Newsletter no 72 December 2013


I’ve made that the title of the new short story featuring my three retired friends and their families, which will appear in the Dec 20 edition of the Methodist Recorder. This time it’s Kerry in trouble . . . which naturally concerns both of his friends, who have problems of their own in this season of the year. I enjoy writing these stories because they deal with the problems we Christians have to face in everyday life, such as other people swearing. Some people don’t realise what they are saying, but others do.

The usual arrangement applies: if you can’t get a copy yourself, then let me know AFTER Dec 20, and I will send you have a copy by email.

Now for some unexpected news. Bad news. You may remember I was telling you that an early historical romance of mine originally entitled The Siege of Salwarpe, was being brought out by Chivers under the title: A Heart Besieged. I’ve now heard that the company has gone into liquidation! Talk about surprise!

I have other titles with this company as well, so after I’d recovered my wits, I looked on the Amazon books site to see what they make of it. They are still advertising SUE FOR MERCY (the very first book I had accepted for publication over thirty years ago) as a Kindle download. SCREAM FOR SARAH is also apparently available for a Kindle download, and for a paperback. FEAR FOR FRANCES, which they brought out fairly recently, is unavailable and so is A HEART BESEIGED.  Ah well. Happy days. I suspect that if you have managed to get a copy of one of these early books in this edition, they’ll appreciate in value, but . . . oh well. The ups and downs of a writer’s life! My agent is applying to get the rights back and in due course I suppose these stories may well reappear with another publisher.

Also, there’s a delay on the paperback of MURDER IN MIND. It was supposed to come out this week, but alas, I see it’s been postponed till early next year.  Ah well . . . it would have made a good Christmas present for someone. But, something I had completely forgotten; a large print hardback of MURDER MY NEIGHBOUR is now out. Hurray.

Now for some more good news. The manuscript of the next Ellie book  – Murder in Time – has finally gone off to my editor. The word count has fluctuated rather a lot on this story. At one time I was a couple of thousand words short, but in the end I scraped in with a couple of hundred to spare. Now comes the wait to hear from Rachel if the story can go straight through for copy editing, or if I need to do some extra work on it. It’s got some fun bits in, but have I tied up all the plot points? 

As of today, I have to do the dread mind-switch, from ‘being’ the housewife Ellie, to assuming the mantle of the business woman, Bea Abbot. I know just how the next Abbot Agency book starts and how it finishes, and most of what happens in between. I don’t plot chapter by chapter as some people do, but I work out how the main threads affect my characters, and how they might react to them. This next story will feature most of the characters in the recent Bea Abbot books, and carry them on. There are one or two things I’m not sure about yet. I think Maggie is pregnant, but I’m not entirely certain. And does Dilys end up in another abusive relationship? N-nno. But something is going on there . . . All will become clear as the work unfolds.

Meanwhile, don’t forget to reserve your copy of FALSE DIAMOND, the Bea Abbot story which was published in the UK on November 28th.  Yes, I know it takes another three months to get to America, Australia, etc. But, be patient. It’s on its way! This story sees Bea drawn back into the questionable doings of the members of the multi-billionaire Holland family, including an engagement with a fake diamond ring, an alleged suicide attempt, an abusive man who tries to put the frighteners on Bea, and the ambiguous behaviour of the black sheep of the family, who turns out to be the joker in the pack. ISBN 978 0 7278 8298 1

Till next time . . . and remember, if Christmas gets too stressful, you can always take a book or a Kindle off into a corner for a good read . . . preferably one of mine, of course!

 Veronica Heley


Recent releases.

MURDER MY NEIGHBOUR. Large print, hardback. Pub Nov 2013. ISBN 9780727896551.

MURDER FOR MERCY.  Ellie is asked to investigate whether some deaths in the community are exactly what they seem, while her pregnant, difficult daughter Diana is struggling to cope at work, and her husband is still in a wheelchair. What’s more, sabotage at the big house nearby is being blamed on young Mikey, who is certainly up to something. Can Ellie track down whoever it is who is killing for mercy, keep Mikey out of the clutches of Social Services, and steer her difficult daughter Diana into calmer waters?  ISBN 9780 7278 8281 3       Reviews; Publisher’s Weekly, ‘ . . . this rewarding cosy.’ And Kirkus, ‘Heley’s 13th finds Ellie beleaguered but resolute as ever . . .’

UNSUNG HEROES is now available as an e-book. This is a collection of short stories originally published in the Methodist Recorder, concerning the problems of three retired men and their families, plus some Ellie Quicke short stories. £3.40 UK, and $4.90 USA.

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.  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 . ISBN 978 1 843751 408 0. Ebook: 978 1 78010 201 6.

Find details of all the other E-books at