|There's a sardonic edge to Tom Holt's novel title Nothing But Blue Skies, since the master of comic conspiracy theories here reveals just why British weather consists of a wide variety of rain. Rather than his usual scapegoat the Milk Marketing Board, the culprits are--of course!--Chinese water dragons.
Young heroine Karen is herself a dragon, but for love's sake has taken on the almost human form of an estate agent. Alas, she's hopeless at romance--unfortunate for Britain, since as the hereditary Dragon Marshall of Bank Holidays she causes rainy side effects of up to 2,000,000,000,000 litres/second/square kilometre whenever angry or upset ...
No wonder rebellious TV weathermen, enraged by sabotaged predictions of sunny days, have kidnapped Karen's father and trapped him in the third shape available to dragons: a goldfish. But the kidnappers fall foul of imperialist conspirators who reckon Britain's weather made it great, inspiring us to go out and conquer all those hot places. Behind this outfit are the even more megalomaniac schemes of an Aussie media baron who for excellent legal reasons isn't called Murdoch.
We also learn about Britain's real state religion, featuring human sacrifices to the Queen, and the North Welsh cult which believes "that when we die, we'll be reunited on the other side with all the used paper hankies we've discarded over the years." Better not to mention the potshots at Microsoft Windows.
Full of comic invention and crazy set-pieces, it's guaranteed to cheer up a rainy day. --David Langford