Newsletter no.125 May 2018

The saga of the milk bottles continues, with a twist! You know that I write crime stories. Well, here is a crime which I can solve up to a point. On Saturday I noticed a plastic bag had been tossed onto my front lawn from the path. The packet had clearly contained chips. Someone had eaten their fill, abandoned the remainder in my garden . . . and the bottle of milk which had been delivered in the early hours of the morning, was nowhere to be seen! I think it only reasonable to assume that whoever left the food, stole my milk. You agree with me, don’t you? Problem: If I ring the police and say, “I have to report a crime!” The first thing they will want to know is, do I have videotape evidence? Did I see a crime committed? Do I know who is the scumbag who is prepared to rob a poor old woman of her daily pinta?

Some good news: I went to the London Book Fair, armed with chocolate as usual, and was told that my editor at Severn House wants me to go on writing as before. She wanted to know if the next one (Bea Abbot: False Account) will be delivered on time. This was no idle question as I had lost some eight chapters due to computer problems and not having backed up properly. However, I have now caught up again – not without considerable stress, I must say – and all is back on track. As usual, I was asked if I have any suggestions for the cover and this time I referred to the storyline and said, “What about a model train layout? Or, of course, cats!” Cats are supposed to be a good thing on book covers. I suppose we might actually have both? We could have a nice-looking cat looking down on a miniature train puffing along? There’s several months to go before the publisher decides what goes on the cover, but I bet we get cats. I hasten to say that I really really like cats. But at the moment I’m enchanted by the idea of the model train set.

I also saw the lovely audiobook people at the Fair who said they’d just put in an offer for the last two published books, Ellie’s Murder for Nothing, and Bea’s False Pride. So we chatted about this and that, and anything else I might have available. We ate some chocolate, and then I went home and had a well-earned rest.

The short story for the Methodist Recorder at Easter was about forgiveness. It was a difficult subject to write about but what I said seems to have echoed what a number of my readers have been thinking. I’ve been urged to write a follow-up. If that happens, I’ll let you know. Meanwhile, if you haven’t been able to get a hard copy of ‘Can You Forgive?’ and would like to read it, just let me know and I’ll send you one by email, free.

Finally; may the late-blooming flowers of spring bring you renewed hope for the future.

Veronica Heley