28th June 2010

Oh dear. Oh dear. And it will cost £12m to get rid of the ‘poor’ man. All that money. How much will it cost to keep him, I ask myself? What ever does he live on? Goldfish?

I raced home yesterday afternoon from a twice yearly meeting of the Northern Chapter of the Crime Writers’ Association lunch and meeting hoping I might catch the end of the match on the telly. I needn’t have rushed by all accounts.

The chapter meeting was very interesting and I met up with some old friends including Peter N Walker (of Heartbeat fame) and his dear wife Rhoda. They were both looking younger. Peter was Chairman of the northern chapter for ages.
A hundred years ago when I was shy and struggling, it was Peter who encouraged me to join in branch activities. (Come to think of it, I am still shy and struggling.)

Next years AGM was announced and apparently it is to be in Darlington. Also the junior crime writers’ competition was discussed. This is a national scheme sponsored by the CWA to get young people interested in crime writing at an early age. There have been thousands of entries. Entry forms available at participating public libraries. If you know any young person who wants to get started and can’t get an entry form, email me and I’ll put you in touch with the appropriate library. My email address, as always, is - angeldetective@uwclub.net.

Watch out for publication of my latest Angel book THE SNUFFBOX MURDERS on Wednesday next, 30th June. If you see anything unusual in the sky it could be the rockets.

Come back soon … if you can stand the pace.
7 June 2010

Hi there.

Welcome back. I’ve neglected the diary a bit, I must say. My excuse is that I was busy finishing off with what is possibly my most exciting book. I completed it yesterday and the queen is downstairs proof reading it for me so that I can hopefully I post it off to the publishers tomorrow. It is called THE DOG COLLAR MURDERS. I hope you will think it is Angel at his best.

It is impossible in this life to get through without pain. I should have learned that from when I was five when I had a spanking from my mother with a coat hanger for deliberately setting fire to the white lace bedroom curtains.

Anyway, about two years ago I had terrible toothache. I was in agony. It was at the weekend, and my regular dentist who had been treating me over ten or twelve years was closed. There was a message on his answerphone saying that I should contact the NHS emergency dentist and it gave the number, which I duly rang, many times. However, that phone was always engaged. It must have been off the hook. So, in desperation, I went to the A and E department at the hospital. It was explained to me that while they didn’t have an orthodontics department - I thought that that was the specialist department that dealt with donkeys - the duty doctor would take a look at me. I sat there patiently waiting and wondered if it was possible to give me an antibiotic to get rid of the infection and thereby ease the pain. A few minutes later a 12 year old boy in a white coat came into the cubicle where I had been shunted. He had a look in my mouth and declared that, ‘The gum was a bit red and swollen, but nothing serious,’ and sent me home with 2 co-codamol and advice that I ‘should see a dentist.’

Do you know, writing about this is getting me all worked up, so I’ll skip a few stages and move on.

A friend told me that there was a painless dentist I could go to. A painless dentist? I thought anything to do with teeth had to be painful. I had visions of Bob Hope in that silly film where he was supposed to be ‘Painless Potter’ the travelling dentist touring the Wild West in the 1880’s. He was anything but painless. Anyway I found the man’s name in the phone book, and he had more letters after his name than Idi Amin. Anyway I made an appointment to see him. I had to go private so the cost was enormous. Anyway, to cut the story short, the surgeon extracted the tooth and I didn’t feel a thing. No needles. Just a scratch on the back of the hand. Nothing painful. I slept all the way through it. I had a taxi home and had a painfree snooze through the afternoon. Since then I have had a filling there, no needles, no heavy weapons, utterly painfree, without being anaesthetised.

Last week the same man took out two wisdom teeth and one ordinary tooth. Again no needles. No pain. Slept through the whole operation. It is outrageously expensive, of course, but it is totally without pain and horror.

If you suffer from toothache and you need a dentist, forsake something like a weekend break, or three six month’s booze and go to a painless dentist.

Moving on …
I had a delightful letter from Patricia of Ipswich. I won’t give her name in full in case she is shy. She wrote to me at my publishers, Robert Hale. She says some very kind things about the Angel books. I quote:

‘I love them. They are in plain English, understandable and the best read I’ve had in years.’

She goes on to say that she has read all the titles except one which her library can’t get hold of. It must be MURDER IN BARE FEET, because it is sold out. Although it is no help to Patricia, I am pleased to take this opportunity to remind readers that audio versions of the book were recorded and published in April by Soundings. The actor who made the recording is Jonathan Keeble who also recorded my book, WILD ABOUT HARRY published in 2010. By the way, I have just heard that Hales are reprinting CUCKOO CLOCK SCAM which is excellent news.

Watch out for THE SNUFFBOX MURDERS, which is the 16th Angel book, to be published on June 30th. If you live anywhere near Barnsley in South Yorkshire, watch out for the sky lighting up!

Take care. Back soon.