The Cuckoos of Batch Magna: book review and giveaway

The Cuckoos of Batch Magna



308 pages

Ebook Published by Endeavour Press Ltd. in 2012

In full compliance with FTC Guidelines,
I received this book as a free ebook from
the author
in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I was in no way compensated for this post,
and the thoughts are my own.

Cuckoos of Batch MagnaPurchase the book

This book counts for the following Reading Challenges

2013 Ebook Challenge New Authors 2013 


rating system

The Cuckoos of Batch Magna was a delightful summer read. The story has nothing too original, and I could guess most of the twists, but its beauty lies more in the descriptions of the settings and above all of the characters. It is funny and very picturesque. You will meet some characters à la P. G. Wodehouse, and that’s an honorific reference coming from me.

You can really feel that the author knows well these rural areas. He is really good at evoking their bucolic charm.

The author made me love very much the people living there, and participate in their worries as they receive a dramatic news – though I could really feel how it was going to turn out. In the meantime, I enjoyed their conversations and local drama, not unlike what was happening often in my little French village in the 1970s.

If you need a break from fast paced city novels, please go visit Batch Magna. Here is an excerpt.


And then the peacock screamed again. His head held back and abandoning himself to it as if to grief, shrieking on higher and higher notes at the flightless sky, a mad king singing of exile. And then seemed suddenly to lose interest in the whole thing, the show over. His tail came down like a curtain on it, and he began pecking prosaically at the grass growing between the stone paving of the landing, the sun oiling the quivering blue and green of his crown feathers.”  end of chapter 14


When Sir Humphrey Myles Pinkerton Strange, 8th baronet and huntin’ shootin’ and fishin’ squire of Batch Magna, departs this world for the Upper House (as he had long, vaguely, thought of it,  where God no doubt presides in ermine over a Heaven as reassuringly familiar as White’s or Boodle’s), what’s left of his estate passes to distant relative Humph, a short-order cook from the Bronx.

 Sir Humphrey Franklin T Strange, 9th baronet, and squire of Batch Magna, as Humph now most remarkably finds himself to be, is persuaded by his Uncle Frank, a small time Wall Street broker with an eye on the big time, to make a killing by transforming the sleepy backwater into a theme-park image of rural England – a vocational paradise for free-spending US millionaires.
 But while the village pub and shop, with the lure of the dollar in their eyes, put out the Stars and Stripes in welcome, the tenants of the estate’s dilapidated houseboats are above any consideration of filthy lucre and stand their ground for tradition’s sake … and because they consider eviction notices not to be cricket.
 Each disgruntled faction sees the other as the unwelcome Cuckoo in the family nest.
 So, led by randy pulp-crime writer Phineas Cook and Lt-Commander James Cunningham DSO, DSC and Bar, RN (ret) – a man with a glass eye for each day of the week, painted with scenes from famous British naval victories and landscapes that speak of England – the motley crew run up the Union Jack and battle ensigns and prepare to engage.
 But this is Batch Magna, a place where anything might happen. And does …[from the author’s website]


Peter Maughan

Peter Maughan, an ex-actor, fringe theatre director and script writer, is married and lives in the Welsh Marches, the borderland between England and Wales, and the backdrop to the Batch Magna novels.
All the books in the series feature converted paddle steamers on Batch Magna’s river the Cluny, and he is a former houseboat dweller himself, living in the mid-1970s (the time frame for the novels) on a converted Thames sailing barge among a small colony of houseboats on the Medway, deep in rural Kent. An idyllic time, heedless days of freedom in that other world of the river which inspired the novels, set in a place called Batch Magna. [read more about him]




I am most grateful to Peter Maughan for asking me if I wanted to review his book, AND to offer an ecopy to my readers! Here is your chance!



* If you have problems entering the giveaway, please send me an email at ehc16e {at] yahoo [dot) com. Include in it:

  1. the title of the book you are entering to win – write this in the subject to be sure I don’t think your email is spam
  2. the email address you use to subscribe to this blog by email [after you enter your email address in the top right corner to follow my blog by email, you will receive an email confirmation. If you do not confirm, your subscription will not show as active, and I will not be able to count your entry in the giveaway]
  3. the url of your tweet of this giveaway, for an extra entry.

* when you enter a giveaway, I keep your email address only until a winner has been chosen and has confirmed. After that, I delete the form where your answers were stored during the duration of the giveaway. If you win and you email me your mailing address, I delete this email and its information as soon as I have mailed you the book.

5 thoughts on “The Cuckoos of Batch Magna: book review and giveaway

  1. Pingback: 2013 Ebook Reading Challenge | Words And Peace

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