Talking to a real-life private investigator

gq-screenshotMy eNewspaper, the Morgen Bailey Daily, picked up on an article by GQ magazine where they, as the title of this blog post says, talk to a real-life P.I., Patrick Hoffman. The picture, in case you’re wondering, is of the American actor Carl Malden who starred in one of my favourite TV programmes (at the time), The Street of San Fransisco.

The link to the original article is or you can click on the photograph on the right…

Book review – for readers and writers – no.138: Morgen Bailey reviews Diamond Run by Michael Croucher

Today’s book review of a crime novel is brought to you by yours truly, Morgen Bailey. If you’d like your book reviewed or to send me a book review of another author’s book, see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog.

Being a writer and editor, I read and review books with both hats. If you’re a writer reading this review and found it useful, do let me know.

Diamond Run by Michael Croucher

138 Diamond Run coverSynopsis: A story of underworld diamond heists gone wild, this is a terrifying spin through the ruthlessness of organized crime and the fright of a woman who finds herself the quarry. From New York City to Ontario, Canada, criminals and police are in a deadly race.

Caught unaware in their web, Sue Jensen is on her own chilling trail. Her beautiful Victorian house in the Canadian wine country is haunted. Since research is her business, she wants to find out who is the ghost slipping into bed with her at night. Will she discover far more than she ever imagined? Is it possible to put ghosts to rest?

Sergeant Phil Mahood, in a desperate undercover battle against the psychotic mobster-killer who will stop at nothing for diamonds, can only drop vague hints to Sue about the looming danger. Skeptical of her ghost stories and falling in love with her, he is torn as never before.

As the two investigations are about to collide, can Phil be the support Sue needs in her personal quest for the deep secrets of her home? Can he rescue her from the cold-blooded killer who stops at nothing and no one? With his world shaken to the core by Sue’s fear of ghostly presences he does not believe in, and his new love with Sue clouding his professional judgment, will Phil’s mobster targets stay steady in the crosshairs? This is crime suspense at its best.

This novel is available via and

Review (of the eBook’s text-to-speech function)

The chapters are subtitled with the place and date, helping the reader before the narration starts.

Just five Kindle pages in to chapter 1, and we have two dead bodies – my kind of story. 🙂

The character names are interesting, my favourites being Zip, Clifford, Lemon and Jasper, although I would not have had Frank and Phil in the same chapter as audibly, they both start with an F.

One of the characters is a staff sergeant and he is referred to as ‘Staff’ then in the same chapter ‘staff’ is referred to as a noun, which would be less confusing if referred to ‘colleagues’.

The era and procedures felt very authentic, I enjoyed the reference to candid camera.

Both the description and dialogue are very gritty. Some of the dialogue between Sue and Phil initially felt a little stilted but it transpired that they had not dated for very long and their meeting was complicated so understandable.

Chapters are relatively short so can be done in one sitting and there is a good mixture of description and dialogue.

There was one sentence that jarred: ‘I left it there as we walked, enjoying the soft warmth of her skin.’ This implies that they are both enjoying a self month of her skin, which is possible, but I think the author meant just for Phil to be enjoying it.

Speaking of enjoying it, there is a lot to like about this novel, including the phrase ‘A parked car sticks out like a hooker’ and ‘clung to his blubbery torso like a coat of paint’.

I didn’t find the sexy chapters particularly sexy but then I’m not a big romance reader. I’m not a fan of paranormal either so the ‘ghostly’ references were my least favourite but fans of this genre would enjoy them.

And now for writers…

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Kathy Reichs talk, Bart’s Pathology Museum, London

Just in case you missed it, crime writer Kathy Reichs came to London recently and did a talk (for almost three quarters of an hour) on how forensics have influenced her writing career, for her publishers Random House, at the Bart’s Pathology Museum.

You can watch this video at


Morgen Bailey Cover montage 2

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For anyone looking for an editor, do take a look at Editing and Critique.

If you would like to send me a book review of another author’s books or like your book reviewed (short stories, contemporary crime / women’s novels or writing guides), see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog. And I post writing exercises every weekday on four online writing groups.

Wantage (Oxfordshire) Literary Festival 25 Oct – 2 Nov

If you’re in the Oxfordshire area of UK in the next few days, do take a look at the Wantage Literary Festival, which runs from 25th October to 2nd November.

Events include the following, taking place on Saturday 1st November:

Other speakers include Katie Adie, Nikky Arding, Ciaran Murtagh, Andy McNab and Jenny Lewis. Links to the specific events above and the main page is