I’m not usually into crime fiction but I thought I’d give these a try as I’m a big fan of J.K. Rowling (who isn’t?). In case you didn’t know, after the release of the first Cormoron Strike novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling, Galbraith’s real identity of J.K. Rowling was leaked.
J.K. Rowling was awarded substantial damages for the breach from the solicitors that revealed her true identity. Rowling donated the damages, along with the royalties from The Cuckoo’s Calling to The Soldiers’ Charity, a cause that would be close to the main character, Cormoran Strike’s heart.
The Cormoran Strike novels are made up of three crime fiction stories following a private detective and his assistant Robin Ellacott.
The Main Characters
Strike is a private detective and a war veteran. He was an SIB investigator but was discharged after he lost the bottom half of a leg in an explosion in Afghanistan. His mother, who died of a heroin overdose, was a ‘super groupie’ of Jonny Rokeby, Strike’s father. Strike has little to do with his dad though. As a former boxer in the army, he has a large physical presence and what is described as ‘pube like’ hair. He likes his tea the colour of creosote and is partial to a pint of Doom Bar.
Robin is originally from Yorkshire but now lives in London with her accountant Fiancé, Matthew Cunliffe. Robin dropped out of university, for reasons that become clear in the third book, and at the start of the series is working for a temp agency. She was delighted to be placed at Strike’s private detective office and proved herself to be clever, resourceful and pleasant to be around. She is attractive with strawberry blond hair. Her Yorkshire accent becomes more pronounced in times of tension.
Book #1 – The Cuckoo’s Calling
Strike is living in his office after breaking up with his attractive fiancé. He owes money and doesn’t have enough clients to pay the bills or find somewhere to live.
Robin is euphoric after accepting Matthew’s proposal to get married and even more so when the temp agency send her to work at a detective agency, something she’s always longed to do.
The adopted brother of renowned model Luna Landry hires Strike to investigate her supposed suicide. Strike is reluctant to take it on and is sceptical about the brother’s claims but he needs the money—to pay the agency for Robin’s time if nothing else.
Robin proves herself to be invaluable around the office and Strike continues her employment after the week is up, paying her what he can afford. Her fiancé Matthew wants her to stop working for Strike and get a better paid job.
The more Strike looks into Lula Landry’s death the more suspicious the circumstances seem. With Robin’s help he gets his life back into some order while tracking down the killer.
Book #2 – The Silkworm
After solving the Landry case, business has picked up and Strike is hired to find a missing writer Owen Quine. The manuscript Quine was apparently most recently working on ends with him being killed in the same gruesome way in which the writer is eventually found to have been murdered. The novel also attacks Quine’s editor, agent, wife and many others giving us lots of people with motives to kill.
Strike and his assistant Robin’s relationship becomes strained as she feels undervalued in her role. Robin’s fiancé Matthew dislikes Strike (a feeling that is mutual) and this doesn’t help. Strike wants to give Robin more responsibility but is concerned that Matthew won’t like it and he doesn’t want to ruin her relationship.
Together they identify the killer and Strike enrols Robin on an investigative training course as a gift.
Book #3 – Career of Evil
Robin is now working with Strike as an investigator. As Strike had foreseen, this puts strain on her relationship with Matthew, who she is due to marry soon.
Robin receives a woman’s severed leg through the post. The clues lead Strike to believe it was from someone holding a grudge against him.
As Strike and Robin investigate the four main suspects, we find out more about both of their pasts. Robin also finds out Matthew cheated on her whilst at university.
While the pair are tracking down the suspects, the killer strikes twice more and has his eyes on Robin.
The police warn the private investigators to keep away from the suspects and out of the case but Robin takes matters into her own hands to expose a child molester. Strike has no option but to fire Robin. He knows who the killer is now but has to prove it alone.
These books are hard to put down with gripping plots and characters you just want to find out more about. Five stars from me.
Charlie’s World of Glittering Powers is to be showcased in the forthcoming Winter 2015/16 Collection for The People’s Book Prize. It can be voted for between 1st December 2015 and 28th February 2016. Please visit their website: http://www.peoplesbookprize.com/
Back cover blurb:
Charlie – A Snuffle-Buzzer whose sneezes are glittered with adventure!
A French pine forest is home to Charlie, an allergy-prone Snuffle-Buzzer. Longing for adventure-filled travel and desperate to outwit those pesky sneezes, Charlie is in need of glittering powers.
