Newsletter No 200, June 2023

The plants which died over winter in the garden have been removed, and the foliage from the spring bulbs has been tidied up, hurray! This year I’m growing some sunflowers. I’ve some eight inch high seedlings and have hopes they will one day grow to be taller than me. Unfortunately, it’s a constant battle here with slugs, snails, blackfly, greenfly and something new to me that’s attacking the roses. Ouch!

I am slowly getting on with the next Abbot Agency book, titled FALSE WITNESS. I got myself in a tangle in the plot, and had to go and do some gardening to recover my equilibrium. The problem is that, for the purposes of the plot, the hero has to spend a night in hospital, which set me wondering what sort of accident he might have had to cause that. Eventually, I decided on something that worked. Oh, the relief!

I tell myself that as long as Bea is in charge of the story, we will see things through her eyes and she can sort it out for us. She’s brought us through sixteen titles so far, hasn’t she? And without anyone throwing the book across the room and declaring they haven’t a clue as to who’s doing what to whom, and whose name I’ve got confused with two others in the same chapter. I once tried to read a book in which the names of the first four people concerned all began with the same initial. I made it to the third chapter and then put the book gently to rest in the recycling bin.

Joffe Books are continuing to bring out the Abbot Agency e-books. A FALSE CONCLUSION came out on May 14th while A FALSE FACE was due on 27th May. Now what’s next? I think it will be some Ellie Quickes in the autumn. Watch this space.

I have to tell you a shocking thing; naughty Awol, the blue owlet, knocked his brother Owen off the mantelpiece, and he ended up on the floor in pieces. I have glued him back together again and repainted his stripes, but he’s feeling very sorry for himself. See him here showing his bruises to the rest of the family, while Awol chuckles to himself.

The short story I’ve plucked from the archives is called SUMMER HOLIDAY, and is about the choices our three old friends about where to go and why . . . and how that turns out. Read it here.

Did you manage to keep up with my daughter Fran on her walk for the EDS (Ehlers Danloss Syndrome) charity from Leeds to London? Disaster struck on day 4 when her husband had a fall from his bike and fractured his elbow. They spent most of that day in A&E. Fran had a difficult decision to make but decided to carry on because it’s so important to so many people. Friends are helping out as and when. What a business! If I’ve counted correctly, today she’s got as far as Wellingborough and is aiming for Harrold. She’s over half way! You can catch up with her through Facebook.

Pathway to Parliament in aid of EDS UK | Leeds | Facebook &

A blessing on those who will listen to us when we hit a bump in the road.

Veronica Heley