitman and the Thief.
THM^0TTProfessional “problem solver” and hitman Dan Jones is tasked with the biggest job he could imagine – carrying out a hit for crime boss Fliss Bauer. A hit on one her biggest rivals. It also represented a chance to prove he still had what it took to occupy such a critical role in the Bauer industry. Dan planned the hit as meticulously as ever. He knew all his options – his entries and exits, where to stash a gun, how to get around the premises. But a chance encounter with a small time thief threw a spanner in the works, leading to the ultimate failure of the mission.

In a last ditch opportunity, Dan must now work with this thief, a person he has no desire to work with, in a bit to finally take down their mark. Can the two work together and make a success of the job? And more importantly is his new partner trustworthy? I found this to be a really great read. I found myself rooting for Dan all the way through. He seemed a genuine character, trying to do the best job he can. Dee has crafted a narrative littered with plot twists making for a page turning story with a dark mystery at its core.

While it had its light moments, this was a decidedly different direction when compared with his cozy space mystery series. The sci-fi elements were well done without overriding the narrative thread. The Hitman and the Thief made for a page turning read, that I couldn’t wait for the next opportunity to pick up where I left off. Not too often do I have the chance to read a book that I am actively looking for the next spare moment to dip back into. This is definitely a book to keep an eye out for, when it is due to release later this year.

My rating:
goodread

An Interview with Richard Dee

An Interview with Richard Dee

It’s been a long time since I last shared a new edition of my An Interview With… series where I interview authors so we can all get to know the person behind the pages. Today I am bringing it back, hoping to make it a slightly more regular feature than it has been. I’m going to keep them pretty simple – there will be ten questions, the first five will be weird and wonderful ice breakers. The next five will be delving into the work of the author.

With the formalities out of the way, let’s get into this edition of An Interview With…! Today’s author is someone I have worked with now for quite some time, when he first requested a review of his cozy sci-fi mystery Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Cafe. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of reading the two follow up books – Andorra Pett on Mars and Andorra Pett and her Sister. I am looking forward to the fourth book that he is working on. I am currently reading one of his most recent sci-fi novels, The Hitman and the Thief due out later this year. Aside from writing he has also become a brilliant supporter of myself as I work on my own first novel. Without further ado, it’s time to welcome Mister Richard Dee!

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Books and Beyond Reviews: Thanks for joining me here on Books and Beyond Reviews for an interview, Richard! Here’s your first ice breaker. If you were a wrestler what would be your entrance theme song?

Richard Dee: After 62 years, including the 1960s and 70s; I would need to walk a long way to get all the significant songs in. If I had to choose one, and I’ve agonised over the choice for ages, it would have to be Go your own Way, from the album Rumours, by Fleetwood Mac.

BaBR: What is your favourite magical or mythological animal?

RD: That would be the Dragon, there are so many variations in the way they are represented, in a way we have made them as complex as we are. I had to introduce my own species in my Steampunk novels, calling them Drogans. They are very different from the ones you see in Game of Thrones.

BaBR: Which fictional family would you most like to be a member of?

RD: A few of my acquaintances would suggest the Addams family!!! I would prefer to be part of a family of explorers, like the Swiss Family Robinson or even the family inspired by that book, the Robinsons of Lost in Space. Failing that the Famous Five or the Pevensie’s (of Narnia) would do at a pinch.

BaBR: If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you choose to be and why?

RD: A black Labrador. Having owned, rescued and puppy walked them for Guide dogs, I feel like I know their personalities. They are eternally happy, just how we should all be.

BaBR: One last ice breaker before we move on to your books. If you could see one movie again for the first time, what would it be and why?

RD: The first Star Wars film, which I saw in New York in 1977. For one very simple reason. It showed us a sci-fi future that wasn’t perfect. Up to then, the future had been shown as a better now, where everything was clean and shiny. Star Wars changed all that. The technology was old, used, encrusted with dirt. Sometimes it didn’t work. It was a more relatable future, similar to the present with some new inventions. It changed the way I thought about Science Fiction.

BaBR: With novels written in both the sci-fi and steampunk genres, do you have a personal favourite?

RD: My favourite is whatever I’m writing at the time. Coming from a background in world-wide trade, I have a soft spot for my interplanetary trader Dave Travise and his life. Having worked for an Insurance company, I love writing about corporate misdeeds and conspiracies. And the Victorian era fascinates me so much, with its spirit of innovation and infinite possibilities. Put them (and other inspirations) altogether and I’m happy to create a story in whatever setting. What you have to remember is that, as we move out into the galaxy, we will take all our emotional baggage with us. The same tales will play out, only the setting will be different.

BaBR: Having had a rather varied career path yourself, has this in any way informed the characters in your Andorra Pett series where the leads assume a variety of roles themselves?

RD: I think it must have, although I never realised it at the time, I must have been storing up all the experiences in my mind, ready to adapt them and send them out into a new setting. Being on a ship in the 1970s was like going into space in a way, you were cut off from the world for weeks at a time and visited strange places. Plus, being isolated in a small group, you had to learn to be a jack of all trades. In the same way, the people of the future, colonising a new world, will have to be the same sort of people.

