Hush! Don’t tell anyone, but I think I’ve solved the milk delivery problem. Stephen came back from holiday, the empties were removed and a fresh bottle of milk was hidden in my waste food container each time! Hurray! And then . . . the other morning I picked up the bottle of milk, which slid through my hands and fell on the floor. You know how difficult it is sometimes to ease the cap off the bottle? This time it came away with ease and allowed milk to spread all over the porch floor. Aaargh! And I’d put the washing machine on, and it was beeping at me . . . breakfast was a little late that day.
On a happier note . . . I have been away, returning to my favourite holiday spot, Bruges, once again. Now I know it’s ridiculous to expect time to stand still, but I must confess to feeling upset when I discovered that my favourite family-run restaurant had been sold to a neighbouring business A combination of problems has caused the sale; the family has been running the place for thirty-five years and the mother wants to retire, while neither of her two sons wishes to take the place on. Their reasons are understandable; health is one factor and high taxes another. And the long hours . . . but oh dear, I shall miss them. Apart from this, I had a high old time, bought some more clothes, and some chocolate (of course) and visited a fabulous exhibition on the beginnings of printed books. Now that was really something!
Now I’m back, and have run through the next Bea Abbot book, weeding out unnecessary words, re-writing awkward sentences, and inventing a name for yet another cat, who makes an appearance in the final chapters of the story. And speaking of cats, my publishers have asked me to think up six or seven words which describe my stories. This is for the internet, so that anyone wanting to read a story which contains one or more of these elements, can find me. Well, it’s not easy to get it down to six or seven words. No. See me wrinkling my brow and trying out lists of words . . . and then crossing them all out. My final list was; Older woman, crime, family, community, humour . . . and cats. What do you think? Have I got it more or less right? Have I missed out something important?
Now, some good news. The next Ellie, which I think is the nineteenth in the series, will be published as this newsletter goes out. It’s called MURDER BY SUGGESTION and starts when some neglected wives see a poster about a Murder Weekend and amuse themselves suggesting ways to kill their husbands . . . until one of them dies in precisely the way suggested by Ellie’s daughter Diana. The men all throw their wives out and they land up in Ellie’s hall in considerable distress! It will take three months to get the books physically to America, and on that date the ebook will be out, too.
Also, the paperback of MURDER IN STYLE is now out. That’s the one in which a fashion boutique plays a large part in the lives of two sisters – one of whom is found dead in suspicious circumstances.
Finally, may the roses of summer remind you by their beauty and fragrance, of the breadth and depth of God’s love for us.