Dear Mr Pop Star by Derek & Dave Philpott #BookReview #BlogTour

A collection of hilarious letters to iconic pop and rock stars with fantastic in-on-the-joke replies from the artists themselves: Eurythmics, Heaven 17, Deep Purple, Devo, Dr. Hook and many, many more…

For more than a decade, Derek Philpott and his son, Dave, have been writing deliberately deranged letters to pop stars from the 1960s to the 90s to take issue with the lyrics of some of their best-known songs. They miss the point as often as they hit it.

But then, to their great surprise, the pop stars started writing back... 

Dear Mr Pop Star contains 100 of Derek and Dave's greatest hits, including correspondence with Katrina and the Waves, Tears for Fears, Squeeze, The Housemartins, Suzi Quatro, Devo, Deep Purple, Nik Kershaw, T’Pau, Human League, Eurythmics, Wang Chung, EMF, Mott the Hoople, Heaven 17, Jesus Jones, Johnny Hates Jazz, Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine, Chesney Hawkes and many, many more.

I'm delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Dear Mr Pop Star toda…

Hellcorp by Jonathan Whitelaw #BookReview #BlogTour


Sometimes even the Devil deserves a break!
Life is hard for The Devil and he desperately wants to take a holiday. Growing weary from playing the cosmic bad guy, he resolves to set up a company that will do his job for him so the sins of the world will tick over while he takes a vacation. God tells him he can have his vacation just as soon as he solves an ancient crime.
But nothing is ever easy and before long he is up to his pitchfork in solving murders, desperate to crack the case so he can finally take the holiday he so badly needs…
This is a perfectly-pitched darkly comic crime novel that is ideal for fans of Christopher Fowler and Ben Aaranovitch.

It's my pleasure to be one of the hosts for the HellCorp blog tour today. Many thanks to Jonathan Whitelaw, Urbane Publications and Kelly from Love Books Group Tours for inviting me and for my ecopy of the novel.
The Devil has decided to make Hell a legitimate business - Hellcorp will be a 'one-stop shop for anybody and everybody who wants to get on in life.' And once it's up and running, he believes he can finally take a well-earned holiday. However, though he may be the boss of Hell, he still has to answer to Him, and so before he can have his break, God tells him he has to solve a murder. Antonio Baggio has just died but was murdered forty years ago. It turns out that God isn't always omnipresent and he wants the Devil to answer the puzzle as to who killed Antonio.
Sent to Earth and limited by his human form, the Devil must try and fathom out what happened decades ago if he wants to have his holiday. Hellcorp reminded me of one of those 80s buddy movies in which a mismatched duo must pair up to solve a crime. Though not cops, just as Riggs had Murtaugh and Turner had Hooch, so the Devil has Dr Jill Gideon. He lies, insults people, starts fights and could best be described as a cross between a temperamental child and a contrary teenager. Despite this there's something rather endearing about him; he is the original anti-hero perhaps and though Jill finds him utterly infuriating, she cannot help to be drawn to him.
Set in Glasgow, there are a few affectionate digs at the Scots, 'Give the Scots sunlight, booze and a bit of music and they were anybody's.' but it also provides the backdrop for a darkly comic crime novel where Jill has the benefit of local knowledge. In some ways she understands what drives these people better that the Devil; she knows many of them have no futures and she sees the results through her job as a hospital doctor - the alcoholics, drug overdoses and knife fights. Hellcorp turns out to be a journey of discovery for both of them as they eventually find themselves in the Gorbals facing something even more dangerous than a knife-wielding gang.
Hellcorp is a sharply witty, insightful book that examines our perceptions of good and evil, and how perhaps nobody is quite what they seem. The relationship between the Devil and Gideon fizzles with energy and the wisecracking exchanges between the Devil and Him (or Her!) are also a highlight. There are some surprisingly touching moments too as our characters learn to open up, take chances and trust others. I really enjoyed this quirky, irreverent and fresh crime novel and I have my fingers crossed that this isn't the last will see of the Devil as a sleuth. I'll certainly be looking out for more of Jonathan Whitelaw's books in the future.

Hellcorp is published by Urbane Publications and can be purchased from the following;
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Foyles
Waterstones

 Don't miss the rest of the blog tour, details are below.


About the Author
Jonathan Whitelaw is an author, journalist and broadcaster. After working on the frontline of Scottish politics, he moved into journalism. Subjects he has covered have varied from breaking news, the arts, culture and sport to fashion, music and even radioactive waste - with everything in between. He's also a regular reviewer and talking head on shows for the BBC and STV. ‘HellCorp’ is his second novel following his debut, ‘Morbid Relations’.
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