Local Canarian author John Reid publishes A Shark in the Bath, a short stories follow up to The Skipping Verger

Updated 26 December: I don’t have too much time just to sit down and read a book. It’s a luxury, so it’s one I take seriously, and only pick up books I think I’m going to like. Sometimes that’s a disappointment, other times a book expected to be good turns out indeed to be a good book, but other times a book turns out to be a delightful surprise! And so it is with A Shark in the Bath!

My expectations weren’t all that high because although I expected it to be well written, and a subject of interest because Tenerife-based, I’m just not a short story type of reader. But even though I value my reading time I decided I’d give it a chance this Christmas, the first time I had to do so since I got my copy in September. And what a joy it’s been to lose myself in it this Christmas! 

It’s indeed well written, and it’s of course based in and around Tenerife, but it’s like a step into the past of the island and its characters which shows, not just tells, what the island was like when early telephone exchanges were (wo)manned by local info-gatherers (gossips!), and how today’s arrivals in cayucos and pateras are the inverse of the Canarian exodus to Venezuela … not that long ago. And if you don’t find a tear dropping when you read of Marta and Domingo’s reunion then you’ve a heart of stone! 

This is a little gem of a book. Charming, comfortable, familiar, and about a Tenerife we all think we know but which has hidden “rincones” and a recent history and development that is simply breathtaking … and brought alive by the light John Reid so sensitively and sympathetically shines on it. It’s helped make my Christmas, so I hope it helps persuade you to pick it up if you haven’t already! 

Original post 9 August: Reid is a popular local author known for The Skipping Verger and Other Tales, and the collection of short stories now has a follow-up with A Shark in the Bath and Other Stories (Tenerife Tales). It’s been reviewed in the Canarian press – see El Día HERE – and can be bought from Amazon HERE.


  1. I have not read any short stories before other than children’s books, but, I must say I am intrigued by how well this book has been written. Every story has been fascinating that I don’t put it down unless I finish the whole story. I have recently visited Tenerife with my young family and it has been a joy to read this book and learning about the islands history. I definitely recommend this to anyone who like myself enjoy a bit of mystery and unpredictability.

  2. Dear Janet, John, I bought the book on-line and now, there’s one more pleased you bumped into each other at Mercadona 😉
    I especially like the way the stories end, you can’t call if cliff-hangers, so I just say ‘hangers’. They make me want to write the following chapter every time and I think that’s what you aimed for. We came from Belgium this year and are resident on the island now. We want to know as much as possible about the history and possibilities of this island and your book helps in many ways. And I’m learning some new english and spanish words here and there as well. Thanks both! Eric

  3. Dear Janet,

    I’m so pleased I bumped into you at Mercadona!

    Thank you so much for writing this lovely review. It is very kind of you indeed and I hope the New Year brings you a little more time for picking up books that make you gently sparkle.

    Best wishes from the other side of the hills,

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