December 9th 2013

Hello there. 

Well, I’ve finished THE CLOCKWORK MOUSE MYSTERY all about the activities of a Scotland Yard Police Inspector in 1912, surrounded by murder and crime of all description.  I am so excited about it, I might put it straight out as an eBook thereby save a lot of time.  I will make some inquiries about that. 

There is one very strange thing about VAT.  Did you know that a printed book is VAT free, but an eBook is subject to VAT?  How strange is that? 

I was weighed last Friday and I’ve lost 1 lb in a month.  Sexy Linda was delighted.  She reasoned that if I maintained all the modifications initiated by Change4Life, I could confidently expect to weigh a stone lighter next December.  Now that would be magic!  I think she’d forgotten that Christmas is coming.  I simply love Christmas pudding and brandy sauce.  Anyway, I get weighed next on January 3rd.  I’ll let you know the result in the new year.

It is too early to report on the eBook sales of THE BIG FIDDLE released on November 29th, but I do know that we can now afford turkey on Christmas day.  We had planned on having sausages. 

I have a new title, THE FRUIT GUM MURDERS, another Angel book coming out in March 2014.  Then there's THE MONEYTREE MURDERS, the 22nd Angel book, which I hope will be out by Christmas 2014.

Well, I’ve finished writing the Christmas cards.  There are a few locals I have to deliver by hand and a few friends from Church that I will take there next Sunday.  Then we have to decorate the house and get out the tree.  I love the twinkle and bright colours of the fairylights which we put across the sitting-room windows, especially during these long, dark nights. 

I hope that you will have a lovely Christmas.  If you are on your own, I hope you will find comfort and hope in the re telling of the nativity.  If you are a crowd, maybe some of you could check up on neighbours who are on their own.  And say a prayer for your loved ones and yourself. 

Anyway, whoever you are, wherever you are, have a great Christmas, and a very happy New Year. 

 Happy reading!

November 11th 2013

Hello playmates.  Well, doesn't time roll by?  Soon be Christmas.

I've just finished a book that I've wanted to write for years.  It's a stand alone novel about an Inspector of police working out of New Scotland Yard in 1912.  He is surrounded by murder and crime and all sorts of strange happenings.  I've called it THE CLOCKWORK MOUSE MYSTERY.  The queen is currently reading the manuscript, then - subject to correcting all the mistakes she'll find - I'll send it down to the publishers.  It would be for delivery in 2014.  I'm ever so excited about it.

Last month I said I 'd tell you how my weight was doing.  You remember that for three months I had stayed the same, and I was quite dispirited.  It was because I was pinching fruit (pieces of fresh pineapple, strawberries and raspberries) as I was cooking, thinking that it wouldn't make any difference.  But fruit contains an enormous amount of sugar, and as we know, even natural sugar in excess is a no no.

Sexy Linda from Change4Life directed me to stop pinching the fruit and, instead, suggested that I had an exra slice of wholemeal brown bread to get rid of any possible pangs of hunger.  Well, friends, I did that and, as a result, I lost 3 lbs in September, 1 1/2 lbs in October, and 1/2 lb only in November.  Which isn't brilliant, but is progress in the right direction.  I now don't need to have a operation, which pleases me no end.

THE BIG FIDDLE is out in Hardback now and will,be available as an eBook from 29th November. Make a good Christmas read.

Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, enjoy yourself.  You're only young once.  And enjoy your reading. 

October 1st 2013

Here we are now into October.  It makes me feel cold even thinking about it.  But I have known some beautiful days in October.

Well, my old friend that I hadn't seen for 62 years turned up on August the 8th for a couple of days and we recalled our school days ... short trousers and caps... and school dinners, and how we used to discard our inedible meat - which was most of it - behind the old upright piano in the dining room and wondered if anybody ever moved the thing and found it.
I showed him the delights of Barnsley, as much as I could.  The one thing that seemed to fascinate most of all was the statue of Dickie Bird!
It was sad when they had to leave.  But all good things come top an end, as some miserable so and so said.

I was weighed on August 2nd and weighed exactly the same again.  I had weighed exactly the same for two months and it was very annoying, after all I have been through.  So I had a long interview with sexy Linda (of Change4Life) and she went through what I ate on a 'regular' day and between us, we discovered that I was simply not keeping to the correct percentage of the different categories.  I was 90% there, but, according to Linda, it really mattered.  I had to be a 100% right, but that there was absolutely no need to feel hungry.  So I came away from that interview being directed not to pinch pieces of pineapple or the odd strawberry or two or three when I am preparing tea for the queen.  Simply have the prescribed five a day in the appropriate sized portions and no more.  Have another slice of brown wholemeal bread to eliminate any suggestion of hunger pangs, and have a cup of milk a day because my intake of dairy products was below the proportion required.
All these changes were made so that I would never be hungry, and that I would be eating the healthiest diet the NHS could devise for a man of my age and size.  Well I wasn't convinced, but I gave it a go.  I did exactly what sexy Linda had said, and behold, when I was weighed on September 6th, I had lost 3 lbs!
Obviously, I am continuing the regime and hope to have lost another few pounds when I am weighed next Friday, October 4th.
Up or down, or the same, I will keep you posted. 

Sales of THE BIG FIDDLE are well up to the mark, I hear the large prints rights have been taken up by Thorpes.  They are the very nice specialist publishers who reprint the book in a much larger font so that readers who have sight problems can read it more easily.  They have reprinted most of my titles ... all the Angel books, I believe.  By the way, if you prefer to read from your ebook, THE BIG FIDDLE is being published in that form in November.

