Today I join the blog tour for Miniskirts Are Murder, the second in the Porter and The Gliss series by Des Burkinshaw. You can read my review of book one, Dead & Talking, here. Many thanks to Des for providing me with a copy of the book, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of the tour.
Porter Norton, his friends and his sarcastic spirit guide, The Gliss, are on the trail of a young actress who went missing in Soho, London, in the Swinging Sixties. Still recovering from their last adventure in the battlefields of WW1, the gang are confronted by a transatlantic conspiracy.
Since reading Dead and Talking back in 2019, I have been eagerly awaiting the return of Porter Norton, his spirit guide, The Gliss, and their quirky Scooby gang of Namita, Feng and Karin. I love the different dynamics in play among the group as they continue to get to know each other.
Although Miniskirts Are Murder is the second book in a series, it recaps the events of Dead and Talking sufficiently that it would read well as a standalone, although I think you would be missing out if you didn’t read Dead and Talking as well.
In the historic cases that Porter, somewhat unwillingly, finds himself investigating, Des Burkinshaw isn’t scared to tackle difficult subjects. I don’t want to say too much about the discoveries made in Miniskirts Are Murder because it is hard to do so without giving away the story, but it certainly doesn’t shy away from the seedier side of 1960s Soho. At times, the writing is a little heavy on telling rather than showing, but I think Burkinshaw gets away with it as it means we learn the history as our heroes do, and this is also countered with flashbacks to the scarily naive Ursa, Rose and Bella. Seeing Soho through their eyes really brought it to life for me.
Despite the truly horrific deeds that are uncovered over the course of the book, this still somehow manages to be a fun read, purely because of the wonderful characters that Burkinshaw has created rather than because he has made light of the situation which he most definitely has not. The dry humour that I so enjoyed in the interactions between Porter and his friends, particularly The Gliss, provides a much needed light relief to what would otherwise be very difficult subject matter to digest.
With so many periods of history to explore, and with Porter needing to atone for so much damage caused by his ancestors, this is a series that could run and run, and I really hope it does (I also think it would make a fantastic television series, just in case any TV folk happen to see this!).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Des, 52, is a former Times journalist/BBC TV producer. Miniskirts are Murder is the second in the Porter and The Gliss Investigations series, following Dead & Talking in 2019. Des likes to live out as much of the stories as possible and spent 3 months in the US researching this novel. He runs a film school in London and has just been commissioned to write a limited season TV series intended for Netflix. He is also a keen musician and through work has jammed with people like Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson and Jeff Lynne. He is married with 1 daughter.
Don’t forget to visit the other blogs taking part on the tour.