Cover Photo by Me – Book by Pat McDonald

It’s criminal.

The main protagonist lives on a narrowboat, which means that C&RT hate him already.

British crime author Pat McDonald lives in a rural part of the Midlands, Englandshire.

C&RT remain ambivalent about Pat. Well, they would if anyone there could spell ambivalent.

Pat McDonald, Cream Passionnel. Pictured here in her favourite writing spot at the bottom of her garden, overlooking rural Englandshire.
Echoes of Doubt by Pat McDonald

I made this mistake once before. I published a post about the delicious delights of the small seaside town of Mablethorpe, in Lincolnshire, and Pat promptly came out with a book set in a small seaside town. Echoes of Doubt.

She writes a lot of books does our Pat.

In Echoes you can just about feel the cold winter-wind-blown sand creeping up around your feet as you read.

Pat’s hobbies are needlework, baking, gardening and killing people. Pat’s favourite colours are gamboge, glaucous, amaranth, obsidian and beige. Pat’s favourite food is pie, chips and marrowfat peas. Pat used to drive a souped-up Mini Cooper with blacked-out windows, but after an incident involving the cash payroll of a Nottingham based Toffee Manufactury, six Police motorcycles, four Police interceptors, two Police helicopters and a successfully-deployed “stinger” Pat’s driving licence was revoked.

Pat has to date received no fewer than one hundred and twenty-three proposals of marriage from ex-Presidents and deposed Kings of Nigeria, and has turned them all down flat. Some of them weren’t even so fussed about marriage, they just wanted her bank details in order to send her millions in Swiss francs.

Pat’s Publisher’s page about her (and the books) may be found here – PatMcDonald.

All of Pat’s books may be found at Amazon United States of ‘Merica

and at

Amazon The United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland.

The Day After – the one with the narrowboats – clickez vous here to purchase (UK/GB) (U.S.A. & R.O.W.) – is out right now, and you can read a splendiferous sample here below:

Please to kindly note that I am not the gentleman on the cover, slowly dragging his axe back along the towpath.

Mother taught me to never drag my axe on the ground; it damages the blade.

I call my axe ‘Eugene’. Always have (and thus also inspired a certain song lyric).

My god, but I’m inspirational. Can’t see it myself, never have, but you can’t deny the evidence of two published books and a whole new branch of English case-law referring to the wearing of below-the-belt clothing while navigating in a narrowboat.

You’ll want the blurb of course – the book blurb, not the case-law blurb, which is in any case more accurately referred to as Lord Chief Justice Admiral Sir Hangem-Hie’s Sentencing Summation.

The Day After is Book 4 in the Blue Woods mystery series, featuring Hugo Bott.

What happened to Hugo Bott after thirty years as a beat officer? Nobody really knows because they didn’t see him leave when he retired. The quaint cottage where he lived was rented out, and he just disappeared.

Superintendent Luc Wariner is the newly assigned divisional commander of a quiet subdivision, that is, until the discovery of the brutal murders of Major Edward Barrington-Marsh and his wife, Cecily, in Upper Postle. He sends for his old friend and major crime unit colleague, Detective Inspector Aidey Carter, to investigate the murders and his suspicions regarding his CID unit.

When sightings are made early on the morning of the murders of a tall quiet stranger with a military gait visiting the village store at Postle, Luc and Aidey are reminded of Hugo Bott, their old colleague. Could he have finally found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, for first time in his life?

It is, after all, The Day After . . .

The Day After, by Pat McDonald – British crime author.

Between you, me, and the murder weapon it’s a spiffing good read – and as of writing this post I’m only up to page 262 of 491! The weather’s lousy here at the moment, and I can testify to the factoid that there’s little to beat sitting on yer own narrowboat, sipping fortified cocoa, reading a book partly set on a narrowboat and/or around the canals of England, while the wind howls and the rain lashes down.

Damn it, they’re all chuffing great reads – McDonald (as she was referred to during her happy school years at Cheltenham Ladies College and, latterly, Bolton & County High-Security Borstal) weaves a tidy tale.

If this one gets you hooked then why not try out one or all of her other books too?

As any of the more long-suffering of you may know (or not) I am working on a narrowboat-related book myself – ruddy typical of Pat to beat me to the finish line!

