Tag Archives: fiction

Book Review: “Shake it up, Beverley” by Suzan Holder

You know that beach book you’ve been looking for this summer? Well, I think I found it thanks to Roag Best and The Liverpool Beatles Museum!

Over the past week or so, Roag has been posting on Facebook about the first ever book to be launched held at the Beatles Museum in Liverpool. I don’t know why it took me a week to look it up on Amazon, but when I finally did, I immediately ordered myself the Kindle version of Shake it up, Beverley by Suzan Holder. It’s only $2.99 and I didn’t feel like waiting for the paperback edition that’s not deliverable until June 10th (not sure why that is).

I know I should be reading more non-fiction Beatles related books for this blog, put for the past week or so, I’ve really needed a distraction…something I could enjoy without having to actually think about it. It was then that the posts started popping up on Facebook about this book. I knew then that it was meant to be reviewed for my site.

What a fun, relaxing read this was! How could I not love a novel where the protagonist, Beverley Wilson, is a fifty-something year old, mother of three, like myself? I think every middle-aged, female Beatles fan will be able to relate to her mild-manner, ordinary, ‘careful’ life that gets turned upside down when she decides to re-enter the dating world after the death of her husband. Her kids are all grown…what could possibly go wrong?

One of the fantastic elements about this book is that the author mixed in so much Beatles history and plenty of the Fab Four’s Liverpool landmarks into the story, including the McCartney’s home in Speke. And no wonder the book launch party was held at The Liverpool Beatles Museum, when the main character not only visits the museum, but also spends an evening at the Casbah Coffee Club!

I read this book in less than 2 days and the only bad part about it was that it had to end. I thoroughly enjoyed Beverley Wilson’s exploits, adventures and mishaps. Just when you thought you figured out one mystery in this book another one pops up to keep you entertained throughout. And for that reason…

I rate this book, 4 out of 4 Beetles!

 

 

 

 

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Book Review: “The One After 909: A Mystery with a Backbeat” by Tony Broadbent

I’d like to thank author Tony Broadbent for sending me a copy of his latest book, The One After 9:09: A Mystery With A Backbeat.  Tony is a Brit, born and raised, who now lives in North Carolina, USA.

This book is incredibly well written.  Even with over 400 pages, a reader can easily read through it without feeling like it’s never going to end.  The book contains, what I believe, to be three stories revolving around the early days of the Beatles career in the Liverpool and Hamburg days.

The first story is that of Raymond “Spike” Jones, the young man who apparently was the first Beatles fan to walk into NEMS record store and request a copy of “My Bonnie” with the Beatles singing back-up.  This particular storyline is fictitious, even though Raymond is said to have been a real person.  The second story is that of the mysterious private life of Brian Epstein and his (illegal) gay lifestyle.  The third story is that of the Beatles in their early days of getting to the toppermost of the poppermost.  Included in the all of the stories are Sam Leach, Mal Evans, Bob Wooler and many other well known Liverpool personalities.

All these tales and characters’ lives intertwine and overlap throughout the book, but at the same time, each holds it own.  The problem comes, though, when the reader isn’t sure which story is the main focus of the book.  And in the end, the storyline I had thought would figure prominently and close out the book wasn’t the one.  It was as if there was one train of thought that never came to the dramatic conclusion that I was looking for in the end.

Still, this book was a nice light read and the author says that except for the Raymond Jones story, the book is factual and he even provides sources at the end.  And for that reason…

I rate this book, 3 out of 4 Beetles!

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Book Review: The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper by Sally Carpenter

The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper What a delight this book was to read!  I had seen this book mentioned on BeatlesNews.com and decided to find the author and ask for a review copy.  Ms. Carpenter said she’d contact her publisher about getting a copy to me, but after several weeks my mailbox was still empty, so I just bought my own.  I prefer buying my own copies to review anyway so I don’t feel obligated to the authors/bands/producers.

Though not really a Beatle book, this fictitious murder mystery takes place in 1993 at a Beatles convention in southern Indiana.  When a member of the local Beatles tribute band is murdered, Sandy Fairfax becomes suspect #1 in the eyes of the local police.  Sandy is a childhood TV star turned popstar in the 70’s.  Pulling from his four years on TV as Buddy Brave, Boy Sleuth, Sandy sets out to clear his name and find the real killer.

This is author Sally Carpenter’s first book in her ‘Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol Mystery Series’ and I think she’s done a great job depicting the nuances of a Beatles fan convention.  Throughout the book, we Beatles fans will find many similarities to the well-known Fest for Beatles Fans that take place every year in NY and Chicago.  In fact, Ms. Carpenter even mentions Mr. Lapidos’ conventions in her book.  Another nice touch is the chapters are named for Beatles songs and Beatles lyrics are hidden within the text of the book.

I find this book to be a great little easy and leisurely read.  I only wish Ms. Carpenter were going to write more stories with the Beatles as a theme.

By the time I was halfway through this book, my review copy showed up in the mail!  So, I’d like to share this copy with my readers.  Anyone posting a comment in the comments section of this post will be entered to win a copy of ‘The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper’!  Contest entries will only be accepted until 11:59 pm on Saturday, October 29, 2011.  I will use the random number generator at Random.org to pick the winner and post it on Sunday, October 30th.  Good Luck!

You can read another review of this book and an interview with the author here.

This book is available on Amazon.com.

I rate this book: 3 out of 4 Beetles

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