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Donna Fletcher Crow, Novelist of British History, has written more than 50 books specializing in British Christianity. These books include: The Monastery Murders, clerical mysteries; Lord Danvers Investigates, Victorian true-crime; The Elizabeth and Richard series, literary suspense; and Glastonbury, The Novel of Christian England. She loves research and sharing you-are-there experiences with her readers.

www.donnafletchercrow.com

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Donna Fletcher Crow, Novelist of British History

 

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Donna Fletcher Crow, Novelist of British History

A traveling researcher engages people and places from Britain's past and present, drawing comparisons and contrasts between past and present for today's reader.

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Veronica Heley on Her New Release: FALSE DIAMOND

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ March 4, 2014

     

 

Donna: Veronica, Wwelcome to "Deeds of Darkness; Deeds of Light" and congratulations on your new Bea Abbot Mystery. Tell us about the release.

Veronica: Yes, FALSE DIAMOND duly came out last November here in the UK. It’s now available in America and all points south. Booklist had given it a good review but now I have – wait for it! – a starred review from Publishers Weekly.

Donna: Wow! That’s wonderful. Starred reviews are very hard to get.

Veronica: It would be extravagant to say that ‘now I can die happy’ and of course I don’t really mean it, but . . . you get the picture?

Donna: Absolutely. Some of our readers may never have heard of Publishers Weekly as it is really a trade paper for libraries and bookshops, but it is highly influential in those areas.

Veronica: one of the things that pleased me most was that it is clear that the reviewers have actually read the book, and they are reputedly not kind to writers who have turned in substandard work. So a good review is gratifying, while a starred review is . . .. Whoopee?!!

Donna: And here are quotations from those reviews:

Booklist: An action-packed variation on the British cozy, this latest from Heley is full of unexpected twists and gentle humour.

Publishers Weekly: * Excellent . . . suspense and betrayal combined with appealing players make this a superior series entry.

In the latest Abbot Agency story, False Diamond, Bea is drawn back into the questionable doings of the multi-billionaire Holland family, which include a frightened young wife, Dilys, who has a fake diamond in her engagement ring, and who then tries to commit suicide - or does she? Other problems facing Bea occur when her only son gets into financial difficulties inspired by Dilys's abusive husband, who tries to put the frighteners on Bea. Even more disturbing to Bea is the ambiguous behaviour of the black sheep of the family, who turns out to be the joker in the pack.

Bea is an older, widowed businesswoman with a heart, who has taken in two dysfunctional youngsters and is helping them to become worthwhile adults. She works hard but her only son causes her great anxiety and in this story, she has to face up to a physical threat, causing her to realise how hard it is to combat fear. Some gentle humour helps her sort through the tangles in her life and others.

Donna: I have just ordered FALSE DIAMOND, Veronica, and I can’t wait to read it. What else are you working on?

Veronica: Work progresses, more or less as usual. I have come to the end of the first draft of the next Abbot Agency story. There’s a lot to do to it yet, as I’ll probably go through it another three or even four times before I consider it’s ready to send off at the end of May. But I must leave it aside for a little while to ‘settle’ in my mind, so that I can come back to it afresh in due course.

Donna: And what will this next one be about?

Veronica: The title of this next Bea is FALSE IMPRESSION. Almost everything that happens can be interpreted in different ways and it’s some time before Bea realises exactly who was murdered, when and why. Technically, I set myself a challenge as, until the very last chapter, Bea never leaves the house. She, and the people who have taken refuge under her roof are, in fact, under siege . . . which makes for increased tension. I hope.

Donna: And then another Ellie Quick, I hope? I’m a great Ellie fan.

Veronica: Yes, both Ellie and Bea are being asked to go on for another year. The Bea Abbott I’m currently working on will be out this November. After that, it will be back to Ellie. I am so pleased.

Donna: I’m pleased, too, and I know all your readers will be. You keep an absolutely breathless pace, Veronica. Thank you so much for taking time to visit with us.

You can read more about Veronica and all her doings here: http://www.veronicaheley.com/

US readers order FALSE DIAMOND here: http://j.mp/OXForg

UK readers order FALSE DIAMOND here: http://j.mp/OXF0cl

Donna Fletcher Crow, Novelist of British History, has written more than 50 books specializing in British Christianity. These books include: The Monastery Murders, clerical mysteries; Lord Danvers Investigates, Victorian true-crime; The Elizabeth and Richard series, literary suspense; and Glastonbury, The Novel of Christian England. She loves research and sharing you-are-there experiences with her readers.

www.donnafletchercrow.com

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Reader Comments:

Those characters definitely sound fun
-SheilaDeeth, March 5, 2014

Yes, Veronica does very well-developed characters. Thank you for your note, Sheila!
-Donna, March 5, 2014

Thanks, Sheila. People always ask me if I copy characters that I meet, but I can't say that I do. I can 'see' the characters in my head but they're made up of bits of he and bits of she and something from myself. Perhaps it's a bit like making a cake, putting the different ingredients together and baking it in the oven - when it turns out quite different from the original ingredients.
Veronica Heley
-Veronica Heley, March 6, 2014

Thank you for sharing that, Veronica. I love the cake analogy. Makes me think of my mother who always said, "You can give 6 cooks the same recipe and you'll get 6 different dishes." So even if one tried to take a character from life they would come out different after they filtered through the writer's consciousness.
-Donna, March 6, 2014

I love that analogy too. Almost as if that little bit of "self" is the secret ingredient added to the recipe.
-SheilaDeeth, March 6, 2014

Always, Sheila. No other way to get an authentic writer's voice.
-Donna, March 6, 2014

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