Celebrating Authors and Actors By Lou – Today the #Article is on @RobertDaws #CelebratingAuthorsSeries #CrimeFiction @HobeckBooks #PartnersInCrime #Podcast #Theatre #TalkWriteUp #BookReviews

Celebrating Authors and Actors
Robert Daws
By Louise (Lou)

Today I have chosen Robert Daws as part of my series of celebrating authors and actors works, as part of the lead up to my blog turning 5 years old in September 2023. Follow down and discover the article and short reviews, as well as links to full reviews where you will also find the blurb for books, a radio play, a podcast and more…

Robert Daws is notable for both acting and being an author. A very talented, kind and generous man to those (including me), who meet him. He is notable for starring on tv for such sitcoms and dramas like Outside Edge, Roger, Roger, The Royal, Midsummer Murders, Sicknote, New Tricks, Death In Paradise, Agatha Raisin, Sister Boniface Mysteries and more… and films such as Swimming With Men. He is also an accomplished stage actor with a great stage presence in the likes of Ten Times Table, Wodehouse in Wonderland and more… He has also done radio plays, most notably with Duncan Preston (Surgical Spirit, Dinner Ladies and more…), such as crime drama – Truman and Riley.

In books, he shows a passion for Gibraltar, where his crime fiction is set. I feel you get to know Gibraltar very well through his main detectives- Broderick and Sullivan. The books are darker and twistier than you might expect.  There are 3 so far – The Rock, Poisoned Rock, Killing Rock. There is also a novella Echo Rock.
He has also attended book festivals and gives a marvellous talk. You will find a link to a write up of a talk he gave with his friend and fellow actor – Hugh Fraser – notable for playing Captain Hastings  Poirot and more and also writing crime thrillers with his protagonist – Rina Walker. 
When not acting, he is also one half of the podcast – Partners In Crime  with Adam Croft.
I’ve had the great pleasure of reviewing books by Robert Daws and writing an introduction blog post when he was the first author to have his books re-published by Hobeck Books and are the popular books that helped launch this Indy publisher; then subsequently to have decided to review
the podcast and more… You will find links to these below as well as a festival talk write up. I’ve started with the books and finished with the talk.
There is something about his works, whether in the written or spoken word that makes them memorable.
Now, without further ado, onto the no spoiler reviews and please do click the links that will give you blurbs and a bit more information in reviews/blog posts I have previously published over these past few years.

The Rock is the first of the Sullivan and Broderick Murder Mysteries. The writing in all of the books is captivating and by the second and third book, Robert Daws has truly nailed it, hitting the 5 stars, with the first being 4 stars. The Rock is excellent for setting the scene and is where you first meet the team – Calbot, Sullivan and Broderick and Sullivan, Chief Superintendent C.S. Harriet Massetti and PC Bryant. You find out why Sullivan is on secondment in Gibraltar and discover a murder on a yacht.

Poisoned Rock contains murder, offshore accounts, secrets and jeopardy. There is also the glamour of a film crew, but there are twists and turns as there is more than meets the eye with even the mere creation of the film. There are more to the characters than first presumed as the intrigue builds and bit by bit all is revealed.

I have a link here that encompasses both of these books. The Rock and Poisoned hRock

Killing Rock is darker and twistier, possibly the best yet in its clever construction. It covers themes such as second chances and against the odds when much is stacked against you.
This time readers also travel to Spain. There is a mysterious letter, ghosts from the past to confront and a twisty murder mystery to solve.

Here is the link to the full review: Killing Rock

is a link to an overview of when Robert Daws was the first author to join Hobeck Books.

Echo Rock is a stand-alone novella with Sullivan and Broderick. It’s a rather compelling ghostly crime fiction story that takes place in a tunnel that runs through Gibraltar.

Find out more and full review in this link: Echo Rock

To culminate this section, before moving onto other works, below is a link to an article I created when Robert Daws was the first author to join indie publisher – Hobeck Books. Many more authors have followed suit and joined.
Exciting Crime Fiction Article

Trueman & Riley is a crime drama play in short episodes, originally on BBC radio and now on Audible, where I discovered it and listened to during lockdown. It was written by Brian B. Thompson, whom many would know, of a certain youngish age, from creating tv series Byker Grove (teen drama set around a youth club with gritty storylines and known for launching the careers of the likes of Ant and Dec).
Trueman and Riley are 2 police detectives played by Robert Daws and Duncan Preston. There is much humour in their working relationship as well as some humour within some of the crimes, but also has a sharp edge as important issues are dealt with, bringing the series into some grittiness. It’s really worth listening to, with each episode bringing a different crime, complete in itself (note, you only need to download this compelling series once to have all the episodes. I’ve a few links that contain quick no spoiler reviews the episodes

Trueman & Riley Episodes 1 – 5 Trueman & Riley Episodes 6 – 10

Trueman and Riley – Episodes 11-14

Robert Daws is currently on a UK tour with Wodehouse in Wonderland, (5 stars) a one man play taking in P.G. Wodehouse, famous for his creation of Jeeves and Wooster, shown in books, theatre, tv.

