Book Review

Joseph Barnarby – Susan Roebuck

I am jumping on board the blog tour for Susan Roebuck’s novel Joseph Barnaby today.


Stand by your beliefs – even if it means going to the end of the Earth

By standing up for his principles to save the life of a prize racehorse, farrier Joseph Barnaby loses everything. Now, a personal vendetta has become too deep to fight and he escapes to the island of Madeira where he finds work on a small farm at the foot of a cliff, only accessible by boat. The balmy climate and never-ending supply of exotic fruit, vegetables and honey make it sound like paradise but, for Joseph, it’s the ideal place to hide from the world. Can the inhabitants of Quinta da Esperança, who have more grit in them than the pebbled beach that fronts the property, help Joseph find his self-worth again? And can he escape the danger that draws ever nearer?



Amazon UK


I have a confession to make. I had never come across Susan Roebuck prior to this book, and for some reason, I was expecting Joseph Barnaby to be a historical novel. Imagine my surprise when I turned to the first page to discover that the action all starts in 2016! Not that this detracted from my enjoyment in any way, it just meant I had to adjust my thinking.

I was a huge Dick Francis fan when I was younger, and as such it felt great to return to the intrigue of the horse racing world as Joe’s story and the reason behind his flight to Madeira unfolded. I have also always wanted to visit Madeira having heard from friends how lovely it was, so all in all Joseph Barnaby had all the makings of a great book for me.

I fell in love with the cast of characters from the mysterious Lua, to the ever helpful fishermen, Carlos and Luis, and teddy bear Doctor Henrique (although not with the dastardly Dario!). There was a simplicity to their lives, and the way the whole community rallied round the inhabitants of the remote, isolated Quinta dos Franceses during times of dificulty was incredibly touching.

Susan’s descriptions of the unusual landscape that formed the location of this novel led to much Googling and time wasted looking at pictures of Madeiran fajãs, and the imposing Cabo Girão. Just looking at the photographs, it feels impossible to imagine anyone making their living on a patch of land that can only be reached by boat, or scaling stomach-turningly steep cliffs. However, Susan’s writing brings the Quinta to life so beautifully that you end up yearning for that simple life yourself, and I could quite see the appeal to Joe.

All in all, Joseph Barnaby has be extremely tempted to head off to the travel agents to discover this stunning island for myself.

Photo by Rui Magalhães on Unsplash


I was born and educated in the UK (I am British!) but now live in Portugal. I’ve been an English teacher for many years with the British Council and also the Portuguese civil service where I developed e-learning courses.

My first love is, of course, my husband, my second writing, and my third painting. And now I have time to be able to indulge in all three.

My debut novel, “Perfect Score” was published by Mundania Press on Sept 21, 2010 and the paperback launched on May 11 2011. It was a finalist in the 2012 EPIC e-book Awards in the Mainstream Category.

My second novel is a dark thriller/fantasy called “Hewhay Hall”. It won an EPPIE award in the 2013 EPIC (Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition) e-Book Awards in the Horror Category.

Next comes “Rising Tide”, published in 2015. Set in Portugal, published by Mundania Press. It is set in a tiny fishing village that the world, and most of Portugal, has forgotten. Read about the wonders of the ocean and see if Piper from Norfolk UK and Leo from Alaska, USA, can find what they’re searching for in the little village of Luminosa.

“Forest Dancer” was published on 20th February 2018 by CrookedCat Books. This is novel number 2 set in Portugal but this time in the forests outside Lisbon, Portugal. Instead of the sea (as in Rising Tide), now find out about the wonders of the forest and whether classical ballerina, Flora, can find what she’s searching for in the small village of Aurora.

On 5th October 2018 CrookedCat Books published my newest novel, “Joseph Barnaby”, another romance/suspense which is set on the island of Madeira.


Website & Blog


Facebook Author Page


Amazon Author Page


  1. 1st prize an Amazon book token (£10) ,
  2. 2nd prize – 2 x signed paperbacks of Joseph Barnaby
  3. 3rd prize – 2 x ebooks of Joseph Barnaby

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Many thanks to Susan, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources, for enabling me to take part in this blog tour, and for providing me with my copy of the book. Make sure you pay a visit to the other blogs on the tour.

Joseph Barnaby Full Tour Banner