Where does one begin, once the story ends? After Corkscrew and Brut Force, I wondered where it would go next. The answer is Firing Blancs.

Other wine novels by Peter Stafford-Bow are Corkscrew and Brut Force, which are based in the United Kingdom. Firing Blancs, on the other hand, is based on the other side of the hemisphere, in South Africa. If you’ve read Peter’s two other novels, but not read Firing Blancs yet, this one is a paradigm shift and as gritty as it can possibly get.

I wrote this review this morning, about 1:00 a.m. I was so inspired to write it, I couldn’t sleep; so, I quietly found a place to write without disturbing the household. I knew if I waited until morning, many of the thoughts rambling around in my brain at the time would just flash away. I took to pen. While writing I had the side thought, “I’m not going to change one thing in the morning. The mindboggling thought process that poured out is a reflection of the incredulity of what happens and how it happened. If I change it, it just won’t be the same.”

[PHOTO CREDIT: Julie Green, Kensal Green’s wife.]

 Firing Blancs by Peter Stafford-Bow

Always, the book’s outrageous covers are revealed within the body of the book. This one is so outrageous, but this is might just be my white privilege talking. People do do the darndest things… Something very primal is an understatement for Peter Staford-Bow’s latest novel Firing Blancs. A (disgusting) rite-of-passage opens up a whirlpool of adventures, sucking our naughty hero Felix Hart into a cultural vortex of subprimal essence. As a result of his wine sales and marketing job, Felix Hart is transported into a world of South African, female dominance. In many ways, it’s so dark with raw ethnicity and the sense of being on the other side of the coin. To be the only one who is on the outside looking in is very curious and cool at the same time for Felix.

Felix Hart, in this novel, is the head of wine at Gatesave Supermarketing in the UK. Early on he accidentally chokes his CEO to death during a board presentation. Next, he is sent to South Africa to subdue bad publicity, a novel idea evolves.

Firing Blancs did not disappoint. Having binoculars into future events, Stafford-Bow has written this one ahead of its time – which is now.

I now know why he was so antsy to get this story into my hands, as evidenced by receiving two copies. The first one wasn’t coming fast enough for him.

Peter began a “what if” and ended up with a “what the heck just happened,” with all of today’s buzzwords, like white privilege, cultural diversity, and Black Lives Matter. Coincidently, his book was released just ahead of when the Black Lives Matter movement hit the fan.

There’s also another sub-story going on. The irony of how Felix Hart in South Africa creates a non-profit, as a philanthropic movement. This was to have his wine merchant company look good, for bringing a South African brand into its portfolio. Little woven intricacies carry forward into outrageous happenings, intrigue, and blackmail.

Peter Stafford-Bow had me right to the end, per usual. This is a must-read for anyone having already read his two other novels (Corkscrew and Brut Force). It won’t completely shock you, while it will still delight.

If this is your first go-around, hang onto your hat so it doesn’t fly right off your head mid-stream. You’ll need something to protect you all the way through this mishap adventure.

Final thought… the irony of it all brilliantly goes back to the first profession ever in rebuilding a new Black Lives Matter in Africa; and it’s so playfully wicked, due to the character Mama Bisha.

Peter Stafford-Bow

British author Kensal Green (pseudonym Peter Stafford-Bow) is the author of three books: Corkscrew, Brut Force, and now Firing Blancs. With this third novel, he has revealed himself. His short bio ~ …was born into a drinking family in the north of England in the mid-1970s. A precocious, self-taught imbibe, he dropped out of university to pursue a career in alcohol. After man=aging several downmarket London wine merchants, he became a supermarket buyer, a role which kindled his life-long love of food, other people’s hospitality, and a general adding about.  After periods of living in East Asia and South Africa, Stafford-Bow returned to the UK to pursue a literary career.  (I suspect he has another book coming, based in Asia. He writes what he knows.)

Thank you to Wine Business for listing this blog for the day.