You’ve got to love a shopkeeper who reaches out to his
customers. This pic was taken a few years ago when I was
shopping for something nice for my beloved (at the time). In the
end I got her a Hoover and, strangely, we parted company soon
When I reach out to my friends I usually have a book in my hand,
with the guarantee that their money will be well spent. It doesn’t
always work. As many of you know, I have had to include these
people as characters in my books in order that they purchase
them. Not that that is the end of it. You then have to hope they will
read your masterpiece. Typical comments from my nearest and
dearest have been “I skimmed over it” and “I only read the parts
that I was in.”
In these instances I can’t wait to reprise their appearance in one of
my future novels, preferably as a deviant, child molester, serial
killer or some other kind of monster. Of course, I know none of you
would consider offending me in this way and that is why I know
you will come to the conclusion that one of my books is never
enough. Should you purchase the whole set, I will definitely
consider putting you in my will.
Posted by GB
IT’S THE YEAR OF THE DOG IN CHINATOWN.
Of course, my book wasn’t written about 2018. I take my readers way back to the sixties but, even then, a dog’s most defining characteristic was loyalty. You’ll find none of that in “Be Dead and Be Damned,” as most of the characters would kill you after they’ve kissed you; the art of the double-cross is grist for the mill for crime novelists.
Would you accept a gratuitous brandy cleanser from a Chinaman with a dubious reputation? Certainly not, if you are Homicide’s most senior investigator. Of course, if the tipple was over twenty years of age, there might be cause for consideration.
I’m so excited that I could include some wonton wonders in my latest novel, because it has been so long since Dr. Fu Manchu stories filled our library shelves, and I know the Little Bourke St. Community are up for it. If I could have found some more page time for Harry Chang, I would have considered writing the whole damn thing in Mandarin. Nevertheless, the fellow is an able foil for the law and his most irritating competitors: Leon Viper and his son, Sammy the Snake.
I know my readers like a little passion with their fruit in the morning and, in keeping with current rainbow trends, I have therefore included switch-hitters from both sides of the personality paradigm to evocatively stir your emotions. There’s been nothing like it since Elvis sat on Liberace’s knee during a fund-raising telethon.
Posted by GB
A marvellous place for a murder
Or two! There are so many little nooks and crannies where you can bump someone off without fear or favour. It may be the world’s most liveable city but people also die here – quite often.
“Be Dead and Be Damned” pulls no punches and I don’t subscribe to the politically correct world we now live in. In my book the wops do most of the killing and that’s how it was in the sixties. Hello mafia. Lock up your daughters. All the way with LBJ!
I have no brief from the tourist commission but, after reading this yarn, you will definitely want to come here. I’ve only highlighted the killing and nefarious night-time activities – on top of that there is AFL football, The Australian Tennis Open, The Melbourne Cup, many fine restaurants and pristine beaches (you don’t swim in the river because there are too many dead bodies floating by).
All my books are cheap but this one is also inexpensive. If you haven’t yet been to the book page, please go there immediately and click on the thumbnail pic. Your money will then be extracted from you as painlessly as possible. Enjoy February.
The whodunit has received a recommendation from U.S. Review – this means the top 10% of material they review. I’m pretty happy with that. Here it is:
Be Dead and Be Damned: Murder with Malice in Melbourne
by Gerry Burke
reviewed by Joe Kilgore
"Then, of course, there were the lads back in the squad room. Naturally conservative, they would find it difficult to comprehend the motivation of a man wearing a dress."
If you’re familiar with Burke’s previous work, you know that regardless of the subject matter, the heart of the matter is really going to be about laughs—chuckles, chortles, giggles, guffaws, snickers, snorts, and the occasional convulsive howl. This time, the topic he is all over is murder Down Under in the teeming metropolis of Melbourne, Australia, sometime in the not-too-distant past. Good guys and bad guys collide in this tale of muscles and mayhem that includes cunning Chinese gangs, murdering Mafioso, foxy femme fatales, and lawmen and women who have to battle the system as well as the scofflaws.
