Newsletter no.91 July 2015

I’ve been lazy for a couple of days. Picture me, laid out flat out on my bed, going Aargh!

The reason? We had our annual Party in the Park on Sunday. It is run by our local Community Organisation, and attracts about 6000 visitors. There are stages for choirs and dancing troupes; a beer tent and a food area; clowns and balloons and races and football and Fit for Sport and a dog show and side shows. In other words, a proper Show. The local churches get together to rent a ‘patch of land’ on which we stage crafts (free for children), a prayer tree, an entertainment section, and a book and cards stall (my church). We set up in the morning, open at one and finish at five, although there is live music till 9. Old friends come and go but the highlight for me was a ride on the wonderful, noisy, creaking, slightly tatty carousel. And yes, I managed to hitch up my skirt and climb up onto one of the horses and hang on to the barley-sugar pole and go wheeeee! So now you understand why I’ve been lying flat out on my bed, going Aargh!

As to the books. Well, the next Ellie Quicke – MURDER BY SUSPICION – came out at the end of June (available three months later in the USA). I don’t have any reviews from the magazines yet, but I do have three via the NetGalley system, which is for librarians and web-site reviewers who can apply for a free digital copy in advance of publication. And they have been very kind. Thank you, all of you.

The storyline? The charismatic leader of a cult is 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 – and that did not work out well. Also Ellie’s policewoman friend is raising the question of a missing schoolgirl with whom Claire has had an argument. For details of the ISBNs, see below.

Someone asked me the other day about a character in one of my books and my mind went completely blank. I have enough trouble remembering the names of characters in my current work, especially when they keep changing! For instance, in the current storyline, I had a character who started off as Donald. He looked like a Donald. He acted like a Donald. And then I remembered I have another character with a similar name – Dan, Vera’s husband. All right, Dan is Daniel, and Don is Donald, but . . . no. I decided the names were too similar, so now I have to think of another name for this important character. Gordon? Perhaps.

Mind you, there is good reason for me to be confused. At any given moment I can be working on four different story-lines. If you are as easily confused as me, I suggest you skip the next paragraph.

Currently, I have just received my copies of MURDER BY SUSPICION, officially published last week. I have finished the edit on FALSE WALL, and am waiting for the copy-editing to arrive. I am beginning the first draft of the next Ellie, MURDER AT THE MAGPIE. I am polishing off another short story for the Methodist Recorder called WHY BOTHER? introducing a new character. I am writing and sending in publicity material for MURDER BY SUSPICION, which will appear on other people’s websites soon and I’m arranging for some forward publicity for . . . er . . . remind me, someone! And I have to bear in mind that publication in the USA is going to be three months behind that of the UK, and somehow I’ve got to arrange for the website to be kept up to date . . . and there are some nice reviews coming through for . . . which story?

You get the picture?

On the whole life is good. They say that writers are never so happy as when they’re producing the first draft of a new story. I’m not sure that that’s true but, as it happens, this one is coming along a treat . . . at least, it seems to be all right at the moment. What I’ll think of it when I come to the edits, I don’t know.

And finally, a blessing: may the longest days of the year bring more light than darkness into your life.

Veronica Heley


NEW . . . .

MURDER BY SUSPICION, the 16th Ellie Quicke.
Hardback:   ISBN 9780 7278 85241         E-book: 9781 78010 6779

FALSE ALARM, the 7th Bea Abbot.
Paperback: ISBN 978 1 84751 466 0.

The audiobook of   THE WILFUL HEIRESS from Soundings. In CD.

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.

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