Newsletter no 84 December 2014

Lots of good news this month – which is as what we all want in December, isn’t it? First, I’ve hardly seen a clothes moth for weeks! Yes, I am definitely rejoicing about that. It may be that the cooler weather has discouraged them from emerging from their hidey-holes, or that my efforts to eradicate them have succeeded. Mind you, I have bought a tiny phial of concentrated lavender essence which I will proceed to dilute and use as and when – or if – they re-appear.

And I have managed to replace certain important items in my wardrobe, which is just as well as I had to throw so many away. I am particularly fond of a new glittery top which I propose to wear on all occasions, suitable and otherwise, over Christmas. I do like a bit of glitter in the dark days of the year.

Now, back to work. FALSE IMPRESSION, the latest Bea Abbot, has officially been published and there are some five star reviews already up through NetGalley. Don’t ask me to explain how it happens that they come out before the official publication date. Don’t ask me to explain how NetGalley works. I believe it’s for the use of readers whose professional reviews are OK’d by my publisher. Anyway, False Impression is a good story – see below for blurb – so I hope it does well. It should be available now in the libraries.

You may be interested in a peep behind the scenes at the production of a fantastic pop-up book by Francesca Crespi. She is so talented, I am in awe of her skill. But her last effort, NOAH’S ARK, got held up for years. Yes, I do mean years. Way back in 2008 Francesca produced a mock-up for a Noah’s Ark story, for which I was asked to provide a text. I did so, but the project ran into trouble because no printer could reproduce Francesca’s fantastic designs without going wildly over budget. The project stalled but the publisher did not give up, and eventually the designs were revised and a printer was found who could bring it in at a reasonable price and . . . ta da! It has gone on sale this autumn, six years after it began. It is quite stunning. Do look out for it in the shops. Frances Lincoln, ISBN 978-1-84507-937-6.

Meanwhile, I have had another short story accepted for the Methodist Recorder. They wanted something for the New Year so I came up with ‘Unfinished Business’ where our three friends review their lives and take appropriate action. This story is not really about the business of making New Year’s Resolutions but about looking back and perhaps dealing with an ancient wrongdoing. I’ll let you know the date of publication in my next newsletter.

The last few weeks of November are always fraught for me, as I have to deliver a book to Severn House by the end of the month. And yes, I did manage to do it this time, too. This was, believe it or not, the l6th (sixteenth) Ellie Quicke and it’s called MURDER BY SUSPICION. It has the nastiest villainess I’ve ever written about . . . and I’m currently waiting with baited breath (what other kind can there be?) for my editor to give it the OK. Meanwhile . . . on with the next Bea Abbot. Yes, I start the next book the week after I’ve turned one in to Severn House.

A blessing: may you find friendship, loving-kindness and hearts-ease at Christmas time.

Veronica Heley

Just published: FALSE IMPRESSION, 9th in the Abbot Agency series. Bea has taken in the helpless Dilys, who accidentally infects the agency’s systems with a virus, while Bea’s on-and-off friend Leon also seeks sanctuary with her. Both Leon and Dilys’s boy-friend Orlando had been lured to the car park of a swimming pool where a murderer had been at work – leaving them entangled in a web from which they find it hard to extricate themselves. Everything that happens can be interpreted in different ways and it’s some time before Bea realises exactly who was murdered and why. Before she does so, she and everyone else in the house and at the agency find themselves under siege. Severn House. ISBN 978 0 7278 8445 9.

One of my earliest historicals – My Lord, the Hermit – has just come out on audiobook. Libraries usually stock my audiobooks, so you can ask for it there. CD/9781407951638.

Cry for Kit – one of the early mysteries, is now out as an e-book, as is . . .

The Siege of Salwarpe – a romance set in the middle ages.

You can hear me reading various bits and pieces in recordings made by Isis (Soundings) as follows: Podcast & Interview:

Collected newsletters 2011-2014 (one audio file)

Links to individual newsletters (click on each title)

Severn House e-books released recently
Bea Abbot:   FALSE STEP:
Historical:   LONGSWORD:
Ellie Quicke: MURDER IN TIME:

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

Find details of all the other E-books at