Archive for the ‘Derek Farrell’ Category


Death of a Nobody

Author: Derek Farrell
Published: 19 May 2016
Reviewed: 23 May 2016
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24

Copy purchased via Fahrenheit Press Book Club

5 out of 5 Stars



“Danny Bird is back and he’s gone full Poirot.”

When Lady Margaret Wright (local girl made good) dies, her will stipulates her wake be held in her old neighbourhood. Sensing an opportunity, Danny, Lady Caroline, Ali & the Asbo Twins commit to giving the old girl the wake to end all wakes and at the same time cement the reputation of The Marquess Of Queensbury as South London’s most up and coming gastro-pub.

As usual though things don’t quite go to plan and it isn’t long before the body count starts to mount. Danny and the unflappable Lady Caroline find themselves thrown into a classic murder mystery complete with poison pen letters, family feuds, money, jealousy and a cast of characters that would put the average Agatha Christie country house mystery to shame.

With his love-life and his business seemingly falling around his ears Danny is determined to get to the bottom of things and hopefully put a stop to people getting murdered in his damn pub.

My Thoughts & Review

Death of a Nobody sees the much awaited return of Danny Bird and Lady Caroline in the Marq. For those not already acquainted with these intrepid sleuths, check out Death of a Diva, Derek Farrell’s début novel. I had the pleasure of reviewing it in November 2015 (Death of a Diva Review) and I can honestly say that I couldn’t see how Farrell would build upon these characters or come back with anything to rival this, but he has.

Masterfully and effortlessly, a mind boggling plot is woven into the somewhat comedic tale of Danny Bird, running a pub for a gangster, attempting to rebuild his love life after it was turned upside down previously and keep his friendship with Caz as demented as ever.

The wake of Lady Margaret Wright gives Danny the perfect opportunity to showcase this abilities in the kitchen and establish the Marq. as a gastro-pub, with waiting staff hired for the event and Caz helping in the kitchen there’s nothing that could possibly go wrong for Danny……that is until a dead body turns up and rains on Danny’s parade.

Following his successful investigation of the murder of Lyra Day, Danny ropes in Caz as his incongruous Dr Watson, and the pair set about tracking down the motive and the killer. Add in the request to investigate poison pen letters and Danny is almost a modern day Poirot, except taller and has more hair.

The evolution of Danny Bird is fantastic, Farrell seems to have brought this character fully out of his shell and he really shines like a peacock resplendent in the morning sun. Danny has honed his detective skills, so making deductions based on clever observations like scratches on the wrist push him towards a Sherlock Holmes-esque detective for this reader and really shows the attention to detail in the writing.

I particularly liked the development of Caz. She really seemed come into her own in this book, and far from being Danny’s sidekick, she became more than just a main character, it was nice to see more sides to her. Snippets of her younger life (school days), her dabbling with a love life and attempting to dress down made her even more scandalous and riotous but still as delightful.

The clever plot is well crafted, once Danny reveals all you really see just how fiendishly masterful Farrell is as a writer. Being a fan of crime fiction, thrillers and mysteries, I sometimes find that I can guess who the killer is or the eventual motive for murder in a book, but here I was clutching at straws. Each time I thought I had sussed the killer I was shown the error of my ways and was left bewildered until Farrell was ready to expose the killer and their motives.

Subtly, behind the murder mystery is the idea that friendships and relationships and their value to us. Reminding us that failure and rejection are bearable when we have friends there to buoy us up.

A wonderful continuation of the Danny Bird series, and I personally cannot wait to see what Derek Farrell has on the cards for Danny next!! 

You can buy a copy of Death of a Nobody here.  

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Death of a Diva

Author: Derek Farrell
Published: 18 November 2015
Reviewed: 24 November 2015
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24

Copy kindly supplied by Fahrenheit Press in return for an honest review.

7 out of 5 stars  

(maths never was my strong point!)


Danny Bird is having a very bad day. In the space of a few hours he just lost his job, his boyfriend and his home.

Ever the optimist, Danny throws himself headlong into his dream to turn the grimmest pub in London into the most fabulous nightspot south of the river. Sadly, everything doesn’t go quite as planned when his star turn is found strangled hours before opening night.

Danny becomes the prime suspect in the crime, and then the gangster who really owns the pub starts asking where his share of the takings has gone… it seems things are going to get worse for Danny before they get better.

From the very start of this book you get a feeling that things aren’t going to go to plan for Danny Bird, the protagonist is a troubled soul.  He’s lost his job at a fashion magazine (and was escorted off the premises by burly security guards), walked in on his boyfriend and the window cleaner in flagrante and subsequently walked back out again, losing him home.  So it’s little wonder that he has a light bulb moment sitting in a dingy pub, nursing his pint that he could turn things around and transform the grittiest, grimmest, most run down pub into “the place to be”.  Even better, he’s got a star performance for the opening night, a star that will draw in the punters.

In the life he’s lived up to this point, Danny hasn’t mixed with gangsters, or run a pub, so this is a wealth of new experience for Danny, but thankfully he’s not alone.  He has Caroline, affectionately known as Caz to “help” him out.  With her Mary Poppins-esque bag, she pulls out almost everything for the situation that Danny finds himself in, miniatures of booze to settle the nerves,  lipstick and a compact mirror to make sure she’s in tip top style to show off her looks and assets to get Danny the answers he needs, or just cash to put in the till to keep things ticking over in the bar.  It’s through Caz that Danny secures his star turn for the opening night.  The night that will change everything for Danny, especially when he becomes a suspect for the murder of the star, who Danny just happens to find strangled to death in her dressing room just moments before she was due on stage.

I’m really conscious of not saying much past the first few chapters of this book, purely because I don’t want to spoil any of the intrigue or mystery that this novel has.  There are twists, turns and some absolutely fantastic dialogue that I’m desperate to share but you need to read this book to find out more!

The characters in this book are brilliantly written, Danny is a great character, you genuinely feel for him at times and you’re rooting for things to go well for him, there are points that you find yourself reading and wondering how it could go so wrong for him.  Another character of interest is Caz, for obvious reasons, she’s funny, sassy, she has a bottomless pit of a handbag and can keep Danny from spiralling into the depths of despair.  The relationship between these characters is very well written, the way they nag, nit pick and clash with each other is believable, the characters compliment each other very well which I think makes this so enjoyable to read. 

Physical descriptions are incredibly good in this book, the grim horrors of the pub, the opulence of Lyra Day’s costumes, the violence of the brawl, all give you a very real image  of what you’re reading, granted each interpretation will differ somewhat, but I think we can all agree that Danny’s pub is the sort of place you’d want to wipe your feet after leaving.

Farrell shows a great skill in his writing, this book was incredibly hard to put down, but upon picking it back up after the weekend I was immediately able to work out where about in the story I was and continue reading.  At no point did the narrative drag, or did I feel I wanted to skip ahead because I was bored or fed up.  This is definitely a page turner, and I have to agree with a review I’ve read on Amazon, it is somewhat like a modern game of Cluedo, a cleverly written “whodunnit” book, that definitely keeps you guessing and trying to work out who the murderer is and why – and I’m not ashamed to say, I was wrong when I guessed who the murderer was!

I would have no hesitation to recommend this to anyone that enjoys Fiction, Crime, Mystery and Thriller genres.  In fact, I would insist you check this book out and take a gamble if it’s not already piqued your interest! 

Many thanks to Fahrenheit Press for the copy of this book in return for an honest review and if you would like to buy a copy, this book was published on 18th November 2015, a copy can be purchased here Death of a Diva (UK Kindle Version)

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