Rodeo Multiple Murder! Who’d Believe It?

Look, I am keen on e_book fiction… not because I’ve traditionally  published a “clutch” of books (academic) with up-market publishers who’ve basically wasted my time .. but maybe it’s because I really appreciate the anarchy of self-publishing  … anyway enough of my prejudices .. let me tell you about  HUNG UP IN BEMIDJI  …by Kathy Cohen.

Product Details


It’s  based in a rodeo  .. and though I’ve been to a few, I never thought I’d find it fascinating .. but Kathy Cohen does just that without even trying .. and really it’s just the background … it’s the human interest stories of Cooper Lydell and his “bull rider” son and his eclectic band of fellow travellers who make it a really enjoyable and sometimes funny double murder mystery in the arid back-drop of Minnesota (or was it Iowa) or somewhere like that  … but it could be western Queensland or New South Wales in outback Australia …     The story starts of slow as it should… and picks up pace as the reluctant hero finally accepts his role as private detective and in an inimitable beginner’s fashion almost gets himself killed in solving the murder!  Full of down-to-earth characters that you’ve got to love  and a bunch of “baddies” not all of whom are likely  murder suspects.. A very good read .. highly recommended..


A World of Dirty Politics, Power and Greed in 14th Century France.. plus ça change …

Just finished reading “The Iron King” written by Maurice Druon in 1955 and recently translated into English.


This is a powerful and wonderfully written story (aside from the first few pages which no doubt editors or translators managed to mess up – I’ve seen this before). It’s the first of a very popular series in France – Les Rois Maudits – (The Accursed Kings) written over fifty years ago, and out of which a successful TV series has been made… not that this necessarily means a lot when you see some of the rubbish that’s made into films. It’s also supposed to be the inspiration for the ‘Game of Thrones’ which I had the misfortune to watch one episode of on an international flight and had I been anywhere else I would have fallen asleep.

But quite to the contrary, “The Iron King” is a great piece of literature wrapped up in an historical tale of the last months in the life of French King Phillip the Fair in the early thirteen hundreds.  It’s historical fiction verging on fact which I find incredibly interesting but I can imagine that those not interested in history and in particular French history might not be too enthused by the story. Of course, there are also those who aren’t looking for literature but something rather less. Indeed, there’s so much in this fast-moving, tightly written, entertaining and colourful tale – human folly, political intrique, extreme greed, love and loss, insights into the lives of the powerful and the weak, the rich and poor, in an unforgiving and violent era … and above all, how so very little has changed today, except perhaps for the level of violence and who it is that wields the power over the lives of ordinary people. I’d highly recommend it if you enjoy or are interested these kinds of issues. You can get it on Amazon:

a thought for what’s going on in the world


        I was just thinking about what’s happening in the world  and these thoughts came to mind ….

If there has to be anger, let’s turn it against ALL political & religious extremists – Christians, Jews and Muslims …


An Elegy to Extremists: Whoever You Are


If there was no Israel who would you hate;
Whoever stands in the way of your Caliphate? rabi Menachem Froman
Is all you want just a small strip of land?
Or is it all our souls in your bloody hands?

If there’s no Jews would Christians be the target?

Their churches to be burned and their lives all forfeit?

And you’d respect their human rights and their freedoms?

Allow them their values, their ideals and their reasons?

Is love for all God’s children anywhere in your tomes?


Or is it that  infidels are to be beheaded or stoned?
Should your cynical tactics and propaganda cause fear
As they turn the minds of so many kind people who care?
We’ve seen in the thirties how facism took hold
History’s lessons forgotten; people believing what their told?
Should we be grateful for those opposing your dreams;
Your self-interested theories, religous extremes?

Having resisted the call of older and more caring creeds;

Not now to align myself with fanatics wanting only to breed
Hatred and fear clothed in feigned love of your brothers.
You don’t want peace; you profit from the pain of others.©