Book reviews, LGBTQ, Uncategorised

The Homeless Heart-Throb by Crystal Jeans – Book Review



Alternately hilarious, shocking and sad, Crystal Jeans’ latest novel is set in Cardiff. But perhaps not the Cardiff the urban planners and WAG mavens would use in their shiny advertising campaigns.

Each chapter is narrated by different characters linked by the street on which most of them live and the appearance in them all (to greater or lesser extent) of the title character the alcoholic vagrant who for one of the neighbours is an unusual subject of desire. Set in various homes, streets and parks, and a nearby care home for the demented elderly the story lines are darkly humorous and occasionally rude and crude – up front portrayals of people on the frontline of urban poverty, disenfranchisement, drug culture and unappreciated but essential work lives. Lit up with authentic characters and appealing voices, and the full gamut of human relationships platonic, romantic and sexual this is an unputdownable journey into the underside of contemporary Wales.



Where do I start? This has to be one of the more unique reads I’ve had. Set in a small neighbourhood in Wales,  this is a collection of seemingly separate stories, but each has a link…..The Monsterberry Crush…..a homeless man who is never without alcohol.

There is a death, a woman with a sexual fantasy about the pee soaked Monsterberry, an artist who sits watching her neighbours, a care home for elderly dementia patients and a carer at the end of her tether, a shit soaked adult nappy, a goldfish and a social experiment with jars of rice.

This is full of human interactions in all their glory, eccentric, emotional, completely dysfunctional, grim, gritty and so very funny… real and utterly compelling, this will stay with me for a long time.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book  and this is my honest, unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here





Crystal Jeans was born and brought up in Cardiff. She lived in Bristol before doing first a Creative Writing BA then an MPhil at the University of Glamorgan. She works in a care home, which inspired a collection of poetry about dementia (Mulfran Press). She has been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize (2010), had poetry published by Seren Press, and two short stories published by New Welsh Review.




A heart-warming, occasionally scabrous insight into growing up wild in the 1990s when your family didn’t quite fit in. ‘It’s funny, it’s fiery, it inhabits the voice of

its unforgettable characters … Crystal is a top stylist with a soaring mind.’ New Welsh Review.



a “funny, dark, shocking and warm novel which propels us through a week in its main character’s life and his journey of self-discovery”. Wales Book of the Year judges.

“convincing, moving, funny, flawlessly sustained, and utterly compelling.” Niall Griffiths

Light Switches Are My Kryptonite

ISBN: 9781909983588



 From Wales Book of the Year award winning and Bridport Prize and Polari Prize shortlisted author

 Will appeal to those who love the novels and stories of Niall Griffiths and Rachel Tresize

 Find Crystal at: @crystaljeans1

 Extracts published in New Welsh Review


Book reviews, Cosy mystery, LGBTQ

Careless Whisper by T S Hunter – Book Review




It’s 1986, and Adam Cave, lead singer of sensational pop group Loose Lips, is struggling to stay in the closet, especially as his group is going through a messy split, and media speculation about the reasons behind it are rife.

Joe Stone is assigned to Adam as a runner for the behind-the-scenes, warts and all expose of the recording of the bands last album, and an unlikely friendship begins to form.

But when Adam’s manager, Jack Eddy, is found dead in Adam’s hotel room, in what looks like a sex game gone wrong, Joe turns to his flatmate, Russell, to help him clear the pop star’s name, and keep his secret.

Russell, meanwhile, has a secret of his own. He’s just been for a test, the results of which may change his life forever.




#3 In The Soho Noir series….Don’t you just love the cover?

Set in Soho, London in 1986, a time of crimped hair, Marathon bars and the Bangles….

Joe has said goodbye to his boyfriend, the gorgeous Luc, because he didn’t want to settle down yet…he’s not the ‘pop loving club-bunny’ that Luc called him but neither is he ready for pipe and slippers, so they part.

Joe is a runner now, working for PJ as he is working on an expose of life in the band, Loose Lips….Adam Cave, the lead singer and he has a secret….he’s gay..his manager Jack feels it should be kept from Adam’s adoring teenage girl fans…his band mates, the twins think the same…

But then Jack is found dead, Adam is arrested for murder…..and Joe and Russell begin the investigation….will they find the truth?

A wonderful, cosy crime mystery all set in the 80’s, with its music, fashion, homophobia and the affect AIDS had on so many people…brilliant characters and so atmospheric……I can’t wait to read more of Joe, Russell and the fabulous Patty.

Thank you to RedDog Press for a copy of the ebook. This is my honest and unbiased review.


Book reviews, Cosy mystery, LGBTQ

Death Of An Angel by Derek Farrell – Book Review



A woman is found dead in a London street – the evidence suggests she plummeted to her death from a nearby tower block – but did she fall or was she pushed? And why does she have Danny Bird’s name written on the back of her hand?

