Newsletter no 77 May 2014

London Book Fair has come and gone. Oh, the buzz! The bustle! The search for a decent cup of coffee! (Yes, I know where to get one now.) And ah, the moment of agony when you think you have forgotten your pass for the day!

However, all went well. The first thing I have to tell you is that Severn House want another Bea and another Ellie after I’ve completed my current contract. So I will be delivering False Impression at the end of this month – which is a Bea Abbot, of course – and start straight away on the next Ellie which will be, incredible to relate, her 16th story! How about that! And yes, I have thought up a title, but it’s too soon to share that with you.

Meanwhile, Severn House has decided to bring out e-books of four of the historical novels I wrote years ago, starting with the first one on the lst June. This will be

MY LORD, THE HERMIT, in which a wrongly convicted man has to build a church in silence, with his own hands . . . until a feisty heiress crosses his path and a neighbouring lord invades her lands. I enjoyed writing this story, which is set in the baron-bashing, lawless times of the middle ages. It was first published in l980 by Corgi and, because I’d only written crime before, my agent thought there might be confusion in my readers’ minds about the name so I was asked to think up a pseudonym. The book came out as ‘by Victoria Thorne’. I think the publishers are now going to catalogue it as ‘Veronica Heley writing as Victoria Thorne’.

There’ll be another historical out on the first of the following three months and I’ll tell you about those as they come out. I don’t have the ISBN numbers yet but will give them next time.

At the end of this month Ellie Quicke’s 15th story will be published in the UK (three months later for the States, Australia, etc.) This story is called MURDER IN TIME, when Ellie comes face to face with the man who raped the schoolgirl Vera twelve years before. Abdi didn’t want anything to do with her then, but now he finds he’s unable to have any more children and thinks he can give Vera a cheque and take Mikey off into the blue. As you can imagine, that doesn’t go down well with either of them, so there’s trouble ahead. A man also died the night of the rape and solving that old mystery might just help Ellie to work out who did what to whom. I have a pull of the cover for this already, and Mark will, I hope, be putting it on the website soon. It’s got a frame of jagged glass around the edges, a half moon and a man’s shadow thrown across the lawn. I think it’s nice and scary and I hope you agree.

Yes, Easter was late this year, but several people have already asked me to send them the short story titled ‘The Art of Saying “No”’ which was published on Good Friday in the Methodist Recorder. If anyone else would like to read it, just let me know and I’ll send it to them by e-mail. Oh, and I’ve been asked to write another for the holiday period. Do you think it would be all right to use the title, ‘We’re all going on a summer holiday’ Or does that date us too much? I like it, but . . . Yes, there will be a holiday theme for this one, and it will be published some time in July. I’ll confirm the actual date later.

About the moths? Every day I think I’ve counted fewer bodies but still they keep coming. I have reluctantly decided to get rid of three oldish carpets in the hope that that will defeat them.

I asked my webmaster to put the first few pages of the Bea Abbot book, False Diamond, onto my website, and then had a job to find it. Has anyone else met with the same problem? I suspect it will need to go on the home page so that this will be easier to come across. I must get on to that.

We’ve started an afternoon tea club for the over 65s locally and it’s going really well. The only thing is, I have to remember not to have any lunch beforehand. . .

A blessing: may you find some time to relax and be yourself, to contact old friends and perhaps to make new ones.

Veronica Heley

Recent releases.

FALSE DIAMOND. Bea is drawn into the questionable doings 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.

Also in e-book in March 2014: 978-1-78010-484-3

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. Library Journal: Marvellous!

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