Age Group: Adult
Genre: Humor, Contemporary Fiction
Release Date: March 1, 2004
When Sir Humphrey Miles Pinkerton Strange, huntin' shootin' and fishin' Squire of Batch Magna, goes to his reward (doubtless to find God as true-blue British as his more recent but equally worthy ancestors), his rambling but rotting estate passes to distant relative Humph, a hapless dollar doodler in New York.
With $$ in his eyes, Humph decides to make a killing by transforming the sleepy backwater of Batch Magna into a theme park image of rural England - a vacation paradise for free-spending US millionaires.But while the village's threadbare businessmen see the plan as a windfall, the tenants of the estate's dilapidated houseboats are above any consideration of filthy lucre and stand their ground for tradition's sake.
And because they consider eviction notices not to be cricket.Each disgruntled faction sees the other as the unwelcome cuckoo chick in the family nest!So, lead by randy pulp-crime writer Phineas Cook and Lt-Commander James Cunningham DSO, DSC and Bar, RN (ret) - a man with a glass eye to suit every occasion (and all painted with naval battle scenes where the Union Jack flies triumphant) - the motley crew takes on Wall Street . broadside to broadside.
I loved this book and can’t wait to read the next one in the series!
When you enter the world of Batch Magna, you don’t want to leave. It’s like spending a warm summer day with good friends. You don’t want your time together to end and when it does, you’re ready to plan you next adventure with them.
Peter Maughan’s writing is delightful and refreshing. The visual pictures he paints with his words are magical. I felt as I was actually there with the quirky group of characters living in the village in the borderland of the Welsh Marches.
This may not be the type of book you normally read, but if you are looking for a fun story with great characters I highly recommend that you read The Cuckoos of Batch Magna. I don’t think you will be disappointed.
I am an ex-actor, fringe theatre director and script writer, married and living in the Welsh Marches, the borderland between England and Wales, and the backdrop to a series I’m writing, the Batch Magna novels, set in a village cut off from whatever the rest of the world gets up to beyond the hills of its valley.
All the books in the series feature houseboats, converted paddle steamers on Batch Magna’s river the Cluny, and I lived on a houseboat in the mid-1970s (the time frame for the novels) on a converted Thames sailing barge among a small colony of houseboats on the Medway, deep in rural Kent.
An idyllic time, heedless days of freedom in that other world of the river which inspired the novels, set in a place called Batch Magna.