Item description for Bloody Ham by Brian Kavanagh...
Lights! Camera! Action! . Murder! A rollicking puzzle and a turmoil of personal relationships, some happy, some doomed, some downright evil. The third adventure for Belinda and Hazel continuing the pace and humour that readers have come to acknowledge and appreciate. Excitement and tension begin on the first day of filming a Restoration drama on location at the historic Jacobean mansion, Ham House in Surrey when one of the leading players collapses and dies. With the death ruled non-accidental the director, producer and members of the cast are all suspects. An award winning Hollywood star is brought in to replace the dead actor and Belinda is employed as her stand-in. When another member of the crew is found stabbed to death, Belinda is forced to prove her innocence. In all this tumult, Belinda finds herself torn between her long-time English lover, Mark and the energetic and exuberant Australian, Brad she met again on a trip to Australia.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.9" Width: 5" Height: 0.8" Weight: 0.45 lbs.
Release Date Sep 25, 2007
Publisher Bewrite Books
ISBN 1905202539 ISBN13 9781905202539
Reviews - What do customers think about Bloody Ham?
Bloody Ham Aug 13, 2008
Bloody Ham by Brian Kavanagh ISBN: 978-1-905202-53-9
This book is the third in a mystery series featuring Belinda and Hazel, friends and partners in an antique store business. In this book, Hazel's antique silverware is being used in a movie and she and Belinda go to the set to keep an eye on it. While there, a young starlet is murdered and Belinda begins to investigate.
I felt I had missed an installment at the beginning of this book. Belinda and Mark, her boyfriend, were having relationship issues that were not hinted at in the second book. I began the book with a disjointed feeling. By the time the murder happened, I was feeling frustrated for feeling like I missed something.
I continue to like Belinda and Hazel with her sharp tongue. I do feel, however, that this was the weakest book in the series so far. I rated this one a 3.5/5.
Reviewed by Melissa A. Palmer 8/12/08 email@example.com
An old English mansion and murder Dec 17, 2007
An ancient English mansion, rich in history and filled with an acting cast ends up being a different kind of drama. A true mystery involving murder.
Belinda and Hazel are protecting the silver props, when the leading lady dies. Belinda is hired as a backup to the new actress brought in to replace the deceased.
Drama on film and in life, leads to more drama. While trying to solve not one, but two murders to save her own skin, Belinda has a personal drama. She has to make a decision about the men in her life.
A well written tale that comes at you from several different levels.
Review by Wanda C. Keesey (author of Lost In The Mist release date May 2008)
Restoration Drama Goes Awry! Nov 12, 2007
Ham House is considered to be one of the haunted houses in Surry, Great Britain, as well as being a historic Jacobean mansion from the 17th Century. Now Belinda and Hazel are invited to the famed home where Hazel will provide some antique pieces to add to the authentic setting and Belinda actually along the way is asked to act a small part.
But the reader is quickly pulled into the palpable tension between producers, directors, actors, actresses and their spouses. The flip and sometimes tawdry jealousies between stars who want to become rich and those who can make or break them becomes drama paralleling the history of Ham House.
Alarm begins to spread when one famous actress collapses and dies and later an actor is found stabbed to death. Belinda and Hazel are drawn into the mystery while Belinda meanwhile has to decide between her recent lover and an older lover from Australia.
Brian Kavanagh continues to be a master of a quick-paced but interesting plot that tenaciously holds the reader's interest to the very taught but satisfying end. Bloody Ham is definitely the best of the whole series he has written.
Well done, indeed, Brian Kavanagh!!!
Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on November 11, 2007
Quality you expect from Kavanagh Nov 8, 2007
Reviewed by Vanessa Lee
Hazel Whitby follows her antique silver - and her latest lover - to Ham House, the location of a new movie shoot. She is joined by her friend and business partner, Belinda Lawrence, and they're both present when one of the stars dies. It looks accidental, but it's quickly ruled a murder, and when Belinda is asked to take the role of stand-in for the Hollywood star who takes over the part, figuring out "whodunit" becomes top priority.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of distractions, including clashing Hollywood egos, a long-time lover wanting commitment, and an old flame Belinda sort-of rekindled on her recent visit to Australia. Then there is another murder...and Belinda becomes a prime suspect.
Though some of the situations seem a bit contrived, overall Bloody Ham is a well-written cozy mystery with likeable and unique "detectives." They read like real people, complete with petty jealousy, commitment issues, and odd obsessions. They mostly blunder through the mystery, which is quite believable as well as entertaining and if the body count gets a bit high and the police presence seems a little low, well, no book can be perfect.
The mystery itself is well-done as well and fits together nicely. The way Belinda and Hazel solve it is also quite convincing, though it is curious why the police didn't do some of the things the ladies accomplish. They were mentioned as being involved, and yet there weren't any police officers as characters, which seems odd. It doesn't detract from the story, however, and it gave Belinda and Hazel the starring roles they deserved.
One particularly impressive thing was Kavanagh's use of setting - both the crazy Hollywood set as well as the actual location of Ham House. The two are at odds with each other and yet Kavanagh blends them together seamlessly and manages to use both to commit and solve the crimes. It adds flavor to the story that would be lacking if either element were removed.
Armchair Interviews says: Bloody Ham is a fun, unique read and we look forward to more of Belinda and Hazel in the future.
Bloody good Oct 23, 2007
BLOODY HAM is the third book in a mystery series that follows the adventures of ex-pat Australian Belinda Lawrence. Pressured to make a commitment by her gorgeous boyfriend Mark, Belinda flies to visit her family in Australia to give the relationship serious thought. Here she meets up with an old friend. Brad seems to be everything Mark is not and Belinda returns to England in a state of emotional confusion. She is immediately plunged into another adventure.
Hazel, Belinda's business partner and best friend, runs an antique business. A film company is filming a historical movie at the nearby Ham House and have hired some of Hazel's antique silver for the banquet scene. The vampy Hazel has collected yet another younger man, Tim, to console herself after being rejected by her ex-husband for a younger woman. Tim is a film editor for the movie. Belinda and Hazel are invited to the set while the banqueting scenes are filmed - both are shocked to witness the death of the leading lady. A new actress takes over the part within days and filming proceeds. Belinda is asked to be the stand-in for the new actress, which she accepts because it will give her a chance to snoop and solve the murder. A second murder quickly follows and this time Belinda is a suspect as her fingerprints are all over the murder weapon.
I adore Belinda. She is a strong and independent character - in total control of herself. She is in charge of her romantic life, and does not bat an eyelid when Brad turns up in England and she has dinner with him and her English beau, Mark. Since her first appearance in CAPABLE OF MURDER Belinda has grown as a character. Growth is good. Hazel has also changed; at the end of this book she is questioning the way she lives her life. She is questioning just who she is hurting by her love `em and leave 'em attitude? Author Brian Kavanagh doesn't dwell on the relationship issues of the two women. The issues are there, but the emphasis is on solving the mystery. In this wonderful story twists, turns, suspects, ghosts, romance, and red herrings abound before a satisfactory conclusion.
Kavanagh has many years' experience in the Australian Film Industry in the areas of production, direction, editing and writing. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Australian Film Editors Guild. One of the `rules' drummed into you at writing school is to write about what you know. Kavanagh knows the film industry, and BLOODY HAM is an authoritative, and humorous, peep behind the scenes.
I have heard a whisper that Brian Kavanagh is working on a yet to be titled fourth Belinda Lawrence story, to be set in Australia. Let us hope we don't have to wait too long for it.