Newsletter no 74 February 2014

I don’t know if you twitter or tweet. If so, congratulations. I’m afraid I’ve never got round to learning how to do such things. Many of my friends do, and they text and Skype and goodness what else. In theory, I think it would be a good idea if I did get round to mastering these skills, but in practice, there’s always something else that I need to do first. Like writing this newsletter.

But, if you do twitter or tweet, you might enjoy posting a note about good books that you have read to @cleanreadbooks. And yes, I know I ought to get round to posting something about my books on it, but . . . see above. I’d be most interested to hear if you do manage to connect with this site as it sounds as if it would be helpful for people who like to read books which don’t contain much blood, sex or profanity. In the trade we used to call such books a ‘cozy’. Then they were called ‘soft’ or ‘gentle’ crime. Is ‘clean reads’ a better title? Perhaps it is.

My short story, Christmas is coming, duly went out in the Methodist Recorder on December 20, without giving my name as the author! You will be amused to hear that they thought everyone knew I wrote their seasonal stories, and could they please have another for Easter. Mm. Oh well. I’ve sent a number of copies of this story out to people on e-mail who can’t get a paper copy, but let me know if you want one, too.

Meanwhile, congratulations are in order. You remember that FALSE DIAMOND duly came out in November (February/March in America and all points south).  Booklist had given it a good review but now I have – wait for it! – a starred review from Publishers Weekly. It would be extravagant to say that ‘now I can die happy’ and of course I don’t really mean it, but . . . you get the picture? You may never have heard of Publishers Weekly as it is really a trade paper for libraries and bookshops, but it is highly influential in those areas. It is clear that the reviewers have actually read the book, and they are reputedly not kind to writers who have turned in sub-standard work. So a good review is gratifying, while a starred review is . . .. whoopee?!! See the end of this newsletter for a word about the plot.

Master of the Hall – ebook out now. This is the fourth and last in the series, which has been a long time in coming. I’ve always liked Patrick and Minty and wish them well as they look forward to coping with whatever else life may throw at them.

There’s no news yet of a copy of The Siege of Salwarpe coming to light after the sad demise of Chivers. But another publisher is enquiring about the e-rights of the other early crime stories of mine previously published. Wait and see on this…

I am enjoying working on the next Bea Abbot. I titled it FALSE IMPRESSION, as almost everything that happens can be interpreted in different ways. I’ve even managed to get Leon into a crude disguise, much to his disgust and Bea’s hilarity.

I’ve been sent a rough of the cover for MURDER IN TIME, which isn’t the least bit what I expected, but is really rather good. We’re quibbling at the moment about the shadow of a man which falls across the lawn in the picture, but yes; I think it should do the trick nicely.

One dismal note: the moths are back!!! I am so cross!!! My trusty electronic racquet is back in daily use. Oh dear.

I rather liked the blessing/farewell I put in the last newsletter, so I make no apologies for repeating it here. May your days be full of interest and all your aches and pains manageable. Till next time . . .

 Veronica Heley


Recent releases.

FALSE DIAMOND.  Bea is drawn into the questionable doings of the members of the multi-billionaire Holland family, which include 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.

Booklist: An action-packed variation on the British cozy, this latest from Heley is full of unexpected twists and gentle humour.

Publishers Weekly: Starred: Excellent . . . suspense and betrayal combined with appealing players make this a superior series entry.


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

MURDER FOR MERCY.  Ellie finds some deaths in the community are not exactly what they seem, while her pregnant, difficult daughter Diana is concerned that her husband is still in a wheelchair. Sabotage at the big house nearby is being blamed on young Mikey. 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

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.

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