ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Friday, 28 August 2015

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse - August 28th. Book review - Mark Pryor's The Reluctant Matador

Hello book lovers!

I stopped reviewing for Armchair Squid'sThe Cephalopod Coffeehouse some time ago because of time constraints. I love reading and lately all I've been doing is dropping a few lines on Goodreads once I finish a book. Signing up again to this bookish meme gives me the motivation to do a more lengthy review again.

Click here to read more book reviews

Out of all the wonderful books I've read recently, (and hello, there's been a few!) Mark Pryor's latest in the most excellent Hugo Marston mystery/thriller series, The Reluctant Matador, comes up trumps.


I've read all the books in the series in the order they've been written, as the publisher picked up my rave review for The Bookseller, the first in the series, and since then, I've been put on a mailing list. Lucky, lucky me! I can't resist the 'long, tall Texan in his ten-gallon hat'...black overcoat and cowboy boots hoofing it around Paris and beyond.

Now to The Reluctant Matador, Pryor's latest. The story starts in Paris, with Hugo, the security chief at the American Embassy in Paris, heading off to meet a friend's aspiring-model daughter for a full-on, full-fat American breakfast. So this book had me salivating right from the get-go (geez, I'm so full of Americanisms today!) But I love food in books, so I was quite miffed when the teen stood Hugo up and Hugo (and vicariously, me) had to be satisfied with just a coffee and no pancakes and maple syrup and bacon. Darn!! But smelling something fishy, Hugo's sleuthing skills switch into gear, and another great thriller begins. Hugo finds out that this 'model' daughter was actually a dancer at a seedy strip club in Paris, ooh la la! And he finds out that she's been lured to Barcelona by some seedy guy she met at the club. We know this is bad. 

The juxtaposing of the usually straight-up Hugo with the anything-goes drunken, slovenly former CIA agent, Tom Green, always makes for colourful reading. During their illegal sleuthing in Barcelona, which really offends the Spanish police, Hugo and Tom stumble upon a shocker of a scene right out of a Gothic novel. The teen's father, Bart, is implicated in this grizly murder and imprisoned by the Barcelona police.

So the story unfolds with the two Americans facing their biggest challenge ever--find the killer/s, prove Bart's innocence, and trace the missing daughter who they can only hope and pray is alive. Meanwhile, they need to avoid being killed along the way.

Okay, I'm a gushing fan of Pryor's books and I hope he keeps them coming. And I'm a big fan of his settings--usually Paris, London and most recently Barcelona. Can't go wrong with these heavy lifters adding colour and excitement to an already-glittering plot.

So if you'd like to see what I have to say on his other books, check out my reviews on Goodreads. (Click on any of the first book covers in my Goodread's widget in my sidebar). This series doesn't have to be read in order as each has its own storyline.

Thanks for visiting/reading.

  • Have your read any of Mark Pryor's Hugo Marston series? Would you like to after reading my review?


As you saw from WEP's Spectacular Settings challenge, (which was a spectacular success and finishes today), we love settings which sing, and Pryor's are definitely a character in his books.


 







44 comments:

  1. Pink, I get it! Wonderful review, and all these books are on my TBR list. Paris and a mystery, nothing better! Thanks!

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    1. You crack me up Partner. I sorta like pink...heh heh!

      You won't be sorry if you read these!

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  2. Hi, Denise,

    Thanks for the review. I'm not familiar with this author, but I would definitely like to read this....

    Have a great weekend!

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    1. I think you would enjoy his books, Michael.

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  3. Hi Denise - certainly sounds like a great read ... and I do like learning about other places as I read through a novel ... though I'm not a great novel reader.

    The thought of food and Paris, or London (funnily enough) or Barcelona ... and a good whodunnit - is definitely worth waiting for the full on American breakfast ... cheers Hilary

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  4. I haven't read any of his books. Sounds like it would be great for a new movie series.

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    1. We can only hope, Alex. I can just see Hugo on screen!

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  5. Yes, your review has made me interested. Will have to try for book 1 though, I do like to read things in order.

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    1. You will love book one, The Bookseller, Jo.

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    2. I've ordered it from my library.

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    3. Excellent Jo. Tell me what you think once you've read it.

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    4. Just got The Bookseller. Finishing another book right now though.

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  6. Thanks for the review. I do like mystery from time to time, so I'll keep this series in mind.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Veronica
    http://vsreads.com

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  7. Welcome back! And holy cow, look at all those folks signed up for WEP! You're flourishing.

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    1. Yes, AS. Hope you join us next time!

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    2. Maybe someday. In truth, I don't write much fiction. WEP was a great incentive to try, though.

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    3. It doesn't have to be fiction, AS. Non fiction, photos most welcome!

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  8. Now I've got Conroy and also Pryor on my TBR, which is totally raging out of control :-)

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    1. Sorry, Nila, but you won't be sorry!

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  9. Hi Honey; I'm home :)

    Finally have a few minutes to catch up on blogs. I love it when a setting is also a character. A good setting has "personality". I'll try to check out a few WEP posts, but haven't had time to write anything myself. I am glad the first post went so well for you ladies.

    Have a great weekend Dx.

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  10. Hiya! Don't remember what Wilma used to say to Fred!

    Great that you're back. Yolanda and I are having an awful lot of trouble choosing 3 winners!

    Yes, Pryor encapsulates setting!

    Dx

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  11. Any book that starts in Paris with pancakes sounds good to me. I've never read any books by this author. They sound interesting, but I don't want to add to my to-be-read stack for now. It threatens to topple over.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I'm hearing you. You don't want to see my bedside table or the bookshelves that line most walls. But Paris and pancakes and a good thriller. Who could resist?

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  12. I don't read mysteries very often but this sounds like a good one!

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    1. A good time to make an exception Marcy!

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  13. I love a good mystery thriller in a foreign setting. I'll definitely check these out!

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    1. If you like the foreign settings, you'll be all for this series Karen!

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  14. Exploring more mysteries is something I've been meaning to do. Maybe I'll check these out.

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  15. Now this sounds like my type of series! I will have to see if the library I work for has this series. I haven't seen it, but that doesn't mean anything. Thank you for opening my eyes and the suggestions!

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    1. My pleasure Jessica. Just sharing the love!

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  16. Love mysteries with different settings and I must admit this sounds great.

    cheers, parsnip

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  17. I haven't read any of these- but this series sounds like a great one. Mysteries are such fun! Thanks for sharing. :)
    ~Jess

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  18. I haven't read any of these, but you've whetted my appetite!

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  19. Sounds great stories, Denise.

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  20. I'm on it, Denise. I've wanted to read Mark Pryor since I initially read your review of the Bookseller. Since I just finished a book this morning, I intend to start the Bookseller tonight—no more procrastination!

    VR Barkowski

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    1. Good news VR. Please tell me what you think!

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  21. Looks like great series and love your views on it.

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