#Bookreview – Where Angels & Devils Tread by Joy Lennick and Jean Wilson

What Amazon says

The joint ages of friends Joy Lennick and Jean Wilson may add up to one hundred and seventy one years, but there’s nothing “old lace” about these two women writers; while the “arsenic” connection is questionable… Both adept at delving into the messy, murky world of murder, it is enlightening, and sometimes, a relief… to discover their added light, humorous touch. This makes for a diverse selection of highly entertaining short stories to tickle the fancy of readers of a variety of genres. Jean Wilson worked as a Queen’s Nurse in the 1950s, and soon earned the affectionate nickname ‘The Angel of Aldgate’ for her cheerful, hard work among the sick of the East End of London; and Joy Lennick wore a few hats before becoming an author in 1984; adding many writing projects to her long list, including five books.

My review

The charm of this collection of short stories written by Joy lennick and Jean Wilson, is that all of them are driven by interesting and authentic characters in a manner reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s novels. The superstitions, petty prejudices, and pleasures of these very English characters allow for thoroughly engaging stories with plenty of tongue-in-cheek British humour when circumstances and planned actions bring calamity down on their heads. I enjoyed the plots of the various stories but it is the style of the writing that made this a five star read for me.

A few examples of the humour which had me laughing as I visualized the characters are as follows:

“When I managed to get in I could see that Manny had left his mortal coil and wouldn’t be needing any more injections. I have to say the wife beater was very useful and I have developed a philosophy rather like the Ying and Yang that even dead losses have their uses on occasion.” This extract is from Aldgate’s Angel by Jean Wilson which tells the story of a queen’s nurse in 1950s London. In those days the nurses used to make house visits to attend to certain chronic patients. The conditions in which many of these patients lived were eye opening for me and the wry humour pulled at my heartstrings even as I chuckled.

“Mr Lawson, an ex-banker had been caught stealing some cigars from the newsagent along the road. The fool hadn’t remembered that they had security cameras and his antics were well and truly viewed, although a little mistily, and he was arrested without ceremony and taken to the local police station. Angie Roberts had given a hyena-type short laugh. It was typical of bank managers to help themselves to whatever they wanted. She held them responsible for the state the country was in.” This extract is from Death By Design by Jean Wilson in which the residents of a retirement home decide to take the righting of certain wrongs into their own hands.

“Kosher his mother’s home was not. He smiled as she flitted across his consciousness. Having decided while he was still in the womb that he should be a lawyer, she was disappointed when he became a detective, calling him a “Klutz!” adding “You could be killed!”
However, the fact that his younger brother, -“My son, Joseph, the doctor!” – fulfilled a birth wish, left her happy.” from Freeze by Joy Lennick, a murder investigation into the death of a small time crook and drug addict. The investigation grows legs and leads to some interesting findings.

“Adam was fortunate in the fact he had a head for figures and was ambitious. Very! The fact that he worked out and possessed a certain, while to some, oily, charm; had an enviable head of dark head, and expressive eyes the shade of malt whisky, helped his cause – social climbing. But, the years had thinned his hair somewhat and peppered it with several grey strands which persisted in battling against the dyes he tried.” from The Menu/Shopping List by Joy Lennick. When Piers, formerly Adam, Smythe finds a shopping list/menu in a second hand book, he decides the imagined available, attractive, likely well-heeled author of the letter is perfect for someone like him. He is in for his comeuppance.

Purchase Where Angels & Devils Tread

Amazon US

Amazon UK

About Joy Lennick

Joy Lennick

Having worn several hats in my life: wife, mum, secretary, shop-keeper, hotelier; my favourite is the multi-coloured author’s creation. I am an eclectic writer: diary, articles, poetry, short stories and five books. Two books were factual, the third as biographer: HURRICANE HALSEY (a true sea adventure), fourth my Memoir MY GENTLE WAR and my current faction novel is THE CATALYST. Plenty more simmering…
Supposedly ‘Retired,’ I now live in Spain with my husband and have three great sons.

80 thoughts on “#Bookreview – Where Angels & Devils Tread by Joy Lennick and Jean Wilson

  1. What a lovely surprise, Robbie How very kind of you. I must pay homage here to my dear friend Jean Wilson. She was an incredible woman. Valued as a hard-working nurse, she went on to become a psychiatrist and helped troubled/disadvantaged children and rehabilitate ex.prisoners. She had a wonderful sense of humour. Told she had six months to live just over a year ago, she went out and bought a motor scooter, did a course in Quantum (?)Physics and breathed her last in April, aged 91, bless her, Too many good people died this year RIP. But this fabulous life continues for us lucky ones. I’m amazed at all the different pastimes you have Robbie, especially with two sons and a job to boot! Wow. All credit to you! Thanks again. Hugs Joy xx

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Hi Joy, thank you for sharing a bit about Jean. I thought her story about nursing was very interesting. My aunt, aged 86, also worked in the East End in a similar way. She also has such funny stories, but lots of sadness too. A most entertaining read, Joy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks are swirling in the air, Robbie…I just had to express my thoughts about Jean as she was such a character. She could easily write about murder (a talent) but had the largest heart! Hugs xx

        Liked by 1 person

  2. PS I really MUST add that Jean and her second husband (she also had three children) went on a sea voyage (despite being virgin sailors) and she wrote many, excellent, short stories and a few books. J xx

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh yes I am sorry, I meant o mention her too. I was messing around during a thunder storm and my internet kept dropping so I was unsure anything had posted and came off quickly before I pushed my luck!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Joy, my apologies to Jean for not including her, I feel bad. I had such a pain in the aspidistra yesterday with the internet I decided to quit whilst ahead. Jean, please accept my apologies. Being a co-author, I know how it feels to not be mentioned in reviews, blogs, and similar and I am so sorry. Blame my new router. Flipping thing either takes an eternity to load or drops out when I am doing something leaving me in limbo until the next time I get online. My router is new and supposed to be high-speed fibre. I tell you, I could get to Mars and back faster some days. Good luck ladies and much success. I am wrapped in sack cloth and am on my knees in penance. Keep safe and well. Have a fab weekend. Yours truly, mortified Risdon xxxx

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi again Jane, No apologies needed!! Sadly. my very dear friend Jean died quite recently (heart trouble).She is an ex nurse & the doc told her a year ago she had six months left, so she bought a motor scooter… and started a course in Quantum Physics (!!) and managed to live for a year, bless her memory. As you can imagine, she was quite a character! I shall certainly miss her. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jean sounds like a wonderful lady its a shame she not here to bask in the glory of her collaboration with Joy which sounds like a great read…I always love your reviews, Robbie …Have a great weekend ladies 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello Robbie! Thank you for sharing. Sorry, i am just “on the way” to reopen the blog. Depending on some unregistered cookies of WP.com i will move to another server. Its also shared on Twitter @EslarnerZeitung. xx

        Liked by 1 person

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