Newsletter no.137 May 2019

The big news this month is that the first of the Harlequin Book Club titles is now out in the wide world – mostly in America, I assume. It’s called FALSE ALARM and is the one in which Bea ruins her beautiful boots by going up and down a cast iron staircase. You may not think this is a tragedy, but I can still, sixty years on, remember my grief when our puppy savaged my new, very first pair of open-toed, sling back shoes. They were brown, decorated with a rosette in the same soft material, and I loved them dearly. Ah well.

The Easter short story was called ‘Chocolate Soup,’ and seems to have gone down well with readers. Sally, who has never thought much of herself, accepts a commission from a man in a wheelchair to give away some flowers and finds the task more difficult to fulfil than she’d expected. Let me know if you can’t get hold of a copy and I’ll email one to you, free.

The paperback is now out for MURDER FOR NOTHING, which is an Ellie Quicke, and has a pretty, spoilt, young girl begging for a room and getting up to no good at all. And then, true to her nature, she refuses to take responsibility to what she’d done. That’s from Severn House, as usual.

I have been getting on fine with the first draft of the next Bea Abbot, which is called FALSE CONCLUSION. Over the years I have thought a lot about the damage that can be done to children by persistent denigration. It’s called mental abuse and I’ve known several women whose lives have been warped by being put down by their parents. Usually – and probably because they, too, were brought up that way – it’s been the father who has systematically destroyed the daughter’s sense of self-worth. It’s more insidious than a straight forward murder, but perhaps it should be dealt with in the same way in the courts? I see there’s been a couple of cases recently where the defence has been mental abuse, and I await with interest to see how they turn out.

However, as soon as I got well into the first draft of the next Bea Abbot, the copy edit for MURDER FOR GOOD finally arrived on my doorstep. And here I must send a big ‘thank you’ to my editor for letting me have a hard copy in a slightly larger print size so that I can read it more easily – and also for finding me a copy editor who seems to like what I write. A double ‘thank you’. I’m nearly at the end of the copy editing and must say it’s been almost enjoyable this time. I have also been sent a draft of the cover and, hurray! It’s exactly what I thought it should for this very domestic drama. There’s a traditional meat pie with a piece cut out of it, plus a big sharp knife and some flames in the background. Excellent. I hope you will like it, too, when the book comes out in October.

May the longer, warmer days help you to get out and about, to keep in contact with old friends, and perhaps to make some new ones, too.

Veronica Heley