Book Review: A Mersey Mariner by Brian L. Porter

Posted on Updated on

It is very rare that I will read a book in the middle of a series, but sometimes it isn’t easily avoidable – that’s what happened in the case of A Mersey Mariner written by Brian L. Porter and published in 2017. As the 4th book in the Mersey mystery series, it fell into my lap when I saw a free download opportunity last month on Amazon. I’d previously read a few things about the author and his work seemed quite appealing, but I was overloaded with books on my TBR and couldn’t go back to book number one. At the same time, the plot was very intriguing and I wanted to read it while on my trip to Italy last month, so I pushed myself to take a chance on a mid-series read. All I can say is I am both glad and sad because I really wish I’d started at the beginning. I like the series so much I do plan to read them all and would have loved to watch the growth and beauty with each successive book. Oh well, I can always read it again, right?
First things first… it’s a classic murder mystery containing British detectives with a bit of an ode or homage to an Agatha Christie novel – a joke is even cracked by one of the main characters, which made me laugh out loud for a few moments. In this edition, the detectives are summoned to a ship nearing port in England because they’ve stumbled upon a dead passenger. It’s no ordinary ship given it’s an old-style cargo liner, carrying a small group of passengers, and in this case, it’s quite eclectic when you start to unravel each person’s façade. Kudos to the author for creating such intricate characters, hidden identities and murky potential red herrings. It’s a true mystery fan’s ideal novel given all the plot twists, clever arcs and details… think of it as peeling away the skin on an onion only to find there are so many layers, it’s never quite what it seems. All in a challenging, precise and connective manner. Truly, Poirot would be a perfect confidante to these detectives for a quick call to get some advice on the suspects, but alas, it takes place in a bit of a more modern time, so that wouldn’t work.


You’ll travel from Britain to the Amazon jungle in this tale, covering industrial espionage, secret identities, money laundering, drugs, scary diseases with interesting cures, a bit of romance, witty banter between the detectives (male and female, which makes it all the more fun!), and curiously unusual actions that leave you thinking it’s a straight-forward case – no, wait, it’s totally complex and I’ll never figure it out! But the detectives do, and that’s what makes it quite an enjoyable read. As readers, you learn the clues just as the detectives do, stumbling and wading through lies, the truth and misleading statements. I’m never quite sure which people to trust, but I find myself tightly connected to the personalities wanting to solve this case. That makes for good drama and mystery, and it has a satisfying conclusion.

Mariner international 2

I learned so much about police procedures, shipping rules, international water policies and ship design – in a good way, quite interesting but never overwhelming. The scenery and descriptive components were vivid and painted a picture I felt like I was standing right next to. I’m very curious to read more of Porter’s novels and will be looking at his literary works later this year to plot out a few more reads both in this series and in some of his other books. See more on my blog at where I will be adding some additional content to this review about the author, his books and upcoming cover releases. What a great find! If you’re a mystery fan who enjoys a good British setting with some adventures across the globe, you’ll find yourself quite intrigued and enamored.

And a peek into the next book in the series, published just last month!

A Personal Message from the Author

First of all, I’d like to thank you, Jay, for your wonderful review of the 4th book in my Mersey Mystery series, A Mersey Mariner. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the book, and hope you’ll eventually read the rest of the series. Being part of an old Liverpool family, the series means a lot to me, as most of the central characters who feature in each book are based on members of my own family, based on my recollection of them from my younger days, as nowadays I live in the neigh boring county of South Yorkshire in the UK. Readers might not be aware that I write under three different names. Most of my books including all my novels and my remembrance poetry collection Lest We Forget are written as Brian L Porter, my children’s books are written as Harry Porter, and my best selling collection of romantic poetry is penned by Juan Pablo Jalisco.

all books

Though the Mersey Mysteries all revolve around the cases of the fictional, Merseyside Police Specialist Murder Investigation team, some of the books have a very international theme, as you have discovered in A Mersey Mariner, as their cases take them as far afield as locations in Germany, Canada, Brazil and others. This is not the case with the most recent in the series as A Very Mersey Murder sees the team investigating a case very much on home turf, as they go in search of a serial killer who is working to a strict timetable, giving them only one week to prevent him from killing again.

Mersey Mysteries2.June2018

The series is really an homage to the city and people of Liverpool, which I remember so fondly from my youth. I have been writing for over twenty years and always wanted to set a book in the city but never had the courage until three years ago. I feared I wouldn’t be able to do the city justice, but after the first book, A Mersey Killing was so well received, I gained the confidence, following some encouragement from my publisher and some great reviews, to embark upon writing more books featuring Detective Inspector Andy Ross and his assistant, Detective Sergeant Clarissa (Izzie) Drake and the rest of the team.

