Towards the close of the 1970s Somerset cricket has nothing in the trophy cabinet.
But stars Beefy, Big Bird and Smokey might help change this. Supporters are hopeful. None more so than those of Snickworthy, a rural backwater, with the Belters, the
village cricket team of hapless eccentrics, undeterred despite tribulations.
A hunky punk calamity and the mystery of the brown fedora meld with
accusations of kidnap and playing curling with a tortoise on an away weekend at
Lord’s. Not to mention the match to decide the futures of a gurt, pet pig and a
shaggy, blind bull.
But top of the order is the question of whether Lady
Rosemary’s ‘accident’ was actually murder.
As events collide camaraderie is shaken to the core by the cricket-loathing,
saddle-loving Margie, a very resourceful young lady. The arrival of Henry, an
unlikely cravat wearing ‘furriner’ with a guide to self-sufficiency, makes for a
whole stinky kit bag of kerfuffle as the Belters struggle to survive.
This riotous novel by a doyen amongst West Country cricket writers Charles
Wood will delight all lovers of the glorious summer game.
Charles Wood gave up the legal profession, and the
stress of work in Libya and Hong Kong, yearning for the
artistic life. For the past twenty years he has just about
managed to avoid wearing a tie to work or getting grubby.
Instead, he has preferred to eke out an existence in the
Somerset custom of self-employment. In recent years
he has written more than eight books on Somerset
and cricket themes whilst also finding time to be a
documentary filmmaker, an occasional broadcaster on
BBC local radio, an illustrator, a writer of fairy tales, and a part-time college lecturer. He admits
to an enjoyment of poddling through the lighter side of life’s rich tapestry, relieved that he has
never been bankrupt. He lives in the West Country.
Imprint: Halsgrove. ISBN 978 0 85704 248 4, hardback, 210x148mm, 160 pages. Published October 2014.