Saturday, January 23rd 2010

Hello there. Welcome back. I’ve got some great news …

The wheelie man has been and emptied our grey bin. He has left the green box of tin cans and glass bottles standing outside our front gate, though. They have been there since Christmas. I hope he’ll come back and move them soon. This is the drawback of living off the beaten track.

Also, I note from figures supplied by the Public Lending Rights people, who monitor the borrowing of books from the council run free public libraries in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, that the borrowing of my Angel books has slightly more than doubled for the 12 months period ending June 30th 2009. There were three new titles published during that time which would of course add to the figures. They were MURDER IN BARE FEET, WILD ABOUT HARRY and THE WIGMAKER. They added about 18% to the total but if you divide the borrowings by pi, add a lemon and throw in a corpse or two, it still means that many more of you lovely people are reading about Inspector Angel.
Writing the books stops me watching the telly, thinking about women and it helps pay the gas bill and invest in the occasional bottle of bubbly, which can’t be bad. So I thank you for all of that.

I say, I am looking forward to next Friday, January 29th, when the latest Angel book, SHRINE TO MURDER will be published. This book has the most intricate plot I have ever written. When you’ve read it, I hope you will see what I mean. I tried to write it so that just when you thought you knew whodunit, the storyline took on a slightly different emphasis and the clues slipped away like money at Meadowhall. I won’t say more or I shall give the plot away. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it.
I expect the queen and I will go out to the pub for our usual haddock and chips to celebrate!

Hope you are keeping well through this cold weather. It is these temperatures and barometric pressures that find all our weak spots. I was complaining to my doctor about painful aches in my leg and back and she said that gentle walking is as good as anything. As soon as I can, and weather permitting I shall take a gentle stroll round the park. It might help me to work out the fine points of the plot of the present book I am struggling with.

Take care, keep well and come back soon.
Sunday, January 3rd 2010

Happy new year to you. I can’t believe it’s 12 months since I last said that. This year has gone faster than a teenager’s Christmas money.

I have to say that it’s been a tolerably kind year to my friends and relatives. I haven’t had to go to a single funeral. So many have been in hospital and had operations which they have graciously come through - Praise God and the NHS.
Thinking about it, I haven’t been to a wedding either.

2009 has been a great year for me. I had two new Angel books, THE WIGMAKER and CUCKOO CLOCK SCAM published in hardback and MURDER IN BAREFEET published in large print, also a CD audio version of it recorded for the blind.
I am highly delighted at the continued success of my Inspector Angel books and I thank all you lovely people who buy them or borrow them from their libraries. A few – only a very few I hasten to say – are kind enough to email me and tell me they like them. Special thanks to you for going to the trouble.

It is sad that in 2009, I noted that two book publishers have closed their doors for the last time and I hear that two multiple book retailers have also ceased trading. All, no doubt, a result of the recession.

You know, the government are trying to tell us that the recession is almost over. They blind us with statistics to which we have no access. We’ll know when the recession is over when everybody who wants a job has got a job.
While I’m chuntering on, I do wish they’d stop this ‘quantitative easing’. That’s fancy talk for printing more money at the Royal Mint. Everybody knows where that leads to - INFLATION on a grand scale.

Well, as a good friend of mine says, ‘Life may not be perfect but it’s better than the alternative.’

The queen is in good fettle and has been bustling me around these last couple of days, so there is not a lot different here in 2010. We are almost cut off with the snow and it is still coming down. It is very picture postcard, but if it doesn’t stop soon, I shall have to mount the hill in my snow skis, harness the huskies and fetch us some victuals.

Take care in the snow, and come back here soon.