Fascinated by an old violet book, a nature-loving Cornish girl called Sevi is determined to unravel its secrets. A connection to Charlie’s pine forest sets in motion a mystical journey of adventure from pinecones to pasties!
Will the Mistral wind blow glittering powers your way?
Charlie’s World of Glittering Powers is split between the forests and vineyards of Provence and a bustling Cornish fishing village. The tale follows Charlie, a rare breed allergy-prone cigale (aka a Snuffle-Buzzer). Charlie is talkative, inquisitive, and daydreams of adventure-filled travel.
Sevi, a nature-loving Cornish girl yearns to unravel the mystery that is hidden within the pages of an old winegrower’s violet book. While on holiday with her parents in Provence, she soon finds that the forest and its inhabitants aren’t as quiet as she initially thought…
Before long, one single golden sparkle sets in motion a mystical turn of events, which lead Charlie and Sevi to embark upon a thrilling adventure.
The perfect book for children aged 8 and over, Charlie’s World of Glittering Powers evokes the innocence and wonder of childhood. The story explores nature through a magical storyline.
PUBLISHED 28th November 2015 – Matador Books (Troubador Publishing)
£7.99 (paperback) ISBN 9781784624736
£1.99 (ebook) EISBN 9781784626327
BIC subject category: Fantasy & magical realism (Children’s/YA)
Book length: 144 pages
The cover illustration is by Leo Hartas, illustrator of the Tweenies books for BBC Worldwide, Haunted Castle and The Apartment Book, to name a few.
After thirty years in challenging and rewarding careers in administration, education and pathology, Tracy now expresses her passion for wildlife and the countryside through her writing and photography.
Now living in Provence and having adored Cornwall since her first visit to relatives as a young child, Tracy decided to incorporate both locations in Charlie’s World of Glittering Powers, thereby forming the perfect backdrop for this mystical children’s tale.
Social Media & Email:
Media: Tracy has a pre-record interview with Talk Radio Europe in December
A beautiful front cover illustration heralds a story of some standing, and you won’t be disappointed. I would hazard a guess that lovers of H Potter Esq., might be particularly interested in this one…
NetGalley review by Angie Blackstone
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
An adorable tale that I didn’t want to end. Full of magic and whimsy, this would fit right in in any child’s bookshelf. I would love to read more of Charlie and his world!
Troubador customer review by Christine
Charlie’s World of Glittering Powers is a magical book that is beautifully written and literally transports you to both Cornwall and France. Full of magical adventure. Strongly recommend!
Charlie’s World of Glittering Powers by Tracy Rawles is a fantastic must have stocking filler of a book that is going to go down a real treat with young children of eight and over, their parents and their grandparents, too!
There are powers to be discovered, mysteries to be solved and joys to be had for both Sevi and Charlie in this charming and exciting book.
Charlie’s World of Glittering Powers is available for purchase worldwide. Trade orders are available through Orca Book Services, Bertrams Books and Gardners. In addition to the chain retailers listed below please don’t forget your local independent bookshops.
We all know Dumbledore was an intellectual and powerful wizard. He became known to us for being Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry during Harry Potter’s education and had an Order of Merlin (first class) and the title of Grand Sorcerer.
Dumbledore also served as Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards, and Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot. However, he was also mad as a balloon!
Even the pompous prefect Percy Weasley admits it: “He’s a genius! Best wizard in the world! But he is a bit mad, yes.”
Here are ten of my favourite slightly bizarre Dumbledore quotes which of course were all penned by the brilliant J.K. Rowling:
“Scars can come in handy. I have one myself above my left knee that is a perfect map of the London Underground.” (Philosopher’s Stone)
“Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts! Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!” (Philosopher’s Stone)
“The truth is a beautiful and terrible thing and should therefore be treated with great caution.” (Philosopher’s Stone)
“My brain surprises even me sometimes.” (Philosopher’s Stone)
“Alas! Earwax!” (Philosopher’s Stone)
“Hopefully your heads are all a little fuller than they were; you have a whole summer ahead to get them nice and empty before next years starts.” (Philosopher’s Stone)
“I do love knitting patterns”. (Half Blood Prince)
“Don’t count your owls before they are delivered.” (Half Blood Prince)
“I may be as woefully wrong as Humphrey Belcher, who believed the time was right for a cheese cauldron.” (Half Blood Prince)
“It is a long time since my last visit. I must say, your agapanthus are flourishing.” (Half Blood Prince)
Writers are often asked where they get their inspiration for stories from. So here’s my attempt at explaining the inspiration behind The Charm.