Wodehouse in Wonderland is based on the life and works of P.G. Wodehouse. In amongst the entertainment, this tells a fascinating story, all performed by Robert Daws. It is humorous with a few serious moments. It is well-layered and is fascinating.
The construction of the script is excellent like this and the delivery is top notch and of the highest calibre. I’ve seen a few one man shows before and Robert Daws is up there with the best of them. It’s a real skill to be able to go solo and hold an audience in the palm of your hand and keep their attention focused on you. Robert Daws pulls it off with aplomb as he takes your through recognisable works of P.G. Wodehouse, such as Blandings and more, as well as his day to day life. He walks you through by bursts of song with dulcet tones (he has a fabulous singing voice) and spoken word.

I, however, not long before lockdown and there were stirrings of the pandemic no one knew much about and everywhere was open, there was another humorous play, called Ten Times Table. If anyone has ever sat on a board or wants an inkling of it, this, if it tours again, is the play for you. It is about a committee in a village who are trying to set up an event about the Pendleton Witches. The different personalities really come through of the sorts of people you may find on a Committee or Board. There are humorous discussions and wranglings as they try and reach, what is supposed to be a common goal. Find the link here TenTimes Table

When not filming or on stage, Robert Daws is a Partner In Crime with author Adam Croft (successful author of every crime genre you can get). It takes the premise of them talking all things crime from the latest books to tv dramas in this genre, all in a convivial manner, that’s just easy to relax into. There’s also often some humour and a warmth to be had between these two friends, as well as a warmth and care, projected onto their listening audience.
Note that when Robert Daws is away, there’s often a stand-in, such as Adrian Hobart from Hobeck Books – home of crime or Adam Croft has occasionally hosted it himself, so you don’t need to worry about it being irregular days and times. Find out more details in this link: Partners In Crime

When I first started my blog and it was only a few days old, with 2 pieces of writing about Bloody Scotland in it, I boldly travelled down to Morecambe for the Morecambe and Vice Crime Festival. Hugh Fraser and I had arranged to meet up and what a wonderful and amazing time that was, that’s still special to me today as was that meeting and further ones with Robert Daws.

At this time, it was the first time I had ever communicated with Robert Daws. I’d arrived the day before as it was quite a distance and decided to make myself useful and try writing up the festival, whilst I bided my time to meet up with Hugh Fraser as arranged (I had a lot to thank him for and that’s another story).
So, one of the talks I wrote up was one between Hugh Fraser and Robert Daws. It was an entertaining talk as well as very insightful about writing, their characters and certain things they agreed upon. You can find the entire write-up here.
Showcasing Robert Daws and Hugh Fraser Article


#Article #CelebratingAuthorsSeries By Lou #CelebratingAuthor Erica James @TheEricaJames @HQstories #bookish #ReadingCommunity #WritingCommunity #blogger

Celebrating Erica James
By Louise (Lou)

As part of my blog in 2023 until it reaches 5 years old in September, I will be celebrating an author or publisher every so often. Join me as I celebrate works of Erica James. Beyond, just a small number of the over 20 books she has successfully had published is a short intro and then 2 featured books with links to the full reviews, and a write up of one of the talks she gave virtually.

Erica James has successfully had over 20 books published and are bestsellers and many are Sunday Times Bestsellers and even won awards. She also has a podcast which can be accessed via her Website  which includes sections on her books and a candid part about being a writer. When Erica James is no writing, she has other passions, such as her garden. Here is a link to more about her in a candid talk she gave online that I wrote up: Event Write Up
I have had the privilege of reading and reviewing 2 of her books since starting my blog, but actually I’d read a few prior to writing a blog and enjoyed them, such as A Breath of Fresh Air, The Real Katie Lavender, The Hidden Cottage and Swallow Tail Summer to name but a few. After a few years of writing my blog, I got the opportunity to review Letters of The Past and Mothers and Daughters. There will be a new book published this year too called A Secret Garden Affair


Letters From the Past is an intriguing book where secrets are uncovered in the 1960s from the late 1930’s into the 1940’s.
The book delves into the RAF and Bletchley Park and then some of the glamour of the 1960’s as well as the times when there was a deal with Australia for UK citizens to move there.

