Literary Flits · Dec 2, 2019

Gumshoe Blues by Paul D Brazill

Gumshoe Blues by Paul D Brazill
Published in the UK by Close To The Bone on the 28th August 2019.

One of my 2019 New Release Challenge reads, G for my 2019 Alphabet Soup Challenge, and a Book With A Vegetarian Character

How I got this book: Received a review copy via Blackthorn Book Tours
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Following the breakdown of his marriage, in a booze-addled flash of inspiration, Peter Ord decides to become a private investigator. Dark farce and tragicomedy soon ensue. Peter must tackle many challenging cases, and when he comes under the radar of a local crime lord, he may have bitten off more than he can chew. With sidekicks, like boozy hack, Bryn Laden, failure is not an option - it’s compulsory.

Gumshoe Blues is a collection of four linked tales, the eponymous novella length Gumshoe Blues followed by three short stories Mr Kiss And Tell, Who Killed Skippy? and The Lady And The Gimp. In each our worn down private investigator attempts to rake in enough assignments to at least cover his bar tab - with the occasional Pot Noodle thrown in for sustenance - without getting on the wrong side of any of the local crime bosses and gangland hoodlums.

For such a setup, the book has an unusual and deceptively gentle pace. Brazill excells at creating vivid scenes and locations, each one dripping with authentic detail, and maintains a strong sense of threatening unease. I could easily imagine myself alongside Ord in these deprived and forgotten Northern towns. Gumshoe Blues is as much an indictment of the sad state of contemporary England as it is a crime novel. That's not to say that such a grim locale has resulted in a depressing read though - far from it! I love Brazill's dry humour and scathing turns of phrase which contrast well with his eye for an absurd situation. All of his characters have a ring of authenticity to them with even people who only put in the briefest of appearances being utterly believable. Gumshoe Blues wasn't at all what I expected it to be, but I appreciated its unique atmosphere and thoroughly enjoyed the read.

Meet the author
Paul D. Brazill was born in Hartlepool, England and now lives in Bydgoszcz, Poland, where he’s been TEFL teaching for more than a decade.

His books include Last Year’s Man, A Case Of Noir, Guns Of Brixton, Small Time Crimes, and Kill Me Quick. He’s had stories published in various magazines and anthologies, including The Mammoth Book Of Best British Crime 8,10 and 11, and his writing has been translated in Italian, Polish, Finnish, German and Slovenian.

Author Links:
Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

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