I have a new title, THE FRUIT GUM MURDERS, another Angel book coming out in March 2014.  Then there's THE MONEYTREE MURDERS, the 22nd Angel book, which I hope will be out by Christmas 2014.  I am also working on another book, which is as yet untitled, so you see I haven't been idle this past summer.

Wherever you are, whatever you're reading, enjoy yourself.  Remember, you're only young once.  Enjoy your reading.

July 28th 2013


There you are …


Long time no see.  Well, I’ve finished another book so I feel that I can take a breather and write my friends and tell them all  the news.   


Haven’t we had some glorious weather.  I hope you’ve been in a suitable place to enjoy it.  There’s nothing as beautiful as a summer’s day in England.  And don’t you think that summer days past were better than the summer days we get today?  It makes me wish I was a kid again. 


Reporting on my diet, I am pleased to say that I was 1 lb down in April, 3½ lbs in May, 1 lb in June and nothing in July.  My next weigh day is this week, August 2nd.  I have made real efforts, so I expect a small loss.  My downfall is all the wonderful fruit that is available just now.  I simply adore fresh strawberries.  As sexy Linda (from Change4Life) keeps telling me, they are OK in moderation, but I can’t do anything in moderation.  What a bore life would be.  I’ve always been an all or nothing man. 


My old friend from school days, (short trousers and school caps) is coming up to see us on August 9th and I can’t wait to greet them: Mr and Mrs Peter Mitchell.  They live on the outskirts of London so they are planning to stay one night in a local hotel.  We haven’t the room in our little place, otherwise it would have been a delight to have them stay with us.  It’s 62 years since we last saw each other so you can see how exciting it is. 


My new book, THE BIG FIDDLE will be published on August 30th, and THE FRUIT GUM MURDERS around December/January time.  The book I have just finished hasn’t been sent to the publishers yet.  I have called it THE MONEY TREE MURDERS.  I hope they like it.  I’ll let you know what the verdict on it is in a month or so. 


Keep in the sun, keep happy and enjoy your reading.




March 6th 2013

Hello there …

In Yorkshire it’s a cold, foggy day, and I cannot get my feet warm. I haven’t been to the Gym this morning because it’s my shopping day. I’ve been down to Tesco’s and bought all the fresh grown stuff such as raspberries, strawberries, cabbage, apples and so on. Then I went to the shoe shop for new pair of black shoes for those formal occasions. I like to look smart. Strangely, I have kicked a hole in the toe of one of them. Yeah, and it’s not as if I go scampering up walls or anything like that that we did when we were kids. I was one who always had a grazed knee. However, the shop was shut. Maybe that was providential? I glanced in the window and on display they had black leather shoes for men from £110 to £225 pair. Wow!

I said I would let you know how the slimming battle was doing and the truth is that I have lost only 1/2 lb in four weeks, which is very disappointing, considering all the sacrifices I am making and the exercise I am putting myself through five mornings a week. Mind you, sexy Linda is not too upset by this. She says, taking everything into account, if I manage only ½ lb a month, every month, that would be 6 lbs in a year which would be good progress. Considering I no longer need to take a blood pressure pill at all and I don’t need to have injections in my shoulder for the great pain I used to have there. That is progress. I’ll let you know how I get on.

Since last writing I have heard from an old friend from my school days, Peter Mitchell. He found me by seeing my name on a book. He read the book and deduced from the story, and some of the character’s names that I was the chap he went to school with many years ago in Gloucestershire. He was right. He phoned the publishers and they sent me a message down the line, and I was delighted to speak with him on the phone. He and his wife are calling on us later this year. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I have just checked through the manuscript of THE BIG FIDDLE and it goes to the type-setter, then it is checked again and printed and made into a book. It will be published in April or May. THE FRUIT GUM MURDERS is being checked over at the moment and I expect it will be published later this year. Needless to say, I am writing another Angel book but I haven’t yet decided on a title.

I have just realised that while there is no VAT on a printed book, there is VAT on all ebook editions. It sounds incongruous to me. What do you think?’

Spring isn’t far away. Have a great time and enjoy your reading.

Shrove Tuesday

Shrove Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Hello there.

Well, as far as the weather goes, we’re in the worst of it. It is very cold but there isn’t much snow around. It has mostly melted. As the song goes, ‘It can only get better!’

In my last letters, I said that I’d tell you about my weight. Between December 7th 2012 and January 4th, I gained 4 lbs. I was devastated. That was the second time I had put on weight. I had a good long talk with sexy Linda of Change4 Life and she said that maybe the gargantuan helpings of potatoes I was serving myself were possibly to blame. So I cut them down to three medium to small potatoes per meal, and upped the other vegetables, cabbage, cauliflower, peas, carrots or whatever accordingly. She pointed out that vegetables (except potatoes) don’t put weight on. And it seemed to have worked because when I was weighed on February 1st I had taken off 2 lbs. Now if I can maintain the regime, I should be able to manage to lose 2 lbs every month. That’s healthy and that would be great. I’ll keep you posted.

At last I have finished another Angel book. It will be the 21st in the series. When I first started writing about this character it was just the one book, IN THE MIDST OF LIFE. Now everybody wants to read more of him, so I haven’t time to write anything else. It’s called THE FRUIT GUM MURDERS and I hope it will keep you mystified and amused to the very last page. I don’t think it will published before June.

I am told that my Christmas sales of Angel titles were well up, boosted by the cheap ebook offers of some titles in December. Sales of THE DIAMOND ROSARY MURDERS was published on December 31st 2012. I have no sales figures, but I do know the large print rights have already been snapped up by Ulverscroft.

Whatever you do, have a great time, and enjoy your reading.