Thursday 24 December 2009

My Dad Reviews...oh's OLD DOGS - by his daughter

So when a proof copy of OLD DOGS arrived my Mum and Dad fought over who was going to read it first. My Dad lost.

My Mum took a look at the cover and said "Oh look, that nice young man Chris Ewan (she became his surrogate Grandma when she met him at Crimefest earlier this year) has written something about your book on the cover." She read Chris' kind words, looked at me, and said "Well, no wonder he's written that, he's a friend of yours." Cheers, Mum.

So here is my Dad's review. I will forgo the usual 'what my Dad likes' stuff.

Our Donna said "Dad will you do a review for me? You can be as rude as you like."*

"Do you mean Rude or Rued? I may be sorry that I read it."
OK. It was an uncorrected pre-print proof, and I found many errors, with capitals where they should not have been, words repeated and no spaces where spaces should have occurred.**

The story appears to have been well thought out***, even though I could not recommend that Mother read it because of all the swear words. How does a well brought up young woman know all of those? I thought they were the province of squaddies, or people of lower intelligence.

The two old dogs in question are not the two elderly ladies with dubious credentials (ex-hookers turned con artists), but a pair of golden bejewelled model lapdogs loaned to a Glasgow museum.

Many people decide that they would be better in their keeping and decide to steal them. The foremost are the elderly ladies, who, through a previous scam are on the run from an Eastern European Australian hit man from whom they relieved a large sum of cash, a pair of Glaswegian low life losers, and a supposed Western Islands monk who wants to return the dogs to his master guru for reinstatement in his Tibetan monastery.

The story involves the fates of the museum curator, his assistant, and various bodies that get in the way. The twist at the end is both humourous and a surprise.
Even though I may be a little bit prejudiced****, I can recommend the story to those not of a nervous disposition, and those not averse to a bit of swearing. "Honestly Dad. It is not me swearing, it is the characters."*****

* That's my Dad, making up dialogue, now.
** That's my Dad, the editor and critic.
*** 'Appears to have been well thought out'? As in 'but wasn't really'? This has the same sting as my first swimming certificate, which said "Donna swam one width of the pool in shallow water", as though to say "we know she put her feet on the ground, but we can't actually prove it."
**** Not so's you'd notice.
***** There's my Dad and his imaginary conversations again.

My Mum, who has just started the book and put it down after about five pages, says "I worry about where you get your inspiration from as to the old ladies' occupations." My Mum thinks every female character I write, who's over 50 is based on her (sometimes, she's actually correct).

Then, dear merciful heavens, my little brother weighed in:

Brother: "I'd like to say how good the book is."

Mum: "No need to butter her up- she's already wrapped your Christmas presents."

Brother: "Obviously, not a lot of foul language."

Mum: "Exclamation mark."

Darren "That's all I have to say for now. Of course, I haven't finished reading it yet. Well...I haven't actually started."

Isn't it amazing how I turned out so normal?

And remember, you, too, can join in the rather dubious fun by winning a copy of the unedited OLD DOGS.

This will probably be my last post now until after the New Year although I will probably be able to pop in an answer any comments - at least until January 28th when I will be away for a few days.

So I just wanted to thank all those who have visited, left comments and sent me e-mails since I started this blog in May this year. I've had a lot of fun.

I hope you all have a happy Christmas, a lovely festive season, and that 2010 brings you everything you wish for yourselves and more.


Donna x


  1. Happy Christmas, Donna!

    And I keeps my finger crossed I´ll win that ARC :D It sounds really fine.

  2. Donna,
    Thank you for the lovely Christmas gift of a visit with your parents. Love to you and yours.

  3. I love this Donna and your Dad's a sweetie. Can't wait to read Old Dogs. Stay warm and happy, happy Christmas,

  4. Thanks Dorte!
    Judy - and likewise me dear :o)
    Cara - don't tell him that! Lovely to hear from you and the same to you

  5. Happy Christmas to all of yours too, Donna!

  6. Merry, merry. Happy, happy. Stay warm and play safe everyone.

  7. Cheers Chris - and you too!
    Dame Judith - I hope you hsve a lovely one too :o)

  8. All the best to you and yours, Our Donna. Thanks for the entertainment over the year, it's livened up many a bowl of porridge.

  9. Aw thanks Michael, I'm glad you've enjoyed it, and LOL at Our Donna :o)

  10. You can tell grandma I meant every word of it!

  11. Have a wonderful holiday, Donna - There's an award for you on my blog...

  12. Paul - hope you had a good one!
    Margot- thank you - how lovely, and surprising!