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No Cause for Concern: 13 (Marcus Corvinus) Paperback – 30 Jun 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (30 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1477653775
  • ISBN-13: 978-1477653777
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 329,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

David Wishart studied Classics at Edinburgh University. After teaching Latin and Greek in school for four years he retrained as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language and lived and worked abroad, in Kuwait, Greece and Saudi Arabia. He returned to Scotland with his family in 1990 and now lives with his wife Rona in Carnoustie.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Annie W on 23 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is another enjoyable outing for Marcus Corvinus, for Perilla, and for Bathylus the butler (how does he manage to be everywhere, know everything, and make his displeasure felt without saying a word?). This time, there are some other butlers who must have come from the same school, and demonstrate the same traits. The plot is is not complicated, just extremely clever, and takes us all over the place - on horseback, much to Corvinus' discomfort. Perhaps he'd be better using some of the alcohol he consumes as a rub, instead! His chatty, modern, almost slang style of speech must greatly annoy the many upright, dignified Romans whom he meets, but, in this tale, involving a serious master of crime and his intimidating enforcers, it fits in very well - although there's still no doubt that Corvinus is, understandable, slightly wary of master and men.

I have enjoyed reading all of David Wishart's Corvinus novels, but must say that neither the publisher of his last novel, "Bodies Politic", nor Amazon in the case of this story, have done him any favours. Plashmill Press were extremely slow to provide certainly this purchaser with the earlier book, and Waterstone's said they had had the same experience. This time, there's no difficulty in getting the book, but it is large, ungainly to handle, the print is excessively large, and the printed pages have been justified to the right, rather than on both sides, so that there are large gaps at the right hand side of every line, making it difficult to read the text, especially when it's showing conversations. No one has even made the effort to break words up by use of a hyphen to make better use of the space. On average, they manage 8 words to a line.

As someone who likes to keep my books, and re-read them several times, I'm not sure the binding on this one will cope with much handling. Amazon, I really expected better of you.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Joyeuse VINE VOICE on 8 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Five stars for the book - only one for the printed product.

My copy indicates that it was printed on demand by Amazon and if this is a sample of their output they are doing their authors no favours at all. The typeface is excessively large and the line spacing about twice what is normal in a book for adults. Until my eye adjusted to this format it was a bit like going back to primary school and the "Janet and John" first readers used in the 50s. It's the sort of layout that would be normal in a draft. There are 203 pages and I reckon they could have saved somewhere between a third and a half the paper in a normal print layout.

Please Mr Wishart, find another printer or, even better, lean on Amazon to get their act together. I, for one, haven't reached the large-print version stage just yet.

On the plus side I didn't spot any typos which is almost miraculaous these days, most publishers relying too much on spell check and far too little on experienced proof-readers.

That having been said, the novel itself (albeit a short one) is well paced and a good read. I've been a fan of Mr Wishart's Roman tales since they first appeared and have read them all and will almost certainly continue to do so but I do hope that the book production issues can be ironed out before the next one. If this were a 612 page door-stop as some of the others, like "White Murder" for example, it would probably weigh too much to lift. On a quick calulation I reckon it averages out to about half the number of words to the page of an average novel.

If you are a Corvinus fan you'll love this one and please don't be put off by my criticsim of the book's production. If you are new to them it's worth giving this one a go and then tracking down the back numbers - there are plenty. My only worry for future episodes is that Corvinus' liver is unlikely to hold out much longer, his favourite accessory being a wine-cup.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By john on 2 Jan. 2013
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A Marcus Corvinus book is always welcome, I love the humour. But this one, like the previous 'Bodies Politic' is too thin. There's none of the detail which makes the books interesting and he seems to be just sketching around a formula. The book is also poorly printed and presented.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Stocks on 26 Nov. 2012
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I utterly agree with the other comments. Was this book printed for the visually impaired? - the font is huge and the line spacing excessive. At 207 pages if both of these with brought back to a "standard format" (even with justified text and paragraph indents) it was turn out to be a very short novella.
I gave up it was just too difficult to read - whereas I usually enjoy Wishart's novels this was an utter burden imposed by the published format.
Cheap and nasty.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Edrupt on 21 Oct. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have always been a fan of Wishart's novels. I read them long before I had read any Lindsey Davies so to me, these are the original Wise cracking Roman sleuth books. Is it me though or are books getting shorter?? I seemed to have finished it within a couple of days and was left wanting more! This follows the same lines as his other Corvinus books, which is good as I like the style but please David, give us something a little more meatier.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By travelswithadiplomat on 3 Oct. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well, having read the other reviews, I must say I've no problems with the layout given I got this on Kindle.
OK, so the latest mystery has Marcus being forced by the shadier side of Rome's underworld to investigate the disappearance of a family member. In this case, Titus, one adopted son of Sempronius Eutacticus, "organized crime's equivalent of a crocodile with attitude." The lad's gone missing and his stepfather's not someone you deny anything. All of which means Rufia Perilla's husband is off on a pointless jaunt into the countryside environs of Rome's towns - like Sutrium - to check out a circus before inevitably finding out the abductee is also murdered; oh plus his slave.
What follows is Marcus' usual unraveling of a dodgy tapestry; this one adorned with local gang rivalries, seagulls, cold daughters, gambling hovels, accountancy discrepancies, and a few more deaths. Throw in a character list of nefarious crooks like Paetinius Senior and Younger, Astrapton, Quintus Bellarius, and the goon, Satrius, and Wishart has the ingredients for another fine mystery.
You've got the usual twenty-first century vernacular of Wishart liberally peppering Marcus' speech. When he has our sleuth refer to Cato as "puritanical", you know the author doesn't really care about linguistic historical context too much. Then again, Wishart's prepared to have us reaching for our dictionaries on occasion too; as when Marcus observes "clutching a mop like it was some apotropaic talisman."
What does intrigue/impress me slightly is the amount of time Wishart gives over to Marcus' love of wine. I nearly started Googling some of these to see if they had historical evidence (but never quite managed it). For example our hero imbibes Graviscan, Statonian, Falernian, Velletrian, and Caecuban.
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