There are great characters to get to know and a wonderful mix of historical facts amongst the captivating fictional story.

Discover the blurb and review- Letters From The Past

Mothers and Daughters has warmth and wit as well as some pretty dark themes. It is an intriguing and gripping as family secrets are uncovered. The dynamics of the characters brings a depth that makes it compelling to read on and on as you get to know them very well…

Discover the blurb and full review – Mothers and Daughters

Coming in 2023 – A Secret Garden Affair

#TheatreReview by Lou – A Cold Supper Behind Harrods @OriginalTheatre #DavidMorley #PhilipFranks #DavidJason #StephanieCole #AntonLesser #TheatrePlay

A Cold Supper Behind Harrods
By David Morley
Directed by Philip Franks
An Original Theatre Production

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Innovative, Dramatic and wonderfully acted – I highly recommend A Cold Supper Behind Harrods. If you eer see this for a theatre near you or ever online again, I recommend you see it. When I saw this was going to be online, I just knew I had to buy a ticket and I wasn’t disappointed.
Here you can delve into the synopsis and further into the play and why it is so interesting, and I don’t just mean the plot…


Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Fifty years after the war that brought them together, three Special Operations Executive agents meet to record interviews for a television documentary.

As Leo, Vera and John wait to be interviewed in a beautiful English garden, drinking tea and doing the crossword, pleasantries give way to deeper darker subjects. A web of self-deception, lies and guilt begins to emerge. Only when all three are about to leave for London in a taxi, for “a cold supper behind Harrods” does the disturbing truth emerge.

 David Morley’s heart-stopping play stars national treasure and 4-time BAFTA Award-winner David JasonStephanie Cole and Anton Lesser with Saffron Coomber and Lucy Doyle

Produced by the award-winning Original Theatre Company, whose recent successes include hit online productions of Birdsong and The Haunting of Alice Bowles and stage productions including the five-star revival of Alan Bennett’s The Habit of Art.


a-cold-supper-behind-harrodsThis was unusual and yet very interesting. The play was online and yet not just live, but in a theatre and those online were the audience. Cast came on with their scripts, but there was, amazingly, actual scenery and haunting imagery, that shown wonderful technical skill.

It started with conversation between the writer and director and ended with Q&A session that the online audience could participate in, with the 3 main actors involved in this.

What was fascinating was, because in a sense, it was done in quite a raw fashion, as a hybrid of theatre and radio play in a way, it allowed people to see even more of a purity in the inner workings of how actors work as they came on with their scripts. It wasn’t quite a reading, it was more than that and was fully acted out. There were some stumbles, but with so little time to rehearse, this seasoned cast did remarkably well and those moments really did not matter. It added something quite refreshing and the play just kept carrying on. This was just because instead of weeks of rehearsal, they had a day or two. So, no mean feat! There was a bit of a sense of comaraderie amongst them, which is heartwarming. All of the cast, but especially David Jason, Stephanie Cole and Anton Lesser were amazing and it was so good and exciting to see them on stage in a play.

The plot itself was intriguing. We all hear about war heroes or those that started wars, but rarely, to almost never hear of those who weren’t war heroes, but those, in that gap in history, as it were, who seem like ordinary men in wartimes, doing something that later comes back to haunt them. That’s what this play shows with great thought and consideration. David Jason’s character is convincingly a figment of the author’s clever imagination. Stephanie Cole’s and Anton Lesser’s characters were based on real people. Stephanie Coomber and Lucy Doyle were excellent supporting cast, but nevertheless, with important parts.

The play took its twists and turns into their personalities and lives and bit by bit, like droplets of water that get bigger and bigger, the web of lies comes out, until its pouring with deceipt about what had happened to a woman during the war. The technology to portray this woman every so often was expertly done, just enough to show her and depict the memory of her still lingering, still haunting. It all ends in a terrific crescendo and “revenge is best served cold”. When it does come to its conclusion, it may well stay, grasping you and swirling round your mind after it has finished.

If you ever see this play at a theatre, I highly recommend it. I hope that one day this and other plays from The Original Theatre Company tour to each nation in the UK. They are producing some stunning theatre. This performance was online from the Oxford Playhouse Theatre.

