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Pets in a Pickle (Prospect House 1) [Paperback]

Malcolm D. Welshman
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
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Book Description

3 May 2011 Prospect House 1
Foreword by Jim Wight, son of James Herriot and author of The Real James Herriot James Herriot became, through his writing, the most famous veterinarian in the world. Two things, to me, stand out as integral to his worldwide success as an author: his books are not just about vets treating animals, they are about people, and he writes about others, not just himself. Malcolm Welshman's book, Pets in a Pickle, is, too, not just a collection of animals stories. The author paints a vivid picture of many fascinating characters - human and animal - resulting in a most enjoyable and amusing read. The veterinary profession is one enriched by the most interesting and challenging situations, wherein the veterinary surgeon is confronted by a variety of unforgettable characters. MalcolmWelshman's experiences as a young veterinary surgeon, recounted in a most readable way, illustrate this very well. It is often said that vets have little interest in books or TV programmes about other members of their profession. It is regarded as 'old hat', revealing nothing new. I did not find this to be the case with this book. The author describes his early life in practice in a most entertaining way. The book is extremely easy to read and the text gives the reader a most enjoyable insight into the unpredictable but fascinating life of the veterinary surgeon. I wish this book every success. _____________________________________________________________________ When Paul Mitchell arrives for his first day's work at Prospect House Veterinary Hospital, he never expects this...Oh his very first day, he is bitten by a feisty hamster...but this is a mere prelude to a cavalcade of hilarious - and often painful - encounters with fish, flesh and fowl. From stalking a feral cat to rescuing a cow stuck in a gravel pit, life is never short of animal adventures for the newly qualified vet. On top of treating all manner of creatures at the practice, Paul and his girlfriend Lucy, also nurse a host of waifs and strays back to health at their home. Besides six budgerigars, two love birds, a hoard of guinea pigs and three tabby cats, their menagerie includes Gertie the Goose, whose talent for house security saves her from the Christmas Day table, and Nelson, their lovable - and stone deaf - Jack Russell.

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Pets in a Pickle (Prospect House 1) + Pets on Parade (Prospect House 2) + Vet on the Loose
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: John Blake Publishing Ltd (3 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843583615
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843583615
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 13.3 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 95,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm a retired vet who had a novel called 'Pets in Prospect' published in 2006. 'Pets in a Pickle', published in May 2011, is a new edition of the same book. In it, there are quotes by Sir Terry Wogan and Richard Madeley. James Herriot's son wrote a foreword in which he kindly compared me to his father.

In September 2011, the ebook reached number 2 in Kindle's bestseller list where it stayed for two weeks.

The sequel, titled 'Pets on Parade', continuing the exploits of the young vet, Paul Mitchell, was published 2nd April 2012.

At the end of August 2012, Barnes & Noble in the US chose Pets in a Pickle as its Free Friday selection from their Nook books. As a result the ebook got 68,000 hits and 450 reviews, over half of which were 5*.

My website is:

Twitter @malcolmwelshman


My third novel in the pet series is published 29th August 2014. It's called Pets Aplenty with further zany exploits of the young vet, Paul Mitchell.

The Sun says, 'You'll laugh a lot and thoroughly enjoy reading about the rather hapless Paul Mitchell's escapades. Perfect for animal lovers the world over.'

If ever you wish to get in touch with me, I'll be happy to respond.

Thank you for your interest.

Product Description


''s fun and should bring a smile to your face.' - Sir Terry Wogan 'If you enjoyed James Herriot you will enjoy Malcolm Welshman's rollicking story of eccentric animals and even more eccentric humans.' - Celia Haddon, Daily Telegraph

About the Author

Malcolm Welshman is a retired vet who has worked at London Zoo, in a small animal hospital and as a consultant dealing in exotics. He has written over 200 features for national magazines including The Lady, She, Yours, Cat World and Parrot Magazine. He was the My Weekly vet for fifteen years. He is a BBC Radio panellist and a guest speaker worldwide on cruise ships.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Funniest Book Ever 10 July 2011
Pets in a Pickle has to be the funniest book I have ever read. I enjoyed James Herriot but this is even better.

The book describes experiences encountered at the beginning of the career of Paul Mitchell, a newly qualified vet who joins a veterinary hospital in Sussex.

As Paul meets the staff, his descriptions are so vivid that I felt I also knew them. Beryl, the receptionist who seems to run the hospital, Dr Crystal Sharpe who with her husband Eric does run the hospital and Mandy and Lucy the two nurses who have there own 'tails' to tell.

The experiences with the animal patients and their owners had me in stitches. I cannot remember ever laughing aloud while reading a book but this was a fantastic first time.

Malcolm Welshman writes with incredible humour and with a tremendous skill that enables him to deliver a book that will appeal to all. He obviously has a lifetime of experiences that he has drawn on and I look forward to reading many more books from him.