So there you have it, now do please scootez-vous off and get it. 😉

Smoke on the water, axes on the towpath. Hutson’s on his boat and all’s well with the world.

Sort of.

Curry and the rest of the book this evening, methinks. What say you?

Chin-chin, chaps.

Ian H., Cardinal Wolsey, and Hugo Bott. Oh yes – and wotsername – Pat McDonald.



    1. I am done for. If C&RT Corporate don’t get me, Pat will. I know who’s the scariest out of those two. Is the link to the Martian canals open yet, and do I need to book? I have to get away… fast.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. You laid temptation in my path…..and I succombed. I hope the author realises what a good publicist she has in you…you have extracted four pounds twenty nine pence from a Scot!
    Looking forward to starting this!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Helen, thank you so much, I am honoured! As a constant reader of these chronicles you will recognise a lot of tiny touches in the canal scenes as familiar!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. It’s all Pat’s fault! She said that if I didn’t post this about her books that she’d have someone called “Smacker Smith” come and “do me over”. I have no idea who that is or what it means, but it sounds unpleasant.

      Seriously, would you prefer a cheque or a postal order refund? Mother warned me not to get mixed up in crime, I wish that I’d listened. Mind you, she was in Wormwood Scrubs doing fifteen to twenty when she warned me, so her credibility was quite low. 😉

      She’d been the one photographed holding the sawn-off shotgun in the bank doorway, and Ma’s dabs were all over the steering wheel of the stolen Mk.II Jag…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. For crime to pay you need to be mates with the legislators……in his youth Leo used to be friendly with a chap called Smithy and his friend Belfast Jim. The former might well have been related to Smacker Smith from your description….it was the only time in his life he drove a getaway car – unawares of course – and it was a Russian beast, a Volga, I think, with a Perkins diesel angine running on paraffin and making a noise like six fairgrounds collapsing simultaneously.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Gadzooks ma’am!

          Cars of bygone decades were so much more suited to get-away driving than the current crop – then there was ne’ery a “crush zone” on the planet, and – especially with something like a Volga – you’d have to knock an awful lot off it before you got to anything that might slow it down or stop it!

          I always associate my old mother with bank robberies – at the beginning of the nineteen-seventies she was witness to a classic scene – the bank branch in the local estate’s little shopping precinct, an actual Mk.II Jaguar, and blokes with both sawn-off shotguns and tights over their heads! Having been trained in the early sixties in Hong Kong Mum hit the deck in the gutter long, long before anyone else did, and kept her head down and kept it cool!

          It’s only one short leap from being a witness to being Boss of her own crime syndicate… 😉

          ‘Belfast Jim’ souunds a much scarier name than ‘Smacker Smith’!


          1. I gather he was somewhat impulsive. Leo met them when collecting rents in Kilburn for his father – who had too much sense to go himself. They took him under their somewhat insalubrious wings, determined to show him life after his stint at Madrid university….certainly a different life from his day job on the stock exchange…

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Just when you need cheering up! Now laughing so hard I may need to dry off. Thank you so much! Better get finishing The Beast because there may be another idea germinating – ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ – oh, hang on that’s already a film. Maybe ‘Next Shrove Tuesday’! I may steal all those pictures as I am an artistic photographic tecnological cripple and you are so clever.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re most welcome to any of the images here – I can send them to you via the “The FaceBook” as it used to be known (when we were in the workhouse).

      Will be reading the rest of the book this evening! I just have to put some damp coal in the stove so that I am sending up smoke signals.

      Has “pancake day” (for we atheisterites) come and gone this year? I remember my childhood, with Ma standing at the cooker for hours, producing pancake after pancake – and all eaten hot, with granulated white sugar and lemon juice in one of those lemon-shaped squeezies.


      1. Pancake day has indeed gone, it wasn’t many years back I discovered it was the commencement of Lent, when you used up all your ingredients (eggs, flour, milk) before you gave up all kinds of things. Yes, mothers manned the frying pan on a continuous rota whilst fathers became tossers for the day – orange was a preference over jiffy lemon though only disadvantage being you had to flick the pips off the pancake before you ate it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Damn! I shall probably forget to put the clocks backwards, or forwards, whichever way it is for Blitish Summer Time, whenever that is. I opt out of an awful lot of things these days, not always consciously so. 😉


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