Newsletter No 64 April 2013

My dear husband recently had a stay in hospital and was slowly recovering when we experienced one of those domestic mysteries which make you either laugh or cry . . . the sort of thing which I can sometimes use in a story. It’s called the Mystery of the Missing Banana. Included in his breakfast one morning was a banana. And then, it vanished. He has, predictably, no idea what he did with it. There is no banana or banana skin to be found anywhere. I have searched up and down the house. No skin, no banana. Now I know some people think there is a parallel universe into which missing items disappear, but I’m not one of them. It must be there, somewhere! But . . . where? Ideas, anyone? I’ve checked his pockets and everywhere he’s been. My friends say wisely that there’ll soon be a trail of flies leading me to the murder victim. Hm. Any advance on detection by flies?

Meanwhile, Mark Porthouse, my webmaster, and I have been struggling over the cover for the e-book shortly to come out, called UNSUNG HEROES. Even if this not an actual book, an e-book needs a cover. The problem is how to indicate the contents of these short stories in an easily recognisable format. Finally we went for a coffee cup disappearing off to the left, a small cross on a dark banner heading and a strapline of . . . ‘A festival of short stories’. This indicates, hopefully, that these are stories with a Christian background, written for the major festivals; Christmas, Easter and Harvest.   

STOP PRESS.  UNSUNG HEROES is now available to purchase from Amazon as an e-book! Download your copy now

Meanwhile again, I’ve been doing the proof reading for Murder with Mercy, which will come out at the end of May 2013.  This process demands that I look out for the repetition of a word within a sentence or paragraph. I don’t always see them when I do the copy-editing and some always sneak through, no matter how careful I think I’ve been. Fortunately there were very few this time, and I can get back to working on False Diamond, which is the next Bea Abbot story. And yes, I do have an idea for an Ellie Quicke Mystery after that. And no, it does not contain Death by Banana.

The Easter story for the Methodist Recorder is called DOWN-SIZING, which is what so many of us are having to do. If you aren’t able to get hold of a copy of the original, then let me know and I will email one to you.

I’m looking forward to The London Book Fair when I can meet up with some of my friends in the industry. That really is a must for me. And also the Winchester Writers Conference in June. Julian Fellowes, of Downton Abbey fame, is going to be the keynote speaker on the Saturday morning! I’ll be there, too, to give a couple of talks and some one to one interviews. The talks will be about what voice suits a writer best – He, Me or It’s – and about working the media/e-books. Dates: June 21st to 25th. Contact details: or

And now, it’s back to working on the next Bea Abbot. . .

Veronica Heley


Recent releases.

CRY FOR KIT, and SCREAM FOR SARAH. First published l970s. Large print from Chivers. Warning; some sex and violence!

FALSE ALARM, the 7th Abbot Agency story, is now available in hardback and also as an e-book. Bea is asked to find the person who laid a booby trap for the powerful tycoon, Sir Lucas Ossett,  in his own block of flats. A cross-section of yuppies and oddballs occupy the building. Call-girl cards have been left in tenants’ letterboxes, a cat has met an untimely end, and snow is forecast. Sir Lucas’s influence reaches out to touch and corrupt even those nearest to Bea.  ISBN 9780 7278 8237 0 for the hardback and ISBN 978 1 78010 289 4 for the ebook.

Review for this:  Kirkus: ‘The Abbot Agency’s seventh outing will be just the thing for readers who like their cosies with a bit of bite.’  And from Library Journal:

‘Think of the series’ seventh outing as a big old-fashioned country-house case, Agatha Christie-like, but dressed-up smart and chic for today.’

MURDER BY MISTAKE is now available in large print. ISBN 978 0 7278 9935 4.

FALSE REPORT is available as a paperback  and also as an ebook . This is the story in which

Bea finds that assisting a vertically challenged musician to get some home help is asking for trouble, especially when a pretty girl has been trafficked into this country by a gang who target wealthy men. Paperback: ISBN 978 1 843751 408 0. Ebook: 978 1 78010 201 6.

Find details of all the other E-books at