Thursday, December 3, 2020

Book Review: "Firing Blancs" by Peter Stafford-Bow



Felix Hart is at it again in the third installment of Peter Stafford-Bow's wine fiction adventure novels. You may already know that I love these books and I love Peter as a writer, but I have to say... this one is my favorite so far!

I also have to apologize to Peter, directly after kissing his arse, because I should have done this book review A LONG time ago. But there has been a lot going on with family and work and etc, so it took me quite a bit to not only read the book but to also get my act together to write about it!

Felix Hart is a wine buyer for a large retail chain in England called Gatesave, and he's usually travelling all over the world getting himself into trouble. The first book, Corkscrew, is about his rise in the industry and involves a lot of various hijinks. It's a pretty damn hilarious book. The second book, Brut Force, finds Felix still travelling to different locations but the plot is much more focused.

The third book, Firing Blancs, takes place in one location (well, if you take out the very beginning before he goes there)... South Africa. And like I said, this is my favorite of the three. The name of the book is perfect for it, too, as it takes on multiple meanings due to the book having a great deal to do with racism.

When a South African wine producer that provides Gatesave with inexpensive bulk wine is about to be exposed for bad treatment and payment of employees, Felix has to go there to fix things before the article is published. To do this, and to make Gatesave look good, he's also going down there with a mission from a charity called Tears of Pity. So he ends up turning a whore house into a "medical facility", attempting to screw over the winery, working with a protester named Gambu, sabotaging old professional relationships, and just keeps going deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole.

Some of the situations that Peter creates are both brilliant and ridiculous. And yet again, Peter is just so good with writing secondary characters. It really is a strength for him. Just as I wanted to stay in the Corkscrew apartment with Wodin and the gang, it's tough saying goodbye to Shooter and McGregor and the girls. And Blanchkopf is such a great heel!

What a good time this book is. If you want some laughs, some adventure, and some wine thrown in there too, you gotta get yourself a copy. Here's a link to it on Amazon.

PS: Here are some things that I learned from this book: That treats called "nibbles" and "tikka bites" exist. Boerboel's are enormous. And that Peter can write a pretty damn accurate American tourist.

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