A shady shyster is at the gooey, chocolate center of this humorous homage to mean street crime. It seems the counselor has had to make a run for it with a trunk full of incriminating tapes. How he got them, where they’re going, and whether or not he’ll live to use them all, unwinds as the author’s plot continually rewinds through the life and times of his criminals, cops, and cross-dressers.
While his plot is intricately woven, suitably complicated, and chock-full of chalk-marked victims, stone-cold suspects, star-crossed lovers, and double-crossed losers, his story still takes second place to the way in which he tells it. This one, like other Burke yarns, immerses the reader in a roguish repertoire of stiletto similes and mischievous metaphors delivered at the pace of a Gatling gun with a bump stock. If you have the wherewithal to survive his Vesuvius vocabulary and tsunami of smirks, you’ll be richer for the experience—minus the cost of the book, of course.
RECOMMENDED by the US Review
Posted by GB
ALL THIS MAN NEEDS IS A GOOD BOOK.
There are a few people who have a nose for trouble. The Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot is one. I
am another. There are also certain places that attract people with murder on their mind, such as
Marrakesh and Casablanca, where Signor Ferrari, owner of the Blue Parrot bar & café, gave
Humphry Bogart such a hard time. Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day also had their troubles but as Doris
so eloquently warbled “Que Sera Sera” (Whatever will Be, Will be).
I am delighted to be able to feature another fictitious version of the Blue Parrot in my latest novel
“Be Dead and be Damned.” There are a number of restaurants with this name around the world that
actually serve food but I’m serving up murder, mayhem and malicious intent. And it all happens in
my home town of Melbourne, Australia.
There is every chance they will make a movie of this exciting whodunit, so be the first in your street
to obtain a copy. They may have to change the title to “Baba Ganoush” to appease the Middle
Posted by GB
WHAT ABOUT SOME HOLIDAY HOMICIDE?
You’ve just spent Christmas with all your rellies and what is foremost on your mind? That’s right – murder.
Since my heroic crime-fighter Paddy Pest took a well-earned rest from his pulp fiction adventures, the odds of getting away with murder have firmed dramatically. However, all that is about to change. Appointing Dave Klingendorf as the acting deputy commissioner was the smartest thing the Victoria Police ever did.
Now we have a whodunit which is worthy of your leisure hours. This page-turner reads equally well in sun and snow, so I urge you to rush to your online retailer and stock up with your holiday reading. It’s death in the world’s most liveable city.
Posted by GB
THESE ARE THE BAD GUYS YOU’LL MEET IN MY NEXT NOVEL.
Tony the Toothpick, Sammy the Snake and Dom the Cat! Tony sticks a toothpick in his victim’s nose after he has stabbed them in the back. Unsocial behaviour is part of their charm and you’re going to love all the mischief they get up to. You’ll need a nailfile to clean-up after you have whittled away at your fingertips, because the suspense in this one is riveting.
The tome is called Be Dead and Be Damned and I’ll have more for you next month. In the meantime, Christmas is almost upon us and The Replicants is an obvious choice for yuletide generosity. The Blade Runner people have helped things along by releasing their film in conjunction with my book. However, my replicants are better than theirs.
Posted by GB
THE PERENNIAL PLACEGETTER!
We’ve done it again; another finalist award, our 6th.
I don’t know what it takes to win the big one but I’ll keep trying. In any case I am chuffed to be awarded in the Science Fiction category because this is not my genre and it was my choice because it was a challenge.
So much for “The Replicants.” This week I put my next novel into production and I am returning to crime fiction. You will hear more in next month’s blog. Meanwhile, if you haven’t ordered your copy of the above page-turner, get moving. It is an essential gift for Christmas, Birthdays and Bar Mitzvahs.
Posted by GB
The stars are out and shining on yours truly as I stump up for another novel, almost ready to go into production. There’ll be more on that later; meanwhile, think about reading my one venture into science fiction. I don’t think they’ll let me go there again.
CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR 5 STAR REVIEW.