BaBR: Are any of your characters based upon yourself or people close to you?

RD: Andorra Pett is based on my wife and three daughters. Which parts of her relate to which person is up to them to work out. And others are taken from my career at sea, which introduced me to such a wide range of personalities.

BaBR: Do you have clear plots in mind when you start your books or do you start with a base idea and build from there?

RD: I have an idea, it might be prompted from an overheard remark in a coffee shop, or a fact that I’ve discovered on the internet. After that, I just start typing, watching a film in my head of what happens next. I let the characters control the action and just type what I see. In that way, I never know what will happen next. I get to the end at the same time as the reader will, so I share their emotions all the way through the book.

BaBR: As a first time author, I have found the support and advice from other authors has been invaluable in the process of writing my first book. If you could only give an aspiring author one single piece of advice, what would that be?

RD: I have been helped so much, by so many people that I’ll never meet. I try to pay it forward as much as I can. Another author once told me, the best thing to do is just WRITE, as much as you can, as often as you can. It’s the only way to develop your style. Not only that, you can’t edit a blank page. Connected to that, make sure that you get a good editor. You can save money everywhere else, by doing your own covers etc. but you only get one chance to make a first impression. Have your work properly edited, a typo on page one is not the way to go. I guess that’s two things, never mind.

BaBR: Thanks so much for taking some time to share your thoughts with us, Richard. Now’s your chance to promote your current book and any links readers can use to connect with you and your work.

RD: My latest release is a Steampunk adventure, set in a place which is not unlike Victorian England. There’s a mad scientist bent on world domination and a motley band set against him. Featuring the latest devices powered by steam and clockwork, The Sensaurum and the Lexis is, according to one advance reader, “definitely a page-turner where the mundane world as we know it, has been turned quite solidly on its head and presented from a delicious new viewpoint.”

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Blurb

Is Jackson Thwaite ready to discover the secret of Makewright Orphanage?

Although he doesn’t know it, he has been selected to be part of something vital to the land of his birth.

Norlandia is a country under threat, as never before. The old heroes are but a memory, while evil forces gather, seeking power.  They are armed with the latest devices that perverted science has devised. Control of Norlandia and everyone in it is their ultimate aim.

Who will stand in their way?

Under the command of the mysterious Mortimer Langdon, all that stands between civilisation and anarchy are Jackson and the rest of The Orphan Detectives.

You can find The novel at mybook.to/The_Sensaurum

 

My links

If you’d like to know more about my writing, my website is richarddeescifi.co.uk. Head over there to see what I get up to, click the FREE STUFF tab or the My Novels and Short Stories tab to get all the details about my work and pick up a free short story. Why not join my newsletter and get a free short story, unavailable anywhere else.

I’m on Facebook at RichardDeeAuthor  and Twitter at Richard Dee Sci-Fi

My Amazon author page is here.  

My Goodreads page is here.

 

Andorra Pett and her Sister by Richard Dee

Andorra Pett and her Sister by Richard Dee

“When a sister hates you, that really is the end of the world.”

Andorra Pett is back for another adventure, and this time it’s personal!

Trouble seems to follow Andorra Pett, wherever she is in the Solar System.

Andorra Pett hasn’t seen her sister for a while, they never really got on; there was a falling out and they drifted apart.
Out of the blue, Andorra gets a call while on a business trip to London. As if she hasn’t got enough to deal with, it turns out that her sister’s in trouble, big trouble.
There are allegations of drug-smuggling and money laundering, it’s so unlike the staid, respectable life that she remembers her sister leading.
How can she be involved in things like that? And why isn’t her husband, Simon, sorting it all out for her? Could he be part of the problem?
The police have decided that she’s guilty, Andorra is her only hope of avoiding prison. Against her better judgement and without her friend Cy to help her; Andorra starts to investigate.
All she has to do is work out what’s really going on.

At the end of the day; family comes first.

I purchased a copy of this book for my personal reading.

Andorra Pett – space station café owner, scooper pilot and sometimes super sleuth – returns for another adventure. Andorra finds herself on Earth to sort out her ex, Trevor’s affairs following his grisly murder at the hands of a mobster on Mars.
48281875._SY475_Intending this to only be a brief stay to finalise affairs before returning to the space station orbiting Saturn and the comfort of partner Derek. Unfortunately, as ever, trouble manages to find her in the form of her estranged sister Tia. When she is arrested for smuggling through importers and money laundering she calls the only person she can for help – younger sister Andorra.

Suspecting from the start that something is amiss, not least Tia lacking the sense to pull off such a crime, Andorra cannot help but be drawn in to solve the mystery and see that justice is served. Smugglers, corrupt police and a chance run in with Clive – an old face from her first ever mystery – make for high jinks aplenty. He is found running what he claims to be an official Oort Cloud Café tribute bar complete with sleazy Andorra lookalike waitresses and slanderous tales of fictitious romances assuming Andorra will never hear of it way back in space.