All The Lonely People by Mike Gayle #VirtualEvent #Writeup by Lou #HodderBooks #Fiction

All The Lonely People
By Mike Gayle
Available Now in Paperback

I attended a lovely Paperback Publication Day Event of All The Lonely People and had such fun, I thought I’d write a bit about it. Find the blurb of All The Lonely People below. It has been given a new cover and is a vibrant, sunny yellow. Congratulations to Mike Gayle on his RNA news!

Mike Gayle does a number of Facebook events and they are worth looking out for if you want a relaxing, entertaining evening. Although on Facebook they are a real interactive event. He reads many messages out and chats directly to people, as though in conversation with his audience.
Throughout the conversation, he sets the diverse topics to chat about as the events go on… last night it was awards, Netflix/TV, books and he even sings happy birthday to people. It’s a jovial chat that you can easily just go with the flow with. I’ve been to a couple of his events and always had fun!

Mike Gayle then did a lovely reading of All The Lonely People with all the accents of his characters to great aplomb and with much fun!
All The Lonely People is available in Hardback, Paperback, Audiobook, E-Book. Now in the UK.
All The Lonely People is published in the USA in the summer.


All The Lonely People Paperback

‘A heartwarming story about the power of community and human connection. Hubert Bird stole my heart’ Beth O’Leary, author of The Flat-Share and The Switch

Hubert Bird is not alone in being alone.
He just needs to realise it.

In weekly phone calls to his daughter in Australia, widower Hubert Bird paints a picture of the perfect retirement, packed with fun, friendship and fulfilment.

But Hubert Bird is lying.

The truth is day after day drags by without him seeing a single soul.

Until, that is, he receives some good news – good news that in one way turns out to be the worst news ever, news that will force him out again, into a world he has long since turned his back on.

Now Hubert faces a seemingly impossible task: to make his real life resemble his fake life before the truth comes out.
Along the way Hubert stumbles across a second chance at love, renews a cherished friendship and finds himself roped into an audacious community scheme that seeks to end loneliness once and for all . . .

Life is certainly beginning to happen to Hubert Bird. But with the origin of his earlier isolation always lurking in the shadows will he ever get to live the life he’s pretended to have for so long?

From bestselling author Mike Gayle, All the Lonely People is by turns a funny and moving meditation on love, race, old age and friendship that will not only charm and uplift, but also remind you of the power of ordinary people to make an extraordinary difference.

‘Timely and poignant…Mike Gayle’s writing is beautiful and engaging and All the Lonely People is both heartbreaking and uplifting, devastating and thought-provoking. It is the kind of book you will want to press into the hands of everyone you know and tell them to read immediately’ Heat

‘This poignant book flits between the present day and Hubert’s early life as one of the Windrush generation. Heartbreaking, yet also uplifting and thought-provoking’ i Paper

All The Lonely People Paperback All The Lonely People Hardback

#Review by Lou of Love In The Wood – 5 stars for the entertaining play (still available) by William Wycherley, Directed by Hermione Guiliford @hermy1G @JSTheatre #theatre #TheShowMustGoOn #YouTube

  Love In A Wood
By William Wycherley
Rated: 5 stars *****

Love In A Wood is a great night in! There is humour, intrigue, romance and jealousy in this entertaining play with a terrific cast from stage and TV. It premiered on Sunday 31st January and is available for a week. Find out more below in the plot and then my review. Throughout, you can also find the link.

Love In The Wood is a  free online reading of a 1671 comedy by William Wycherley (The Country Wife), conceived and directed by Hermione Gulliford, is performed in aid of Equity Charitable Trust, supporting industry professionals in need of urgent assistance. There is an opton to donate on Just Giving.

Discover more about it in the plot and then you will come across my full review.

