A Lot Of Nerve by Ian McCulloch



A Lot Of Nerve is the story of Mr. Jones and his adventures. Mr. Jones finds himself witnessing a shady deal in the pub. Finch is a pain the neck. He wants Mr. Jones to sell crates of the insipid wine (which was probably made in his garage). The word around the town is that Mr. Finch’s wine is no good and this makes Jones’ work even harder. With Finch threatening him and Mr. Jones being a chancer, decides to poke his nose into the shady business that he sees in the pub.

Jones decides to be the middleman between Mr. Darby and the goons and receives four sheets of paper from Mr.Darby. Scientific stuff is something that Mr. Jones doesn’t understand. He decides to take the help of his bestie – Paradine. But things go wrong when Paradine is brutally murdered by the goons. D.I. Hernandez connects Mr.Jones to Paradine and comes knocking Mr.Jones’ door.

And to add to all this drama, the Secret Service, formerly known as the MI5, has a new job for, none other than, our very own Mr.Jones. The sheets that he obtained from Mr.Darby are of national importance and Mr.Jones is ‘recruited’ as the next James Bond! No! Not really James Bond! Mr.Jones is on his own and is expected to play along.

Mr.Jones meets Tomassetti, the old man who loves a hot mug or two of Horlicks! He manages to turn Mr.Jones into a Horlicks drinker! Mr.Jones strikes a deal with Tomassetti and enters the world of smoke and mirrors. Carrot, Tomassetti’s right-hand man, is a very jealous man. He wants to impress the old man as much as Mr.Jones but the oldie favors Mr.Jones!

Will Mr.Jones be able to catch the perps and bring Paradine’s killers to justice? Will he be able to stop the shady deal that involves national security and what not?

The first thing I noticed about this book was the writing. There are some books that keep you hooked on from the very beginning – mostly because the author’s writing is so good that before you know, you are halfway through the story. And this book was just that! Written in simple language and yet has an air of sophistication. Also, not to forget, the quirkiness that the author brings about in a serious story!

With MI5 and another government agency (mentioning the name would just spoil the fun!), two mob bosses, two pretty ladies, Aunt Mimi, Spike, and Mr. Jones, the story is full of mysteries, suspense, and fun. Even in a serious situation, the author lightens up the mood with a quirky remark.

The story just gets better and better as you read through. Shady business to Con to Secret Service to Con to Mobsters to Con, the book is full of surprises. The characters are quirky and funny. Tomassetti’s love for Horlicks made me long for a hot and steaming cup of Horlicks! Mr. Jones, Aunt Mimi, and their 27 businesses – some of which (or should I say all?) are shell companies. Aunt Mimi’s role in the story – a caring, loving con woman who never misses a chance to make a profit of her own. D.I. Hernandez and her role in the story – a buddy love-story in the midst of all this mess.

Finch’s wine, or as Mr. Jones calls it, red vinegar, and the hullabaloo behind its sale. Mr.Jones finally finds someone who is ready to buy the whole lot of Mr.Finch’s wine. And I was like good riddance when there came a twist. A hilarious one! Mr. Jones sold the lot to a man named Walton. And Walton sold it to… any guesses? Mr. Finch! What goes around, come around, Mr. Finch!

Overall, the story was hilarious and engaging. The ending was not something that one would expect a con man like Mr. Jones to do, but nevertheless, when its Mr. Jones, anything can happen! Just when you think ‘good riddance’ or ‘thank god! Mr. Jones is out of it!’, there’s a twist.

If you are looking for a (hilarious) story about con and mobsters and spies, then do not miss to read this book and you will not be disappointed.




Writing/Language: 4.5/5

Plot/Story: 5/5

Character Development: 4.5/5

Ending: 4/5


Overall rating: 4.5/5




Title: A Lot Of Nerve

Author: Ian McCulloch

Publication Date: 10th January 2019

Genre: General Fiction, Mystery


Featured Image Credits: Thistle Publishing

I received this book from Thistle Publishing in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thank you, Thistle Publishing and David Haviland for the ARC.



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