Newsletter no.89 May 2015

I have made a New Year’s Resolution – well, all right, I do know we’re now into the fifth month of the year, but I don’t know how else to term such an important, nay life-changing, event. I am not going to mention the clothes moths any more. I have thrown out all my woollen garments. I have torn up old carpets and had new ones – supposedly moth-proof – put down. I have replaced carpeting with tiles in the bathroom. I have sprayed with lavender oil. And still they come. So, I have decided that from now on the battle should be considered part of everyday normal life and therefore not to be mentioned. (Of course, like all good New Year Resolutions, I may break this one from time to time!)

I went to the London Book Fair, which has moved to Olympia and, like everyone else there, was bewildered by the signs – or lack of. Now I quite understand how difficult it was for the organisers to fit so many aspects of the publishing world into four conjoined halls and two, or was it three, sets of galleries – one of which could only be reached by lift. But was it really necessary to put table D31 between tables C45 and C56? I exaggerate not. That was the sort of obstacle which we punters had to negotiate in order to find our editors and agents. Yes, no doubt all will be fixed by next year – or will we be transferring to Excel? I rather hope not, but . . .

However, good news all round. Severn House want another two books from me, which will keep me fully employed for the next year. One for Bea, and one for Ellie, as usual. Which is just as well, as my peculiar brain is already working on that happens in Ellie Number 17, and I am still tidying up Bea Number 10, which I am due to deliver at the end of May 2015. I will try to keep you up to date on when and how each story comes out and in what format. It looks as if we will be having more paperbacks and less hardbacks in future.

Soundings are continuing to bring out audiobooks for the last few of my historical novels, which is lovely, and they are also looking at taking on the four books in the Eden Hall series. So see me walking on air. . .

Meanwhile the short story for the Methodist Recorder duly came out on Good Friday, and if you haven’t been able to get hold of a copy and would like to read it, just drop me an email, and I’ll send it to you free of charge. This one is called ‘Saying Thank you!’ in which Kerry decides we don’t thank people enough for what they do, and he sets about doing so. (Spoiler alert: we lose one of our heroes.)

Usually my publishers, Severn House, bring out an Ellie Quicke in the third week of May every year. This time it’s going to be delayed till June. But, if you like, you can always go into the library and reserve a copy now. The title is MURDER BY SUSPICION, and has the charismatic leader of a cult going after Ellie’s money. Pastor Ambrose works through Claire the Tearful, whom Ellie took on to look after her elderly and very frail housekeeper, Rose.

Do you belong to a book club, or like to have recommendations to books? Every year I have to give an in-depth review of a book I have chosen and this year it’s The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier. This is a very personal review, and many people may not agree with what I have to say about it, but if you’d like to read it, you can find it through the Review section on the website.

And finally, a blessing: may you find time to marvel at the splendour of the flowers in the gardens around you. And – like Kerry in the short story – feel brave enough to thank the gardeners concerned?

Veronica Heley

NEW . . . . LONGSWORD, an audiobook from Soundings. A romping adventure set in the Middle Ages, about a man wrongly accused of theft. He takes refuge in a castle, where he falls for a girl whose father has vowed she is to become a nun. CD/9781407951683.

Recently 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.

The new pop-up by Francesca Crespi, for Noah’s Ark, has a text written by yours truly. Francesca’s work is stunning. Frances Lincoln, ISBN 978-1-84507-937-6.

In January the Ellie Quicke story, MURDER IN TIME, came out as a paperback on   ISBN 978 18475 15186, and in February there was a large print version, at   ISBN 978 072 789 7770. Both from Severn House

One of my earliest historicals – MY LORD, THE HERMIT – has just come out on audiobook at CD/9781407951638.

SUE FOR MERCY, my very first published book, is now out as an e-book, as are CRY FOR KIT, and 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)

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