So begins this 4th magnificent outing for Danny and the gang from The Marq.

In the frame for a murder he didn’t commit, London’s self-proclaimed Sherlock Homo has no choice but to don his metaphorical deerstalker one more time to prove his innocence and uncover the truth about the tragic death of Cathy Byrne.

With the indomitably louche Lady Caz by his side, Danny plunges headlong into a complex investigation while at the same time trying to be a dutiful son to his increasingly secretive parents, and still find the time to juggle his frustratingly moribund love-life.



This is Book 4 in the Danny Bird series by Derek Farrell and I found it easy to read as a stand-alone.

Danny Bird runs a pub, The Marquess of Queensbury….The Marq, but he also refers to himself as ‘Sherlock Homo’…..his love life is a bit complicated, he’s gay and in a relationship with Nick, while it’s going well, Nick has a wife….so yep, complicated.

It starts with Danny’s family wanting him to find out what’s going on with their parents, both seem upset by something but say all is fine….then he is interviewed by the police as a recent ‘ suicide ‘ victim had his name on her hand and the pubs telephone number in her phone……so he starts looking into this too.

His lawyer Dot, also asks him for a favour, a client has died, another apparent suicide and she asks him to investigate this too….

So there are so many seemingly different stories, but just how are they linked??

I loved the characters in this, Danny and Nick, Lady Caz and her booze and the relationships they all have, such a close group of friends and family….I felt I knew them all by the end. A clever, funny, twisty crime thriller that’s an entertaining and intriguing read.

Thank you to Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.


About Derek Farrell:



Derek Farrell is the author of the Danny Bird Mysteries, ‘Death of a Diva,’ ‘Death of a Nobody’ ‘Death of a Devil,’ and ‘Death of an Angel.’

He was educated in Dublin, and, whilst waiting to become a writer of fabulous crime novels has passed his time being a burger dresser, bank cashier, David Bowie’s paperboy, and an Investment Banker in New York’s World Trade Centre (a bit like The Wolf of Wall Street, only with fewer hookers and more midgets, since you ask).

He is married and divides his time between London, West Sussex and Dublin.

Derek loves to hear from his readers, and can be contacted via Twitter: @derekifarrell or at his sparkly new website

His books can be purchased as paperbacks or ebooks direct from the publisher Fahrenheit Press at:

Or from Amazon:

Death of a Diva

Death of a Nobody

Death of a Devil

Death of an Angel

Death of a Diva is also available as a deluxe edition Hardback limited to only 50 Copies worldwide. 


Social Media:




Amazon Author Page:

Purchase Links:

Fahrenheit Press:

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:

Publishing Information:

Published by Fahrenheit Press in paperback and eBook formats on 27th February 2019.




Book reviews, Cosy mystery, LGBTQ

Murder On The Rocks by J.S. Strange – Book Review



Murder on the Rocks (Jordan Jenner Mysteries Book 1) by J.S. Strange

When PI Jordan Jenner returns to work following the death of his mother, his first case involves a murdered writer…

James Fairview has been killed. As a member of a prestigious writing group hosted by bestselling author Joseph Gordon in the heart of Cardiff, Jordan not only has to cope with solving the mystery, but also deal with press attention.

As Jordan investigates, he discovers his mother’s death may not have been so simple. And when another writer is murdered, Jordan realises the killer could strike again…

A murdered writer, a mysterious death, and a group with jealousy at its heart, this is Jenner’s toughest case yet.

A cosy murder mystery with a gay male detective, Murder on the Rocks is the first in the Jordan Jenner Mysteries series. If you’re a fan of classic whodunits you will love this!

A perfect read for those looking for Welsh crime fiction.


Set in Wales, this is the first in a series featuring Jordan Jenner.

Jordan has been off work on compassionate leave after the death of his mother,  and has just returned to work as a private investigator.

The police have asked for his help when a member of the author, Joseph Gordon’s writing group is murdered, poisoned!

Jordan is told he may be more involved than he realises……and when he finds an old photo of Joseph Gordon and the murder victim, he sees his mother in the picture….

When his father says he thinks Annabelle may have been murdered…..he tries to find out more about the deaths and what was the link between Jordan’s mother and Joseph Gordon?

An interesting and engaging, cosy mystery with enough twists to keep you guessing, there’s also a budding romance between Jordan and Lloyd and of course Jordan’s lovely cat Oscar. I’ll be looking out for more in this series.

Thank you to Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

About J.S. Strange:


J.S. Strange is an author from Wales, United Kingdom. He writes crime, mystery and horror. His first novels, published in 2016 and 2017, were set in an apocalyptic London. Murder on the Rocks, is the first in a cozy crime mystery series, featuring a leading gay male detective.

