Newsletter no.104 August 2016

Life is slowly returning to normal, hampered by the side effects from the drugs I’m taking and by . . . toothache! Yes, as if I needed any more trauma, I now have toothache!

But, onwards and upwards. We will survive. With help from my neighbours and my family, I have the garden more or less back under control, but I have one problem I can’t yet solve. We have been experiencing some high winds ever since I got out of hospital, and this is enabling a pretty little violet-flowered weed to flourish in my lawns. I don’t know it’s name. (I really must look it up, because the flower is quite charming, but a plant in the wrong place is a WEED.) I have a bottle of Weed and Feed for use on the lawns but had omitted to apply it earlier in the year and it’s water based so I can’t use it in high winds as it would blow the spray onto and kill the plants in the flower beds, as well as the weeds in the lawn. I’ve just seen some clover, too! Give a weed an inch, and they multiply overnight. Oh, for the winds to drop so that I can get at the pests and send them painlessly into a world in which they will be welcome.

Getting back to work has been hard. I do a bit here and a bit there. Some days it comes easier than others. But I have to wonder if there is an editor lurking somewhere in the brain of every writer? I have one, definitely. Some days I’m writing away and thinking, Yes, this is good! And when I’ve finished, I sit back with a smile . . . and then the editor at the back of my head says,

‘That’s rubbish, you know!’

‘No, no!’ I scream. ‘It’s fine!’

            ‘Fine it may be, but you don’t need it in this story. Get rid of it!’

This doesn’t happen often, but it is something that comes up and hits me every now and again. I’ve just had to get rid of a whole chapter in the next Ellie because the theme I’d introduced was holding up the main story-line. All right, I know in my head that it’s right to get rid of the offending passage, but oh, how it hurts. In a couple of days, I shall acknowledge that my internal editor was right. What is the next Ellie about? All I can say about it at the moment is that those of you who doubted Ellie’s good friend Lesley had made the right choice for a husband are probably going to say, I Told You So!  

I haven’t yet received the copy-editing for the next Bea Abbot story, which is just as well, considering how few hours I have been able to sit at the computer recently, but I’m told it’s on track for publication at the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Murder in Style has been read by some of my readers already, and they have been kind enough to email me to say they enjoyed it. Hurray! Let’s hope the reviewers like it, too. For the storyline, see below.

Finally, a blessing: may you find good neighbours wherever you go.

Veronica Heley

NEW . . . . MURDER IN STYLE, the 17th Ellie Quicke. Out in the shops in the UK on June 16th. ISBN 978-0-7278-86309. This story is set in a fashion boutique started by twin girls who had been unwise in their choice of husbands. When one of the twins tumbles down the stairs and dies, it sets off a chain reaction of greed and malice in those left behind. Ellie tries to sort out the mess and is drawn into danger herself.

MURDER BY SUSPICION, the 16th Ellie Quicke, the large print edition. Also the trade paperback, and now, the audiobook as well. A local house church is after Ellie’s money but their members hold some very odd beliefs – not to mention their unscrupulous methods of getting the funds needed by their charismatic, if misguided, pastor.

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.

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)

Find details of my E-books at