Once again Richard Dee has delivered a wonderfully funny murder mystery with a cast of characters new and old to entertain readers. The mystery becomes farcical as it twists and turns to a conclusion. Andorra sees herself in her share of trouble and tight spots all in the pursuit of clearing Tia’s name. This third instalment of the Andorra Pett series is a wonderful addition and only  makes me long for book four in 2020 that much more.

My rating:
goodread

Andorra Pett on Mars by Richard Dee

Andorra Pett on Mars by Richard Dee

Andorra Pett has left the Oort Cloud Café; she’s back on Mars, a place she vowed she’d never visit again.

She’s gone back for her friend Maisie’s funeral. Everyone thinks it was suicide but the more she learns, the less sure she is. Things don’t add up and she realises that the whole story doesn’t make sense. Something else is going on and the questions soon multiply.

Why would Maisie kill herself if she’d just had good news? Why is Andi being followed? What was the mystery bequest? When she begins to find the clues that Maisie has left for her, it becomes a race against time. Andi must work out what’s going on and hope that she can get out alive.

What could possibly go wrong?

I purchased a copy of this book for my personal reading.

Andorra Pett returns for more hijinx bringing her brand of drama and action down from the space station orbiting Saturn to the red dusty plains of Mars. Leaving her cafe, her life with new-squeeze Derek for the funeral of a best friend from years gone by. But nothing, as usual for Andi, is as it seems. A suicide that seems suspicious, hidden ill-gotten gains in the canyons of Mars, her ex Trevor up to no good and two different groups of mobsters on her tail, this would not turn out to be a quiet visit for Andorra and her best friend Cy.
39892131Unsurprisingly Andi and Cy find themselves limping from one dramatic situation to another from the moment Trevor shows up on the station to seek her help down on the red planet. From the very start trouble follows her in the form of personal shadows from two mob gangs and the police and the constant suspicion that Maisie didn’t take her own life and that nothing Trevor says seems to be entirely truthful.

Once again Richard Dee has crafted an entertaining, light-hearted story that brings twists and turns throughout. It was a wonderfully warm and cozy feeling returning to a cast of familiar characters in Andi and Cy, getting to properly see Trevor who was only really referenced in the first Andorra Pett book, alongside cameos from Maz and Derek. A new supporting cast also bring something fresh to Andorra Pett on Mars, while the book retains its style that firmly ties in to the first book.

In need of a book I could pick up and find myself instantly enthralled with, I turned to this and it very much lived up to my expectations. The story moved quickly yet never once did it feel rushed. The menace was always there but did nothing to overpower the lightness that now feels like the style of Dee and his Andorra Pett books. Considering I work full time I ploughed through this book in a matter of four days from start to finish and immediately wanted more. Luckily I will only have to wait until later this year for the third book in this fantastic and fun series of books.

My rating:
goodread

Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Cafe by Richard Dee

Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Cafe by Richard Dee

Meet Andorra Pett; with her trusty sidekick, she’s taken over a derelict cafe. On a mining station. It just happens to be orbiting Saturn! She’s hoping for a fresh start, away from all the drama of her old life. It’s a chance to relax and start again in a place where nobody knows anything about her or her past.

But the cafe holds a secret, and secrets have a habit of coming out; whether you want them to or not. And being accident prone doesn’t help. The more you try to pretend that you know what’s going on, the worse it gets.

Andorra’s plans for peace and quiet get lost amid the revelations and skulduggery and she soon realises that the fate of the whole station lies in her hapless hands.

In space, you can still trip over your feet; the question is, will you land upright?

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

From the off this book caught my eye. The cover intrigued me with a very 1950s Americana style to it which I love. The book itself didn’t let me down either. Having read the synopsis for the first installment of the Andorra Pet series I was looking forward to a mystery read with a bit of a lighthearted slant.

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The story follows our protagonist, Andorra Pett, having fled her cheating ex on Earth and ending up on a mining space station orbiting Saturn. Andorra and her best friend and business partner, having left their clothing shop in London behind them, take on the cafe on the station in an attempt to make a new life for themselves.

It seems even in space Andorra cannot avoid drama. Her dreams for a new life of peace and quiet are scuppered when she discovers the body of the previous owner taking an eternal sleep in the cafe freezer. From here things only get stranger and stranger for Andorra and Cy. Twists and turns abound as the duo meet friends and foes in equal measure.

Richard Dee has crafted a fantastic crime mystery, but rather than being typically bleak, Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Cafe is filled with humour. The mystery winds its way around a well-crafted setting with an unexpected resolution. A series of almost-comical characters help create an entertaining world including genius twins, the confident Andorra and an almost mob boss-like villain. These all help contribute to the thrills and spills Andorra and Cy find themselves in. There are clearly more adventures awaiting Andorra that I cannot wait to read.

My rating:
goodread