I cannot imagine doing anything better on a dark winter day than to sit in a cosy chair and read a Malcolm Welshman book. A great dose of sunshine.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vets in a Pickle 14 Oct 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm a vet too and this is just the sort of book I wish I had written. The author qualified just three years before I did so we are almost contemporaries and both of us entered practice at a time when a lot of the old methods had not yet died out but modern techniques were flooding in all the time.

It is a collection of linked short stories about pets and their owners and the amusing predicaments they get into, very much along the lines of James Herriot, but with differences. The stories are so similar to those that most vets could relate from experience that they awoke many memories, which I hastily wrote down for future reference. There are tales of sick cows, cats, horses and monkeys but it is the owners that bring the humour to the situation.

There is also the underlying romantic element, with the new vet falling in love with one of the veterinary nurses while at the same time fending off the amorous advances of his buxom divorced landlady. There is clearly scope for more.

I'd definitely recommend this book if you like James Herriot and it would make an ideal stocking filler for Christmas. I hope Malcolm Welshman writes many more.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious. 3 May 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I sat down to dip into this book and ended up reading it all - very page turning. I didn't eat breakfast or go out until it was time for tea. There are so many interesting and funny incidents that happen to Paul Mitchell based on actual events which befell the author. It is no wonder then to find that James Herriot's son wrote the foreword to this deserving book. However, I would like to know a bit more about the main characters. All the action is fun but the personal relationships, especially between Paul and his girlfriend Lucy, didn't have quite enough space and I would have liked a bit more expansion there. Maybe this will happen in the sequel as, based on this entertaining read, I'm sure there will be one.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sample only - Amusing and well-written 28 Sep 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I like the subject matter and the cover, so I downloaded this to my Kindle. I was rather deterred by the rapturous praise from Terry Wogan, Richard Madeley and their ilk at the beginning, and sure enough, although I found this book likeable and readable with no typos or Kindle layout errors, I only found it funny in a Doc Martin or Heartbeat kind of way, which surprised me for such a young author. I'm sure it would make a popular made-for-TV-1hr-Sunday-drama-film though and I would happily read a bit more than the sample, but I think the almost-Dickensian comedy element would grow rather tiresome after a while.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Light Reading 29 Nov 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A warning: don't read this if you dislike puns or you'll end up hurling it across the room. I rather enjoy puns (probably says something about my intellect) so I was perfectly happy with it. My niggle was the relatively few but nevertheless irritating typos in the electronic edition which should have been eliminated at the proof-reading stage.

That apart, it's a jolly frolic through a vet's first few months in practice and kept me entertained for a couple of days. Inevitably, there is pathos but parts of it are laugh-aloud funny so don't be surprised to get a few odd looks if you're reading it on the train.

The book could have been twice as long and gone into much greater depth about many things but then, I suspect, it would be an entirely different product from the light-hearted read that this is.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Extremely poor imitation of Herriot 7 Nov 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I was excited to read this based on the many positive reviews and my love of all Herriot's books. However, I was particularly disappointed with it. I struggled - and mean struggled - through to the end. The author's attempt at humour is weak in the extreme. His heavy and unending use of puns is quite wearing and rather insulting to an adult readership. I still await my modern-day Herriot.....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Utterly tedious. 28 Sep 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this book because of the good reviews. All I can say is is must have been written for children. I was irritated right from the start but tried to stick with it. After a few chapters I could stand no more. Hugely disappointing. I loved the James Herriott books but this bears no resemblance.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Uproariously funny.
Fantastic. A book that would make a worthy successor to James Herriot.
Published 5 days ago by sarahlouise34
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very funny.
Published 14 days ago by Mrs. Y. Culverwell
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
very happy with all
Published 17 days ago by marjorie Dockree
5.0 out of 5 stars but told it's good.
Haven't read it yet, but told it's good.
Published 19 days ago by Deanna F.
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved the book
I loved reading Pets in a Pickle. All the characters, both human and animal, came alive. I think the one I found the funniest was Sid, the anaconda. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Meriel Thom
5.0 out of 5 stars Pets in a Pickle (Prospect House
A lovely, easy to read account of a vet's life. Excellent characturisation, amusing and well written. Looking for more of the same.
Published 1 month ago by Sheila Patricia Drake
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Funny book.
Published 2 months ago by eve redfern
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read....a must have
Great fun and a easy read..... perfect. Love the characters, human and animal, and the sense of humour. Highly recommended
Published 3 months ago by bob
5.0 out of 5 stars funny and entertaining
Just what you'd expect of a vets practise. Modern James Herriot. Wonder if there's a sequel? Love to see how they progressed.
Published 3 months ago by Angela
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun
Enjoyable romp as a new vet finds his feet, dealing with an assortment of creatures as well as an assortment of owners. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Sue Brewer
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