As the series has progressed, the characters have ‘grown’ and developed and many readers now contact me to tell me who their favorite characters are and actually taking an interest in their ‘lives’ almost as though they were real people. Perhaps the series is developing into a kind of literary soap opera. If it is, I just hope it runs and runs! I currently have a total of ten books planned for Ross and the team and having completed the first five, I am about to begin work on book 6, Last Train to Lime Street. For your American readers, who may not be familiar with British institutions and place names, Lime Street is Liverpool’s major railway station, which you could perhaps think of as being as well known here in the UK as New York’s Grand Central is in the States.


For a sneak peek, read a brief preview

As the late night train from Manchester to Liverpool, Lime Street approaches the outskirts of Liverpool it hits the body of a man under a bridge. When the police are called it transpires the man was a well known movie director… of pornographic films. They have to discover first of all whether he was dead before he hit the tracks, not easy given the damage caused by the locomotive. As Andy Ross and his team investigate they find the man’s list of enemies is almost as long as the railway line from Manchester to Liverpool. Is his murder personal or professional? How was he killed, again not easy when they have a mangled body on their hands. Oh yes, and the victim was American, with three disgruntled ex-wives, all of whom have a motive for murder. Ross, Drake and the team have a real international headache on their hands as they attempt to solve the case of the Last Train to Lime Street!


About the Author

With over twenty years of writing experience I have over twenty novels, true-life, poetry and short story collections to my name including, my international bestseller Sasha, the true story of the life of my incredible rescue dog of that name, who has become something of an icon for epileptic dogs around the world.

I’ve been fortunate to record 15 Amazon bestsellers so far, including all the books in the Mersey Mystery series, A Mersey Killing, All Saints, Murder on the Mersey, A Mersey Maiden and A Mersey Mariner, and also The Nemesis Cell, Purple Death, Behind Closed Doors, Avenue of the Dead, and my second dog rescue book, Sheba: From Hell to Happiness, the story of another of our eleven rescue dogs who was saved from her previous life as a bait dog, for the training of fighting dogs, and more.

My books have also won a number of awards over the years and currently, A Mersey Maiden, is among the nominations for the TCK Publishing Readers Choice Awards, 2018. If any of your readers would be kind enough to vote for me, all they need to do is visit and scroll through to the Mystery section, select A Mersey Maiden and follow the simple voting instructions.

maiden new sub1

When I’m not writing, my wife and I are both involved in caring for our wonderful family of eleven rescue dogs. We are both dedicated to dog rescue and I have separate Facebook pages involving Sasha and Sheba, the two most well-known of our dogs. My own Facebook page can be found at where I write as Harry Porter.

Anyone wishing to learn more about my works is cordially invited to visit my website at

3 pics

Or my Amazon author page at

You can find all the book in the Mersey Mystery series at

I also have a blog at


mersey murder1


About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.


14 thoughts on “Book Review: A Mersey Mariner by Brian L. Porter

    Priyasha said:
    June 9, 2018 at 1:34 PM

    Great review ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    The Cozy Pages said:
    June 9, 2018 at 2:08 PM

    Wow. I’m really liking the makings of that series. But the reading list Jay, the list!!! Lol. I also wonder if you gravitated to the book based on the author’s name… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      June 9, 2018 at 2:14 PM

      I know. It was hilarious when I realized it. He finds it amusing, too.

      The reading list doubles overnight magically. It has to be.

      Liked by 1 person

    Mary Deal said:
    June 9, 2018 at 4:59 PM

    I have read all of Porter’s books in this series and enjoyed them immensely. Yes, they all seem to stand alone. But it’s not his only books. That’s a great picture of the author too.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      June 9, 2018 at 5:12 PM

      He was so fun to chat with! I was happy to learn more about him and share a connection re our dogs with seizures.


    You’re killing me with these book reviews Jay!🙇🏻‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

    Jina Bazzar said:
    June 9, 2018 at 5:23 PM

    hmmmm, sounds like a good one. and a book that makes you laugh out loud, is a must.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      June 9, 2018 at 5:29 PM

      Yes! Hope you are doing well with the book launch. I’ve got you set for July as a read. 🙂


    tylerus said:
    June 10, 2018 at 9:27 AM

    Another one to add to the list! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s