Reviewed By Christian Sia for Readers’ Favorite
The Replicants by Gerry Burke is a gripping sci-fi story with a well-defined setting and great characters. The planet Schmoo, the last planet before heaven, has been destroyed by a seismic cataclysm, and its inhabitants are quickly moving to Earth for refuge. Now, apart from the Hudson River, the aliens are in other countries, including France, Switzerland, Mongolia, and Indonesia. Their presence, skills, and their ability to replicate quickly are a serious cause for concern. While the Homeland Security agent Calvin Swift and his girlfriend Alicia Angelico are fully involved with the Intergalactic Games held once in a millennium, they have to find solutions to the threat the aliens pose, and they need to do so fast.
There is so much to enjoy in Gerry Burke’s novel. First, the prose is stellar and the author doesn’t force dialogue where it is not warranted. The setting comes through clearly and neatly throughout the narrative. The reader can feel the measured balance between the different elements of the novel, the gripping plot, the wonderful setting, and the awesome characters. I was completely absorbed in the narrative, in the author's unique, inimitable style, and the writing that conjures up powerful images in the minds of readers. I read this novel from cover to cover, and was utterly immersed in the action. Readers will love the characters and how agents Calvin Swift and Alicia Angelico deal with the dilemma. The conflict is well-developed and the reader is keen on seeing its denouement. The Replicants is entertaining and delightful and readers can easily relate with most of the characters.
Posted by GB
“He has a well-furnished mind, an ingenious intellect, and a prodigious vocabulary dedicated to making readers laugh.”
My God, I think he’s talking about me. Yes, the US Review had a look at The Replicants and decided to give it the thumbs up. I’m so excited. They checked out the first chapter, last month, and decided to read on. I hope you have a similar attitude. Of course, you may have to read the book with the lights on because it gets scary in some places. Aliens with three eyes are always a worry.
So, here’s the review. You can also pick up my ad in this month’s Shelf Unbound mag, voted the best digital magazine in 2015 and 2016.
The Replicants: reviewed by Joe Kilgore, U.S. Review
"With their four tentacles working overtime, the guests from outer space were downing margaritas as if they were performance enhancing drugs."
Few things take themselves more seriously than science fiction. The genre attracts legions of fans eager to supplicate themselves to terrestrial tomes and authors intent on profoundly prophesying what the future might hold. That of course, makes it the perfect target for scathing satire. And this novel’s author is not one to pass up low hanging fruit without taking an enormous bite.
Earth is hosting Intergalactic Games with participants from the farthest reaches of the universe. You know what you’re in for the moment you realize the planet Schmoo is sending a contingent of athletes accompanied by insurgents bent on infiltration and eventual colonization. These green, three-eyed, four-tentacle life forms are intent on taking over either by force or by applying the Schmoo embrace, a hug that results in body transfer. Think of it as Invasion Of The Body Snatchers meets Mel Brooks.
Burke’s humor is as unbridled as his imagination, with his character’s names setting the fevered pace. Cal Swift is an intrepid Homeland Security agent. His paramour is Dr. Alicia Angelico, behavioral scientist at the Department of Inhuman Affairs. Heading the games is Ronald Hump from his secured location in Hump Towers. There’s also U. S. President Daphne Doolittle, Schmoo’s Paramount Person Max Moo, and far too many more to mention. The author’s plot ricochets from one side of the universe to another as earthlings from multiple continents attempt to stop the invasion. Burke’s prose fires one-liners and salty jokes at machine-gun speed. He has a well-furnished mind, an ingenious intellect, and a prodigious vocabulary dedicated to making readers laugh. If you find the idea of the cosmos on shtick-steroids intriguing, this sci-fi’s for you.
RECOMMENDED by the US Review
Posted by GB
I’ve been reviewed and, once again, the US Review has been kind. Of course, this is only a first chapter review and I anticipate that a full review will arrive within the next few months. Here’s what they had to say about “The Replicants.”
