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Queen of Clubs

♣ The Reviews ♣

I’ve now read and enjoyed your book, QUEEN OF CLUBS. Well done!. It has some fun twists, and some well observed community and family interactions. Wouldn’t like to identify myself with your Queen though, and certainly best appreciated by those who understand something of rugby — which fortunately I do, with enthusiasm! Those elements, too, were nicely tongue-in-cheek…

Dr. Rosie Plummer
Director
National Botanic Garden of Wales

I have now read your book, QUEEN OF CLUBS, and enjoyed it. I was very surprised by it because I had been expecting a lighthearted rugby based romp with charming characters. Instead, it is a dark and bitter comedy — who do you think you are, Ben Jonson?! What a cast of grasping, greedy, conniving, lying, self-centred people you have assembled. I found myself wanting them all to get their comeuppance and I was rooting for the few decent people in the story. And, blimey, even the poor club is going to go down the drain when the vile Russian has his way.

It’s rare to read such an angry funny book, so well done.

And you’ve got another two books in the pipeline! Prolific, with it! Good luck with this one.

Nigel Hinton
Children’s Book Author
Website: www.nigelhinton.net
Blog: www.nigelhinton.blogspot.com

Congratulations on your first novel which I have just finished. I was laughing out loud at times and enjoying the atmosphere of the Welsh valleys and village life — and also the local politics of the rugby club.

You should be really pleased with your achievement and I look forward to the novels in the pipeline!

I look forward to chatting with you at Lords.

David Trace

I read the book quickly, which means that I liked it and thought that it was an enjoyable tale which sailed along merrily with a lightness of touch that masked the lack of character portrayal sometimes found in more serious works but which nonetheless offered humour and integrity in its depiction of how modern day rugby football may be managed in the smaller, underfunded communities of Wales. I could see it serving as a television comedy/drama and maybe even a series where the story could be developed in more depth with new characters from different walks of life. Waiting for the sequel!

Roger Michaelson

Roger Michaelson’s rugby background: Welsh International 1963; Cambridge University Blue 1960-61-62 (captain 1962); Aberavon RFC 1959-62 and 1964-65; London Welsh 1963-64 and 1965-1970 (also Club Coach, Club Secretary and Executive Officer). Roger also played for Surrey and the Barbarians, et al.

Well, I’ve just finished your novel. You acted so self-deprecating whenever you mentioned it that I feared the worst, and was pleased to find that it was a funny, interesting and well-told story. The stuff about Welsh rugby clubs, their fans, officials and disasters felt really spot on.

I did enjoy it: an amusing yet rather sad novel, told with pace and wit. I look forward to your next.

Oh, and congratulations to the Blake Sisters for the way this one looked! [Lynn produced the cover illustration and edited the book; Andy designed the book and this website.]

Peter Prince

Peter Prince’s first novel, PLAY THINGS, won the Somerset Maugham Award and was made into a BBC television film. Other novels include WATERLOO STORY, THE GOOD FATHER, which was made into a film starring Anthony Hopkins, and a historical adventure, ADAM RUNAWAY. He wrote the screenplay for the BBC series OPPENHEIMER, which won three BAFTA Awards, including Best Drama Series, and for the TV film, COLD HARBOUR.

Excellent story that I enjoyed all the more it because it reminded me of the many similar characters at my village rugby club where I spent so much time in my early rugby career. I’m not sure, though, what we would have done if our club had any wealthy actresses or Russian millionaires involved!

Kevin Bowring

Kevin Bowring’s rugby background: RFU Head of Elite Coach Development 2002–present and IRB Referee Selector 2004–present. Inducted into Sports Coach UK Coaching Hall of Fame and Dyson Award Winner 2007. Kevin’s earlier rugby career: First professional coach of the Welsh National Team 1995–98. Played for Neath, London Welsh, Middlesex, London Counties, Barbarians and the Welsh ‘B’ Squad.

I enjoyed this easy-to-read book. It is a dark comedy and seems typical of committee-led Wales—the committee members, all different characters, enmeshed with their plots and counterplots yet all brought together with a modern theme. I hope there is follow-up as I want to know what happens to the club!

Mark Bowen
Librarian, Carmarthen Library, Wales

I just wanted to let you know that I loved your book! Your sense of the times and your characters seemed spot-on, and the story held my attention throughout. Great stuff!

I was just a bit sad at the end when I had to let go of my hopes to meet the characters again. Then I thought this is like a Mike Leigh movie: you get to share a slice of people’s lives and that’s that point.

Speaking of Mike Leigh movies, how about pitching the story to him, and how about Brenda Blethyn in the role of Gloria?

Very well done!!!

Michael Arthur

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