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Paul Blezard - Editorial Expert

Multi award winning broadcaster, poet, author and literary commentator, Paul Blezard has for over twenty years spoken to, written about and worked with many of the world’s finest authors, poets, thinkers and writers.

On radio or television, international literary festival stages and as a critic, judge and editor, he profoundly believes in the transformative power of a good story well told. Paul Blezard is Festival Director of The LoveReading LitFest.

Latest Reviews By Paul Blezard

The Killing Hills
Ok, so, whaddya know about Eastern Kentucky?  Perhaps you spent some of lockdowns 1, 2 and 3 bingeing on the “Justified” box sets? Maybe you have the footstamping brilliance of the Ruby Friedman Orchestra as she sings “ In the deep, dark, hills of Eastern Kentucky, that’s the place where I trace my bloodline…” ringing in your ears? Or maybe you know of Chris Offutt and his superb storytelling?  Either way, whether through the close communities of Harlan County and their interactions with the US Marshal Service on screen or through Chris’s acclaimed ... View Full Review
1922 Scenes from a Turbulent Year
Nick Rennison has quite the résumé as man of letters. Variously a writer, editor and bookseller, he has reviewed for the Sunday Times, The Daily Mail and BBC History Magazine, penned half a dozen anthologies of short stories, written two crime novels and three non-fiction titles and otherwise exercised his particular interest in the Victorian era. With his latest work he delves into more recent history and takes us on a month by month tour of the events that defined this tumultuous year, bookended by the notorious ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle scandal in January and ending with ... View Full Review
The Rabbit Factor
It has been 15 years since award-winning Finnish copywriter Tuomainen launched his career as an author and in that time he has delighted readers and critics with 6 books that have seen him hailed by The Times as “the funniest writer in Europe,” and “the King of Helsinki Noir” by the Finnish press. It’s hard to really capture and express just how brilliant this man’s writing is, but imagine, if you will, Ian Rankin’s gift for crime thrillers channelled through the skew-wiff comic genius of Christopher Brookmyre, or to put it another ... View Full Review
Cold as Hell
Anyone who has charted the progress of “Scandi Noir” and “Nordic Noir” will be aware that Iceland has inherited the cold crown of crime through the writing of Yrsa Sigurdardóttir, Ragnar Jón, Arnaldur Indridason and, of course, multi award winning, critically acclaimed and hugely bestselling Lilja Sigurdardóttir. Her well deserved success comes from an enviable ability to create truly credible, compelling situations, with such engaging characters and a strong sense of place that readers are drawn into her worlds from the opening line, and Cold as Hell marks a new ... View Full Review
When your debut novel receives an avalanche of accolades and is shortlisted for the Polari First Novel prize and the Guardian “Not The Booker Prize”, there must be some pressure for a writer as they embark on that “difficult second novel.” West Camel has spent the intervening years meeting that challenge handsomely for Fall is a beautifully conceived contemporary tale of twin-sibling rivalry between Aaron, skinny, grey haired, final resident of Marlowe Tower on the Deptford Strand Estate, designed by their architect Mother, Zöe, and his property developer brother, Clive, whose plans to turn ... View Full Review
Peeing is Relieving
Followers of Robert Eddison on social media (Twitter - @roberteddison1) will know that he is the undisputed master of the contemporary, pithy, one liner, with over 29,000 original aperçus on 150 different subjects to his name and tens of thousands of followers across his various platforms. In Peeing is Relieving he reveals a huge talent and endearing fascination for the quirks and power of language and also displays a playful, light hearted, world view that, while it occasionally toes the line of decency, never actually steps over it. There are chuckles aplenty  - and some rather lovely illustrations - ... View Full Review
A Three Dog Problem
OK let’s be clear, Her Majesty, the Queen, does not investigate. At least, not as far as we know. Bennett is very clear about this. She explains on her website and elsewhere, that this book, together with The Windsor Knot, the first in what is now a wonderful series, are works of fiction. They are made up for our reading pleasure. But. What if Her Majesty did? As Bennett has written, “If the Queen wanted to, she would make a great detective, with access to any expert she wants and a deep understanding of her world of ... View Full Review
See How They Run
Jeff Hoon served as a Cabinet Minister for ten years in the Governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, holding office as Defence Secretary during British Military Operations in Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and Iraq, as Leader of the House, Secretary of State for Transport, Government Chief Whip and two terms as Minister for Europe. For eighteen years he was also the Member of Ashfield and represented Derbyshire in the European Parliament for ten years. In See How They Run, he gives a fulsome, and refreshingly frank account of his rise from a railway family in Long Eaton near Derby (his ... View Full Review
Over My Dead Body
In an age of publishing that is obsessed with sales figures, Archer’s writing statistics, 275 million copies published in 97 countries, are not only hugely impressive and utterly enviable but more importantly, hard earned and thoroughly deserved. They are the incontestable evidence that he is a supremely gifted storyteller, whose talent for narrative and character has been honed and applied many times over in the crafting of fully immersive stories that delight his armies of readers, and Over My Dead Body, is no exception. In this fourth outing for Detective Chief Inspector William Warwick (not including his appearance in the ... View Full Review
A Memory for Murder
Readers of Anne Holt will know that she spent two years working for the Oslo Police Department, founded her own law firm and rose to serve as Norway’s Minister of Justice, before publishing books that have sold over 10 million copies in 30 languages. That she knows of what she writes is therefore in no doubt. What the above facts don’t tell you however, is that she is a supremely talented storyteller, who has the ability to weave page-turning tales that meld plot and procedure, suspense and revelation and, as Val McDermid put it, “… reveal how ... View Full Review
When Harry Met Minnie
You will know Martha’s name for her insightful and trustworthy reporting on the run up to the Iraq war, the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, the life and death of Nelson Mandela and so much more, for CBS News and as a contributor on CBS Sunday Morning, in a journalistic career that has won her 10 Emmys and 5 James Beard Foundation Awards.  What you may not know is that Martha has been a committed, long term owner of Bull Terriers, the egg-headed, pointy-eared dogs that are full of playful, eccentric character and who, when they don’... View Full Review
Four Dervishes
Four Dervishes draws on a long tradition of storytelling as it skewers issues like religious bigotry, injustice, the denial of women’s rights, and class division. Lavishly inventive, verbally rich, an exotic confection, this novel is both darkly thematic and humorously playful. The LoveReading LitFest invited Hammad Rind to the festival to talk about Four Dervishes.  The digitally native, all year round, online literature and books festival, with new content released every week is a free-for-all-users festival. What are you waiting for? Check out a preview of the event and sign up to become a member.    View Full Review