Written by Colin Beazley
Review by Richard Tearle

Voices is a collection of twenty short stories and covers some varied time periods and locations. We begin with a straightforward, old-fashioned (slightly predictable) ghost story, but there are plenty of other stories to follow. We meet Josephine Baker in Paris, enjoy a couple of folktales from Eastern Europe, and find out what it might have been like to have sailed on the Titanic. We see the power of Nature at its most devastating, the loneliness of the Appalachian Mountains in the 1870s, and an homage to Raymond Chandler set in Luxor in the 1980s.

One or two of the stories rambled a little and were perhaps a bit pointless – but with such a divergence of subjects, and as with all short story selections, there are some interesting inclusions, some not so interesting – and ‘interesting’ depends on the individual reader. Two of the stories are extracts from the author’s own published books – a clever way of publicising one’s work.

One of the stories, “Dancing with Shaw,” comprises a series of ‘letters’ written or received by George Bernard Shaw. For some reason, these letters are produced as left-justified and the text looks somewhat out of place: fully-justified (as with all other text in the book) would give a tidier appearance and a more overall professional finish.

All the stories – whether or not I personally enjoyed them – are well-written and a fair degree of research has clearly gone into creating them, so recommended. Available from the author via Amazon.co.uk.