You Tube Link: Love In A Wood

Love In A Wood


Lady Flippant wants a husband, while pretending not to, with her eyes on Dapperwit. Sir Simon Addleplot’s looking for a wife with a fortune, eying up Mrs Martha. Valentine only has eyes for Christina, but is jealous of everyone. Ranger has his eye on anyone, playing fast with his love, Lydia. And Vincent only has eyes on anyone if it’s in the dark. The night is young, and never has there been a better time for frolics and fun in the wood. —————- LOVE IN A WOOD By William Wycherley Directed by Hermione Gulliford STARRING Jo Stone-Fewings as Mr Ranger James Anderson as Mr Vincent  Danny Sapani as Mr Valentine Ian Gelder as Alderman Gripe Nicholas Le Prevost as Sir Simon Addleplot Paul Chahidi as Mr Dapperwit Christopher Chung as Mrs Crossbite’s landlord, a waiter & servant Nancy Carroll as Christina Lorna Brown as Lydia Linda Bassett as Lady Flippant Ellie Fanyinka as Mrs Martha Debbie Chazen as Mrs Joiner  Hermione Gulliford as Mrs Crossbite Shaofan Wilson as Miss Lucy May Walker as Isabel Jules Melvin as Leonore   Stage Managed by Lou Ballard Edited by Daniel Morley-Fletcher.

You Tube Link: Love In A Wood


Love In A Wood is a delightfully entertaining play in 5 Acts with a 15 minute interval. There is also a lovely surprise from the cast during part of that time.

You get a wonderful feel for who the characters are at the start to read about and then the cast come on. It clearly and ingeniously states character names as people come on and the setting for each act and scene.

It’s brilliant and witty and technically it works well with what they’ve got. It’s a wonderful script and one which I was not familiar of, but that’s one of the beauties of the arts. There are opportunities to explore something different.
The cast speak as though they were in character and on a stage. The characterisation of the households is sublimely played out.
You cleverly only see each character at the time you need to ie not all at once, which works so well and seems theatrical, even on screen. The timing from them all is perfect in all aspects, from comedic timing to when they appear on screen, to passing on coins. It would be no mean feat, but is expertly done and is so well directed by Hermione Guilliford.

Acts in St. James Park, has some lovely sound effects to suggest so. There are occasionally some props and inventive ways to create scenery and costume – pretty impressive for such times. The timely period music is used to great effect between scenes.

There’s some gossip and passing on information and some scandal to be had, which has some intrigue to see what happens next. Throughout they are able to create some changes of atmosphere from humour, to a bit of seriousness and trepidation to more comedy and the energy given, even in a reading is brilliant!

It is above all, such an enjoyable, entertaining Restoration Play that is well worth a look.

You Tube Link: Love In A Wood

Love In A Wood

The Deal by Jonathan Whitelaw @urbanebooks @JDWhitelaw13 @HoneyandStag @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

The Deal
By Jonathan Whitelaw

Blog Blitz

The Deal Poster 2

Today I am so very pleased to share with you – The Deal by Jonathan Whitelaw, a book perfect for Halloween, thanks to an invitation by Kelly Lacey at Love Books Group for this 1 special day. This isn’t just any ordinary book. This book is for a charitable cause – The Samaritans, which I think is amazing and lovely. What is incredibly exciting is the interview links into one he did for Honey and Stag Literary Events on You Tube.
The book is a short, entertaining read and the cause is fabulous, plus you get time to relax a little and enter someone else’s world and get to the end as it is a novella and help such a worthy charity.
The interview lasts just 30 mins. It is so fascinating to find out about the book and why The Samaritans will benefit.

Please don’t find yourself alone. Samaritans are there to help 24/7 all year round. You can call them for free on 116123  The website is http://www.samaritans.org and you can find them across all social media too.

Now onto the book. Please enjoy a moment to yourself to discover about the author, the blurb and finally, the terrific interview, the buy link.

About The Author

The Deal authorJonathan Whitelaw is an author, journalist and broadcaster.

After working on the frontline of Scottish politics, he moved into journalism. Subjects he has covered have varied from breaking news, the arts, culture and sport to fashion, music and even radioactive waste – with everything in between.

He’s also a regular reviewer and talking head on shows for the BBC and STV.

HellCorp, from Urbane Publications, is his second novel following his debut, Morbid Relations.

The Deal pic


Following the sinful shenanigans of Hellcorp and The Man in the Dark, the hellishly handsome Devil turns his attention to the most frightening of all holidays … Halloween.

onathan Whitelaw has written a unique, one-off special tale starring Ol’ Nick himself – and set in the wild Wild West. After lending a hand to a down-on-his-luck prospector, The Devil returns thirty years later to collect his debt – but as ever when The Devil is involved, nothing ever goes to plan.

A prequel to the bestselling HellCorp, this enthralling and very funny tale is the perfect read for Halloween and fans of Ben Aaronovitch, Christopher Fowler and Benedict Jacka.

All proceeds from every sale of The Deal will be donated to Samaritans.

Interview with Jonathan Whitelaw


Buy Link 


The Deal poster