I get inspiration and ideas for stories from many places—TV, books, snippets of conversation overheard on a train. I’m often drawn to the unusual or unexplained concepts, or at least things that are unexplained to me! The inspiration behind writing my YA novella The Charm came from watching celebrity mind magicians on TV.
TV shows have highlighted how amazing the power of the mind can be. In Derren Brown’s Fear and Faith special he set up a fake pharmaceutical company. The company claimed to have developed a drug called Rumyodin that could eradicate fear. And guess what? People taking the drug overcame their fears. But of course the drug was a placebo and at the end Derren revealed ‘rumyodin’ was an anagram for ‘your mind’. The participants had believed so strongly in the drug that it actually worked. Without realising it they had used the power of their own minds to overcome their fears.
Then there is Dynamo who amongst many other amazing things, can do things like making it impossible for people to pull their own hands apart, or making himself unliftable, even to heavy weight boxer, David Haye. Had Dynamo made himself unliftable, or had he made David think he was unliftable? Whichever way it showed how remarkable the mind can be if you know how to harness it.
So the mind is a very clever thing and some people seem to have mastered the art of seemingly controlling other peoples. Hypnotherapy has helped many people reduce their anxiety, overcome their fears, and break their bad habits. This is great but what if someone decided to use mind control for evil? What if someone used it for their own advantage? What if someone had a beef against the world and wanted revenge? What if those in power used it to control the people?
If you had an extraordinary power what would you do?
This blog was first seen on Kerry Hearts YA blogspot.
Buy The Charm on Amazon here: http://hyperurl.co/2ad8h0
Don’t have a Kindle? If you have a smart phone or tablet you can still enjoy The Charm. The Kindle app is free in the apple and android stores.
Insurgent is out in the cinemas and I can’t wait to see it. But will it live up to the fantastic book by Veronica Roth? I’m sure it will be good. I thought the first movie from the series, Divergent, was great.
As I’m getting excited to see it, I decided to re-post my blog on favourite books and their move adaptations. This post was first seen on the wonderful Sapphyria’s Book Reviews blog.
Favourite Books and Their Movie Adaptations
It’s amazing when you hear your favourite books are being made into films but can they always live up to your expectations? Here’s my verdict on some of my favourite books and their movie versions:
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Plot summary: Naughty Max is sent to bed with no supper. He travels, in his wolf onesie, to a place where the wild things are and becomes king. But he misses his mum so travels back to find his supper is still warm.
Movie verdict: This was my favourite childhood book so when the movie came out in 2009 I couldn’t wait to see it. I really wanted to love this film. It was okay but a little bit dark and sad. The book is far better!
The Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling
Plot summary: Harry Potter discovers he is a famous wizard and is sent to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. A dark wizard, Voldemort, tried to kill Harry when he was a baby but the curse backfired. Voldemort returns and tries to kill Harry resulting in many adventures and an epic battle of good versus evil.
Movie verdict: The movies really captured the magic and were so fantastically cast, not just with the youngsters who were shot to fame but with a whole array of great British icons, that the films had to be great.
The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Plot summary: Panem is separated into 12 districts. Each year, as retribution for a past rebellion, two young people from each district are randomly picked to participate in the deadly Hunger Games.
Movie verdict: I loved the books and couldn’t wait for the movies. The first three films have been great and I’m looking forward to the conclusion. However, for me, the books have the edge for the extra details.
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Plot summary: Divergent is set in a world where society is divided into factions. As people enter adulthood they must choose and commit to one faction for life based on their own virtues. However, Tris’s aptitude tests reveal she is Divergent, meaning she will never fit into one faction, and she is and is warned to conceal her abilities.
Movie verdict: Another great movie but again I preferred the book for all the added details.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr Seuss
Plot summary: The Grinch hates the Whos, who love Christmas. He tries to stop Christmas by stealing all their presents.
Movie verdict: One of those rare occasions when I prefer the movie over the book. I know most of the movie’s lines off by heart but Jim Carey’s delivery never fails to crack me up!