July 13th, 2021 by Jane Turner
This review of Sealfinger by Heide Goody and Iain Grant comes courtesy of a Blog Tour organised by Rachel’s Random Resources. Sealfinger is self-published through Pigeon Park Press, available in ebook and paperback from Amazon UK from 22 May 2021.
Some bodies just won’t stay buried.
When a client tells Sam Applewhite she’s seen ghosts in the nearby graveyard, Sam dismisses it as the ramblings of an old woman. She’s got bigger things to worry about — Keeping on top of her job at DefCon4 Security Services isn’t easy – particularly since her manager is a cactus and no one will tell her what her job actually is.
But when the ghost-spotting client goes missing and only Sam suspects foul play, she is compelled to dig deeper.
Aided by her retired stage magician father and the owner of the most outlandish junk shop on the sea front, Sam dives into a mystery involving psychotic seals, unexploded air force munitions, DIY foot surgery and a corpse that just won’t quit.
What a rip-snorter! This is comedy gold. Seriously.
The first in the Sam Applewhite series, I’m pretty sure I’ll be reading the others.
These are the first 6 lines of Sealfinger:
“There’s a bearded lady in the loft, dad.”
“A bearded lady?”
” A bearded lady.”
“In the loft?”
“I don’t know which part of that sentence you’re having trouble with.”
“All of it, frankly.”
Sam’s drifting a little. Her job at DefCon4 is dictated by an app, telling her what she’s to be doing every day, with additional GPS tracking to make sure she’s doing it. Sam’s tasks range from Meals on Wheels deliveries, to security for local businesses, to community outreach, to Staff Meetings with her manager – a cactus. (Yes, a cactus. Yes, Sam’s on her own in the office.) Skegness (Skeggy) isn’t the biggest priority for DefCon4, but a job is a job and at least there’s some variety.
The first thirty five pages of Sealfinger involve Sam helping to clean out her dad’s magic paraphernalia, followed by Meals on Wheels duties for Skeggy’s septuagenarians, rudely interrupted by a rampaging seal called Larry, emergency catering, and a suspicion of kidnapping. Sealfinger is a headlong tumble through action and adventure, all done with wit and a unique style that had me constantly chuckling to myself.
But it doesn’t stop there… Oh, no.
The book is structured from two points of view, Sam Applewhite and Jimmy MacIntyre – all-round Mr Fix-It to local property developer, Frost & Sons. Except there’s no longer a Mr Frost and there are no sons. There is, however, a particularly beautiful but deadly daughter who likes to use her shotgun.
Jimmy can’t really cope when his sidekick, Wayne, gets into difficulties involving sneaky shenanigans in the dark, a shovel, the local ‘criminal element’, an alligator, a vet and a shoe. Not to mention Capitalist Whores, a ghost train, a minefield, and horse tranquiliser.
So, Jimmy and Wayne cause the drama, Sam gets wrapped into the investigation, and the chapters alternate between their different points of view. Given the two storylines this isn’t really a mystery story, as you know exactly what’s happened and how, but it’s hilarious, engaging and thoroughly brilliant!
I recommend Sealfinger to anyone who likes a rollicking read. I was chortling from start to finish.
Get in. End of.
Heide and Iain have been co-writing since 2011, releasing more than twenty books. She writes the vowels. He writes the consonants. They sometimes argue over the letter ‘y’.
3 Fun facts about Heide and Iain*:
* One of these is untrue
Heide lives in North Warwickshire, England with her husband and a fluctuating mix of offspring and animals. Iain lives in Birmingham (UK, not Alabama) with his wife and a varying number of offspring and animals.
And, in case you didn’t realise, I’m a copyeditor and proofreader – I help authors and businesses create excellent text. I also do manuscript critiques and book reviews.
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