30 Authors in 30 Days giveaway: David Ebsworth on The Black-Eyed Blonde by Benjamin Black


30 Authors in 30 Days is a first of its kind event
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Hosted by
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this month-long event takes place during September
and features 30 authors discussing their favorite recent reads on 30 different blogs.
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Author David Ebsworth writing about
The Black-Eyed Blonde: A Phillip Marlowe Novel

  David Ebsworth The Black-Eyed Blonde by Benjamin Black

It was going to be a long summer, one of those that burn your eyeballs with the blast of lipstick colour from all those new bestsellers that Goldie Graham just finished stacking like sliced salami along his shelves.
I needed a fix. Something new. And I needed it bad. Something to get me through weeks of baking sun and sand, only an occasional dip in the ocean to break the monotony.
‘Hey, what d’ya think of this one?’ said Goldie.
When Goldie picks you a winner, you know it’s going to race home with a furlong to spare. And I could feel it in my guts. This one was a thoroughbred. Pure style. Sleek sable cover that matched the title – The Black-Eyed Blonde: A Phillip Marlowe Novel. Snow-white lettering too, screaming at me like the little girl lost that this little number was all about.
Still, I knew there was something phoney when I saw the scribbler’s name. Benjamin Black. It sounded familiar. But when I saw his mugshot I pulled up sharp. A yo-yo on the end of its string.
‘Wait, Goldie,’ I said. ‘I know this guy, staring at the face of the Irishman. ‘Isn’t this Banville, the same finger who won the Man Booker prize a while back?’ And it didn’t end there. This Banville character was pretending to be somebody called Benjamin Black. And Black? You’ve got it, sister. He was pretending to be Raymond Chandler. Making a pretty good fist of it, too.
‘Banville works so hard at his writing,’ Goldie told me, ‘you can see the sweat stains on every page.’
He was right. In this one, Marlowe’s as tired of life as he’s always been. His only hobbies are smoking cigarettes and playing solo chess. But, once in a while, 1950s Los Angeles also turns up a case to curl the toes of the toughest Private Eye. That’s where this Langrishe broad comes in. The boyfriend, Nico Peterson, has disappeared and Marlowe’s hired to find him.
Well, by the end of the first chapter I was caught like a snapper on a Number Two keeper hook. All the one-liners. The wonderful prose of Chandler himself. And Bogey’s weary voice whispering to me through every line. As it happens, I’m no sap myself when it comes to Chandler. Hell, I know the text of The Long Goodbye and Playback like I wrote them myself. So, by Chapter Seven, I figured I knew where this one was going.
And then this Banville socked me with more twists than a sommelier’s corkscrew. Sun and sand? Yeah, there’d be all that. But there’d be the mother of all rollercoaster rides too!

The Black-Eyed Blonde: A Phillip Marlowe Novel, by Benjamin Black (John Banville), was published in March 2014 by Mantle.


The Black-Eyed Blonde
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Black-Eyed-Blonde-Philip-Marlowe/dp/0805098143
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-black-eyed-blonde-benjamin-black/1115295574?ean=9780805098150
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/116405.Benjamin_Black
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JohnBanvilleAuthor

The Assassin’s Mark by David Ebsworth
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Assassins-Mark-David-Ebsworth/dp/1781321000
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-assassins-mark-david-ebsworth/1114813192?ean=9781781321003
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5780879.David_Ebsworth
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/David-Ebsworth/372113212814491
Twitter: @EbsworthDavid

BIO from Goodreads
David Ebsworth is the pen name of writer, Dave McCall, a former negotiator and Regional Secretary for Britain’s Transport & General Workers’ Union. He was born in Liverpool (UK) but has lived for the past thirty years in Wrexham, North Wales, with his wife, Ann. Since their retirement in 2008, the couple have spent about six months of each year in southern Spain. Dave began to write seriously in the following year, 2009.

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And now to the giveaway!


13 thoughts on “30 Authors in 30 Days giveaway: David Ebsworth on The Black-Eyed Blonde by Benjamin Black

  1. I’m a lucky reader of David’s work, and all-but-gush when I talk about it. Phillip Marlow is more than what brought two of my favorite actors together onscreen….Marlow makes you think.


  2. That book sounds like a fun read. I read your review of “Au revoir là-haut!” and placed it on my list of books. I am almost finished with “Paris Noir – African Americans in the City of Light” by Tyler Stovall. It explains why so many African-Americans moved to France after WWI and up to now.
    I am trying to read the books I have accumulated for so many years – we must have 8,000 or more, I don’t know. We have bookcases in each room of the houses – and even in the halls (and bags full in the garage.) One of my daughter’s room now is full of books, everywhere – she moved away a long time ago. We have to start given them away I guess. In the computer room where I sit right now I can see 5 bookshelves and also see 3 in the hall from here (even books in the bathrooms.) When I came over from France in the 60s on a ship I brought two steel trunks full of French books. The Customs agent thought I was a student. No, books were more important than my clothes and I still have all of these. So I am trying to read books in the library if I don’t have them rather than buying new books – but I still do ….


    • c’est merveilleux, on ne vit pas seulement de pain, mais aussi et surtout de livres, lol. Yes, Au revoir là-haut was so good. And I don’t often like books receiving awards, but I thought that one definitely deserved it. I’m glad English speaking readers will soon get to discover it. Thnaks for stopping by


  3. We’ve not got books in the bathroom yet but the bookcases certainly fill every other spare space in the house. Ebooks have helped me a bit, and I’m back to using the library a lot more now, but I still can’t kick the habit of buying from bookstores. Terrible addiction but I’m stuck with it. So far as the review is concerned, I just want to say again that The Black-Eyed Blonde is a wonderfully entertaining read. Great to chill with. And I couldn’t have been more pleased than when I found out the blog was being posted here. But if I’d known, I might have also given more of a plug to my NEXT novel, since it’s a Battle of Waterloo story but told, uniquely, I think, from the perspective of two French women. “The Last Campaign of Marianne Tambour” is due for publication (English version only, I’m afraid) at the beginning of December. Good luck with the blog, meanwhile – it’s wonderful!


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