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Our new humour section is filled with books with elements of humour. Books that will make you laugh, chortle and chuckle as you read.
Jackson Brodie has relocated to a quiet seaside village in North Yorkshire, in the occasional company of his recalcitrant teenage son Nathan and ageing Labrador Dido, both at the discretion of his former partner Julia. It's a picturesque setting, but there's something darker lurking behind the scenes. Jackson's current job, gathering proof of an unfaithful husband for his suspicious wife, seems straightforward, but a chance encounter with a desperate man on a crumbling cliff leads him into a sinister network-and back into the path of someone from his past. Old secrets and new lies intersect in this breathtaking new literary crime novel, both sharply funny and achingly sad, by one of the most dazzling and surprising writers at work today.
This is such a beautifully handled startling wow of a read, it has gone straight in to sit as a LoveReading Star Book. Spend a week with Majella as the routine of her life changes, she just wants to go to work, watch Dallas, and eat the same dinner each night. However… her mother is an alcoholic, her dad disappeared in the Troubles, and her gran has just died. The synopsis tells you that Majella is autistic, but this is her story, and she doesn’t know she is, so I met, I saw, I got to know Majella, as Majella. The extensive list of things she isn’t keen on are announced as the story progresses. The humour Michelle Gallen delivers is punchy, the swearing is particularly sweary, while the heartachy emotion wormed its way into my heart and squeezed. In fact Majella marched her way into my thoughts, she is one of the most wonderful characters I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, and I’d go so far as to say that she is unforgettable. The repetition of her life, echoed through the book, adding emphasis to each new experience. The surrounding town and its folk slipped and exploded into play while the chip shop sits centre stage. Simple and raw yet richly complex, Big Girl, Small Town comes with huge applause and recommendations from me.
A wonderful, decidedly different, and rather charming mystery heralding bygone days. This is the seventh in a series, however, can easily be read as a stand-alone novel. Having said that I entered with no prior knowledge, finished the first chapter, and then immediately read it again… ahah! The characters are cats, living their lives as humans do, with Hettie and Tilly running their detective agency and taking on a case involving a number of murdering spirits who are haunting the local psychic. It works, just as The Wind in the Willows does, you just have to believe. Set in the era of Agatha Christie (or should I say Agatha Crispy), their lives centre on food, glorious food, and they travel around in the sidecar belonging to a marvellous motorcycle called Miss Scarlett. Beyond the Gravy has been written with a lovely light touch and is an entertaining oh so readable tale, it made me smile inside and out.
Most definitely sitting on the quirky side of life (and Mars), this is an amusing and mind-bending read. The robots who look down on humanity are determined to end the human rebellion that started on Earth. This is Battlestar Suburbia: Volume Two, if you’ve not read the first in the series you might want to start at the beginning. However, I joined here and felt perfectly comfortable with the Dolestars council estates circling earth and Pam the sentient bread-maker. This is an absolutely fascinating premise from Chris McCrudden, the machines aren’t quite as you may have imagined them. There is no Terminator style human robot on offer (unless you count the human who was pinched for use as a cyborg), instead lamps, photocopiers, and a particularly evil smartphone lead the machine charge. In today’s climate, the utter disdain felt by some of the machines for humanity all feels rather relevant. Battle Beyond the Dolestars is different, a little geeky, and lots of fun, oh, just as a note of warning, you may never look at your lamp in the same way again!
Bad Days in Broadacre is a melodrama with dramatic twists that you won’t be expecting. When Bill moves his family to New England, America in order to work on a new screen-writing project, he would never have predicted what was going to happen. This book doesn’t just focus on Bill and his family, we begin with an insight into a more sinister character and lean more about the townspeople of Broadacre along the way. The author has done a brilliant job creating a town right out of a soap opera, with lots of quirky characters, people keeping secrets, murders and civil disputes with the Broadacre Historical Society to keep the reader interested and entertained if not slightly beguiled about where exactly the plot is headed. I was slightly confused as the book started out, as the synopsis states that Bad Days in Broadacre would follow Bill, A struggling screenwriter recently moved to the USA, however he isn’t the first person we meet, which I found a bit disorientating. I understand that the author wouldn’t want to give too much away, but I think it would be a good idea for the synopsis to be tweaked slightly to reflect the book's wider focus on the town, as well as Bill and his family. As I have said, there are a lot of dramatic turns of events throughout the plot which I found entertaining. This is a plot that requires you to suspend your disbelief and revel in the chaos. I found that the book came together nicely at the end, and all of the questions I had were answered by the final page.
Alice is turning thirty and is stuck in a rut. Her friends are all coupling up and settling down, while she's still working as a temp, trying (and failing) not to shag her terrible ex, getting thrown out of clubs, and accidentally sexting her boss... She decides to throw caution to the wind and jets off on a round-the-world adventure to #FindTheFun and find herself. Of course, she's no more likely to find the answer to true happiness on the beach in Thailand than she is at the electric beach in Tooting, but at least in Thailand there's paddleboard yoga. Can Alice find happiness on her travels? Or is she more likely to lose herself all over again...?
Warm, enticing, and hugely enjoyable, ‘A Summer Scandal’ is a perfect summery read to take a moment for yourself and relax into. Oh what a joy of read this was, deliciously entertaining and just so easy to just sink into and become a part of. 25 year old vintage costumer Violet follows her heart after receiving an inheritance and moves to Swallow Beach to breathe life back into an abandoned pier. Meeting resistance from some locals, she also finds friends, including the rather lovely Calvin. Kat French has a wonderfully light touch, crafting entertaining, welcoming books with a beautiful heartbeat. I loved getting to know Violet, discovering her background, and what made her tick. The romance is heavenly but not the be all and end all, Violet’s family, friends and the exquisite pier ensures even more meaning and satisfaction. Warm, enticing and hugely enjoyable, ‘A Summer Scandal’ is a perfect summery read.
Murder, mystery, and mayhem abound in this amusing action-packed read. I missed out on Volume One, ‘The Truth About Archie and Pye’ and though I would suggest starting at the beginning, I was still able to enjoy this mad caper of a story without feeling as though I had been left behind. This may be a mathematical mystery series with mentions of coding and bitcoins to be found (eeek) but I think I coped rather well as someone who finds maths, shall we say, challenging! Tom Winscombe narrates this story, he is trying to locate his girlfriend, stolen computers, lots and lots of answers, oh, and a snake! Tom usually wanders or jogs into the centre of trouble, dead bodies have a habit of turning up at the same time he does, and in terms of ability, just imagine the opposite of James Bond! Jonathan Pinnock writes with dash and verve, creating interesting characters and plenty of eyebrow raising situations. ‘A Question of Trust’ is an entertaining read, it is beautifully easy to fall into and really enjoyable.
Read our 'Book-aneers of the Caribbean' listicle to find more unforgettable books by Caribbean writers.
Frustrated by a dead end job, fed up with renting in London and the loathsome daily commute and, to cap it all, failing to make it as a stand-up comedian, Tommy Barnes was at breaking point. But he didn’t break - instead he made himself redundant and took off to France with girlfriend Rose to pursue his dream of brewing beer.
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