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Either Doc Togden is normal, or I’m odd too, as there are so many similarities here with my early life we could be brothers. We both had fathers who fought against our chosen musical careers and the length of our hair. I like biographies and this one of Doc’s early life with his introduction to blues music at the tender age of 7 is like no other I have read before. I couldn’t put it down, although often forced to by the late hour. He illustrates his points with quotes from many a blues song, film, poem or book to the extent that I have never seen before. This book should be a benchmark for all future music biographies, I’ll even have to go back and re-write some of mine!

Any musician who grew up in the 50’s and 60’s will empathise with Doc and his struggles with family, friends and school to fulfil his ambition to be a blues musician. I urge all of those musicians to read this book; it will bring a tear to your eyes in both sadness and joy. I can’t recommend it enough. Anybody who thinks The Beatles ‘Revolver’ album was the best one they made certainly knows his stuff!

The first thing I would say is that this is very loosely a murder mystery, it is more of a love story that involves a murder on the peripherals of that story. Having said that 'The Secret' is a real page turner as you are sucked into the lives of the two main characters, whilst being eager to know who the murderer is. 

As a man I felt this was more of a woman's book, not exactly Mills and Boon, but a woman's book never the less. However, I enjoyed it immensely and hope that Ms. Warburton writes something else soon. At the moment this is only available as a Kindle edition and for such a meagre price, less than two squids, there is no reason not to give it a try. Click HERE for the Kindle page, and here www.janwarburton.co.uk for more info.

Serge Bastarde ate my Baguette - John Dummer

Yes Serge Bastarde is his real name, so ex Darts Drummer John Dummer, also from seminal 60’s band The John Dummer Blues Band, assures us. I do believe him as it is a common name in the south of France where he lives. After serving his term in the music business as the drummer for the aforementioned groups and managing 80’s band The Screaming Blue Messiahs, John upped sticks and moved to France with his wife, to become an antiques dealer.

It was here that he met the charismatic Serge, who in his inimitable way; teaches our John the ins and outs of the Brocanteur, flea market trader to you. Serge is without doubt a Rouge with a capital ‘R’. Content to pose as a local official to extract valuables from unsuspecting punters. He also has no scruples when setting up our gullible John as the patsy for his nefarious shenanigans. The story of the Stradivarius brought tears to my eyes.

This book is a real page-turner, which I finished in no time and I really hope there will be a sequel in the not too distant future. If you’ve read and enjoyed the books by Stephen Clarke then this one is definitely for you. If you haven’t then this is a great place to start reading about the adventures of ex pats in France

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