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4.3 out of 5 stars26
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 7 March 2013
Andrew Peters presents his crime stories in a uniquely engaging style. There is humour leaping from every page, but let that not detract from the intelligent yarn-spinning that holds you from start to finish. The three short stories are about serious business...crimes of murder, but recounted through the sometimes gin-, brandy- or whisky-assisted memory of retired Chief Superintendent Williams...the deft telling through the monologues of Williams carries its own excellent pace , and for those of us of a certain age, the throwback references to elements of the 'sixties are priceless gems...a thoroughly enjoyable read..well done, author, take a bow...
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on 29 May 2013
This is the third book I've read by Andy Peters. His dialogue with the reader remains endearing and the source of much of his humour. In this case Superintendent Williams (The almost legendary Williams of the yard) is recounting some infamous murder cases to a journalist. The murders all take place on Barry Island in the sixties and yes the occasional Welsh gag slips in.

In previous reviews I've made much of the humour but the reason I enjoyed Barry Island Murders is that the author gave a very thorough recount of the murders and how they are solved. A quirky police procedural if you like with the action happening in the sixties and being recounted to a present day journalist. The stories are well constructed and you find yourself wondering not only who did it but how they achieved it.

The first story The Journey To Mars is a perplexing case and had me scratching my head. I must stop that with my dandruff and all. A death at Barry funfair and a killer to apprehend leaves our man struggling for clues. A young is woman murdered whilst on a ghost train ride and there is no sign of a killer.

The Playground the second story sees the death of an elderly gentleman in a strange location. Williams is on the scent faster than a bloodhound after a pork pie.

The final case The Graveyard sees the death of a young woman in a graveyard of steam engines but who is she and why is the dresser at her guesthouse full of sexy lingerie? Williams must take a closer look but not necessarily at the lingerie.

No doubt The Barry Island Murders will be too sedate for some. Williams of the yard is no Jack Reacher with his chiselled chin and perfect teeth. No guns, bombs and few girls to excite the reader, just three deftly recounted tales with a gentle humour running through them like a vein in a good cheese. Witty, offbeat, funny, quirky but most of all a great and fun read.
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on 16 July 2013
Initially the only reason I bought this was the Title. I spent many happy years of my childhood at Barry Island, during the period incidents in this book take place. Descriptions of the localities were familiar and made this an enjoyable read for me. Saying that I probably enjoyed it more because I could appreciated it knowing the area. As a collection of short stories they made easy, light reading and allowed the reader to try to work out the conclusion, which could have been a little easy if you are an avid detective/thriller reader. The manner of writing actually made you feel that you were actually sitting there listening to this. A very good, light read.
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on 19 June 2013
I really enjoyed this easy, light reading, ideal for pre sleep. The author , being the narrator , captured my interest as though I was eves- dropping from a near by table in the pub. Brilliant
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on 25 January 2013
Andrew Peter has written a masterpiece here. "The Barry Island Murders" are old cases narrated by retired Chief Superintendent Williams. Williams is a lovable policeman, with sense of humour and somebody who like his juice. All in all, a very entertaining and funny reading and I hope that there is more to come from Mr. Williams...
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on 19 October 2013
This is such a clever book. Andrew Peters tells stories whilst also having a subtle (or maybe not so) little dig at some classic writing habits that tend to clog up books without progressing the story... The use of the completely silent interviewer to prompt Williams to get to the point of his story is absolutely brilliant. We never hear a word from the interviewer and yet you can imagine every word he says through Williams' responses. The stories themselves are fun little tales, but it's the way Peters writes that elevates this book from run of the mill to very very clever. Peters leaves the most clever piece of writing for the final pages - I challenge any aspiring writer to read those final pages without a wry smile on their face... Excellent
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on 13 July 2013
I love these 'fly on the wall' types of books - based on journals, letters, conversations etc and this was one of the best. Being on the wrong side of 50, I howled with laughter as 'Williams of the yard' tried to explain the 60s to the (much younger) journalist. From looking up "joogle" to injecting "bollox" for wrinkles, the malapropisms were superbly done. Although this was based on murders, it was witty and highly entertaining. This is the first book I've read by this author but I'll definitely be reading more.
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on 11 February 2013
I enjoyed the banter between the characters but felt there should have been more attention to detail when describing the crimes. Also in the 60s the police force was Staffordshire not West Midlands.
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on 22 February 2014
I can imagine that the author had great fun writing this entertaining trio of stories narrated by the wildly politically-incorrect Welsh policeman who solves the three murders related. For anyone of a certain age (if you remember Spangles sweets, that'll be you), the period detail is enjoyable, as are the side-swipes at the Daily Mail, one of whose reporters is supposedly interviewing the policeman. Light holiday reading to make you smile, and that will likely make you download more of Mr Peters' work on your return home.
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on 27 January 2014
As a historical document this book will probably never get remembered, and If all ex-superintendents are as lazy and incompetent as Williams, how come British jails are full? But as entertainment i rate it top, and if you have a tiny bit of imagination yourself, you will enjoy this story (correction: three stories) as much as I did. It is written by the famous Welsh multi-millionaire Andrew Peters, whose real name is in fact XXXXXX XXXXXXXX (Deleted by the webmaster).
Enjoy reading it! I did.
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