Murder on the Rocks was written by Strange for many reasons. One of those reasons was a lack of representation within the crime genre, particularly with detectives and sleuths. Strange created Jordan Jenner, a private investigator, who lives and works in Cardiff. Murder on the Rocks was written with the intention of shining light on Cardiff, and bringing Cardiff, and furthermore, Wales, into the crime genre.

Strange’s previous works, such as ‘Winter Smith: London Burning’, also explored LGBT themes, and featured socialite Winter Smith escaping a zombie apocalypse. ‘London’s Burning’ became an Amazon best-seller in LGBT fiction.

When Strange doesn’t write, he works in television. He also presents a radio show all about the paranormal. He has an enthusiasm for Britney Spears and cats.



Social Media:

Twitter: @JackSamStrange




Amazon Author Page:

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:


Publishing Information:

Published in paperback and ebook format by Panther Publishing on 1st March 2019.



Book reviews, Crime thriller, LGBTQ

Tainted Love by T S Hunter – Book Review and #Giveaway



It’s 1985, and Joe Stone is excited to be joining his old school friend, and lifelong crush, Chris, for a long weekend in London’s Soho—home to a vibrant, developing gay scene, and a million miles from the small town Joe and Chris grew up in.

When Chris is found brutally murdered, the police write his death off as another rent boy fallen foul of a bad hook up. But Joe knows his best friend was killed deliberately, and joins forces with former police detective, Russell Dixon—Chris’s flatmate—to find out why.

Spiralling debt, illicit sex, blackmail, spurned lovers and hard-nosed gangsters all play their part, but who among the celebrities, fashionistas, drag queens, ex-lovers and so-called friends is Chris’s killer?

A noirish whodunit set in 1980s London, with all the big hair, electro-pop, shoulder pads, police discrimination and lethal killers that the era had to offer.





This is set in 1980’s Soho, London in the gay club scene with music from Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Soft Cell et al. 

Joe is visiting London to see his friend, Chris, who he has been besotted with since school. He’s good looking, confident and runs a fashion label with his business partner Gavin..

On a lively, fun night out Joe meets Luc a beautiful Frenchman and for the first time in his life he feels happy…..BUT….he sees Chris argue with Patty and the Lizard….(local gangster Tony.).

After a night of glorious passion with Luc, Joe heads back to Chris’ flat only to find him dead in a pool of blood. The police arrive, but due to the homophobia of Detective Skinner……they realise nothing will be done….it’s just another dead rent boy !!.

So, Joe and Russell, Chris’ housemate and ex-Police officer,  decide to investigate themselves….they find bad debts, a gangster, an MP, blackmail and love and passion in amongst discrimination and homophobia in this brilliant, vibrant novella.

I loved the writing by TS Hunter, it evokes the feel of London in the 80’s, the music and the atmosphere of Soho…with its neon lights (and clothing !)…in this cosy mystery…..with a distinct noir touch. 🌈🌈🌈

My thanks to Red Dog Press for the opportunity to read this and a free copy of the book and promotional materials. This is my honest and unbiased review 



We have put together a RaffleCopter Prize Giveaway of a Signed Copy of Tainted Love, a fabulous “Go Away I’m Reading” tote bag, a rainbow button badge, and some chocolate.


About the Author:

Claiming to be only half-Welsh, T.S. Hunter lived in South Wales for much of his latter teens, moving to London as soon as confidence and finances allowed. He never looked back.

He has variously been a teacher, a cocktail waiter, a podium dancer and a removal man, but his passion for writing has been the only constant.

He’s a confident and engaging speaker and guest, who is as passionate about writing and storytelling as he is about promoting mainstream LGBT fiction.

He now lives with his husband in the country, and is active on social media as @TSHunter5.



About the series:

The Soho Noir series is set in the decade of big hair, shoulder pads, pastel suits and bright, cheesy pop, in a part of London which, on the surface at least, seemed to accept and adore people from all walks of life—a melting pot of gender, sexuality, colour and race, where celebrities rubbed up against the average Joe in cafes, bars and hair salons on every street.

But the 1980s had a darker underbelly, even in Soho. This was a time when gay rights were hard fought, where the police actively targeted gay men as easy victims for arrest and extortion, the government deliberately restricted gay rights and the tabloids screamed about The Gay Plague—the AIDS epidemic. And yet, gay icons who would go on to endure lasting fame and success were springing up all over the pop and fashion world.

The 1980s forms a strangely fitting, sometimes nostalgic, always entertaining backdrop to this colourful series of cozy crime stories.

Noirish, sexy and delicious.