Newsletter no.107 November 2016

Do you know the term ‘brain freeze’? I heard it for the first time recently and think it fits my memory lapses perfectly. You know what I mean? You set out to do something and for some reason you forget what it was you meant to do, or you start on a sentence and suddenly find there was a hole in your thinking and . . . whoops! That’s a brain freeze. I rather like the phrase, and intend to use it in future.

When I was trying to send out the newsletter last month, I couldn’t find the toolbar which allowed me to print and paste from a document. After lots of aggravation, I sent the newsletter out as an attachment and hoped everyone could cope with that. Later in the day, I had another go at the computer, and Lo and Behold! Back came the toolbar! Hurray. Mind you, I have absolutely no idea how I managed it. And another thing, for some reason I now have my emails in a larger font than usual. How did that happen, I ask myself? And answer there is none.

But, back to writing. My publishers tell me that the next Bea Abbot – False Fire – is on track for publication at the end of the year but I haven’t got the date fixed as yet. This is the one which starts with thirteen people for dinner and ends in multiple mayhem – oh, and an old teddy bear who becomes a Very Important Person.

Meanwhile I have been chugging along with the next Ellie – Murder for Nothing – which will, incredibly, be her eighteenth story! I can hardly believe it. The plot twists and turns nicely and one of my most unfavourite characters gets her come-uppance, although she is never going to suffer as much as I think she should. However, my moneylender, who I thought at first was a villain, does indeed turn out to be something of a hero.

My first draft was a little short on the word count. I shall leave it aside for a week or so, then start on a second draft. On the second draft, I allow myself licence to fill in more explanation of what’s going on which means I end up with something over the word count. Only on the third draft do I get the manuscript down to size and by that time I shall be wondering what Bea Abbot has been up to recently, and will be ready to start on another story for her.

I’ve just been told that Bea’s last published story – ‘False Wall’ – was due to come out on October 30th in large print. See below for the storyline. A paperback will be coming out in a year’s time.

Also new out in paperback are some older Ellies. Murder by Bicycle and Murder of Identity. These have been given new life by Ostara Publishing.

The last short story for the Methodist Recorder – ‘How Dare He!’ – seems to have gone down a treat. If you’ve missed it, and would like to read it, then let me know, and I’ll send it to you free by email. I have been asked for another story in this series, which I must deliver by the end of November. I think that will bring this particular story line to an end.

Finally, a blessing; as the days grow darker, let us look forward to celebrating the reason for Christmas; the coming of the Christ child and His love for the world.

Veronica Heley

PS – I’m going to scream! My milk was stolen this morning! Again! I am so CROSS!

NEW . . . ‘FALSE WALL’ in large print. The 10th Abbot Agency book begins as Bea’s ancient garden wall collapses, revealing a skeleton buried in a neighbour’s plot. Before Bea and her long-time friend Leon can investigate, they fall victim to an elaborately-planned trap. With her home, livelihood and the agency under threat, it seems that Bea is the subject of a neighbourhood vendetta. But why? And why is Leon becoming so distant?

Excellent characterisation and plotting.’ Library Journal.

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.

Publisher’s Weekly speaks of ‘Heley’s well-plotted 17th Ellie Quicke mystery’, and goes on to say ‘A mature woman with keen observational skills and psychological insight into dark human deeds, Ellie is a worthy successor to Agatha Christie’s Jane Marple.

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.

MURDER BY BICYCLE, a paperback from Ostara Publishing. ISBN 9 781909 619418 is the 7th in the series and MURDER OF IDENTITY, also from Ostara is the 8th in the series. The ISBN for this is 9781909 619425.

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