Generally, science fiction is one thing and humor is another. However it takes only a paragraph and a half before readers come upon Planet Schmoo, foretelling a cosmic collision of science and shtick. Rapidly, multiple characters are introduced who further this formulation of interstellar absurdity. The Schmooans are on their way to Earth to participate in intergalactic athletic games. Or, is something more sinister at play? If it is, trouble and comedy are both assured, since the earthlings and the space travelers seem incapable of passing up a potential pun. As the aliens begin to mix and mingle with their human hosts, sportsmanship and camaraderie are in danger of turning into something much darker.
If Author Burke’s past genre send-ups are any clue, which they most certainly are, hang on for a huge helping of hilarity. This initial chapter seems particularly apropos for the classic (and often misquoted) line from Betty Davis in All About Eve, “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.” Davis actually said “night," but if you read past Burke’s opening chapter there’s every chance you’ll soon be giggling too much to care.
I have been researching the world’s best reading locations and for those who readily admit to ongoing pressure with their family, work and other nefarious pursuits, I can recommend a lazy afternoon with your toe in the water and a good book in your hands. If you also need a little nap, that can be reinvigorating too.
In terms of a good book, you can’t go past my latest page-turner, The Replicants, which pits the best brains on Earth against the invaders from Planet Schmoo. It’s pretty thought-provoking stuff and you’ll have to be careful you don’t fall in the water in shock and disbelief. If there are piranhas in the lake, perhaps you had better not dangle your toes after all.
If you are excited by the idyllic scene above, you may be interested to know that it is for sale in May, together with a house and shed, all on two acres in the great state of Georgia. Vladimir Putin can butt out because I am talking about down south in U.S.A. If you are interested, contact me and I’ll pass on your details to the present owner.
Why are my heroines always under the pump?
Posted by GB
Whenever you mention green aliens, people always think the worst; just look what they are attempting with poor Alicia. Nevertheless, I want you to give them the benefit of the doubt, as I did.
Sure, the Schmooans are replicants and that’s not a nice thing but you have to give them credit for being ready to assimilate in the nicest possible way. They are polite, inquisitive and intelligent and they also know how to tap dance. One wonders how things went terribly wrong but that’s what happens when I am calling the shots.
The main purpose of this month’s blog is to lay the groundwork for possible litigation and this might happen if your name is Binch, Laurie, Duffy, Komoneski, Edmeades, Greene, Feely, Bartholomew or Ronald Hump. Any relationship between these folks and the characters in my book is purely coincidental. However, I am sure they will still want to share my post with all their friends and relatives, who can purchase the book by logging on to my website. I always make things easy. I’m that kind of a guy.
Posted by GB
Here’s a collector’s item for you: the original dust jacket for my book before the moral majority stepped in and nobbled the designer’s best efforts. I’m sorry Ben, but the Americans just didn’t know what to do with a gal who had four breasts. Evidently they were unaware that all Schmoo gals were so endowed.
Of course, this will not interfere with the expected charge to obtain copies of this thrilling page-turner and I know a little nudity will not discourage my most fervent fans. Of course, there are some of you who have decidedly different tastes in women, so it is best you scrutinise the alternatives. The Miss Universe pageant on the lovely island of Bohol gave the world the opportunity to see some crumpet from other parts of the solar system. It’s pretty raunchy stuff.
We come in peace, or so they say
Posted by GB
Isn’t it always the way? You meet some aliens from outer space and find them to be charming, personable, erudite and eminently sociable. Then the nastiness kicks in and you have to chastise yourself for being so gullible.
The Schmooans come from a planet that is widely recognized as the last stop before heaven and, if it wasn’t for their impressive sporting ability, they may never have come to Earth. However, the Intergalactic Games don’t come around that often and who could pass up an opportunity to strut their stuff? Of course, this is only the start of my new novel and I am generous in giving you that much.
I did mention, last month, that I would introduce my new hero Cal Swift to you and, although I have done that, his details are limited. After all, we don't want to give him a swelled head. Why don't you just go online and buy the book and be the first in your street to purchase same?
Yes, The Replicants are now live online and would love to snuggle up in bed with you. They are actually quite cuddly for green people.