Many Poppy fans have contacted me to ask if there will be another Poppy book out soon. The answer is sadly ‘no’. The publisher has decided not to continue with the series, so The Crystal Crypt will be the last Poppy book – for now. I do hope in the future to pick up the series again, but at the moment, that is not possible. I am very sad about this, knowing how much Poppy is loved, and knowing how much I have loved creating her. Thank you to all my readers and listeners for your support over the years. It is humbling to know that a character I simply imagined has brought so much joy to so many people. Thank you, once again, to Jessica Gladwell, Tony Collins, Joy Tibbs and Louise Titley who helped introduce Poppy to the world.
I have delayed sharing this sad news so that I can sweeten it with some good news. I have a new series coming out with Embla Books (an imprint of Bonnier Books UK), which has just been announced in The Bookseller today! The Miss Clara Vale Mysteries, about a lady science graduate who inherits a detective agency in Newcastle upon Tyne, will be released this September. There are three under contract, so far, the first is ‘The Picture House Murders’, set in the summer of 1929. So fans of Poppy Denby (and hopefully many more new fans) prepare yourselves for more mysterious Golden Age delights!
Clara, like Poppy, will soon be getting her own website. But for now, you can follow any developments on my author website www.fiona.veitchsmith.com
Below: 1920s film star Louise Brooks. If anyone were to play Clara in a moving picture it would be Miss Brooks!
Friends in the Newcastle area, I am giving a talk (with visuals) at Jesmond Library on Thursday 16th, on ‘Newcastle in the 1920s – a novelist’s research.’ I will be talking about how I researched the locations for The Art Fiasco, book 5 in the Poppy Denby series, set in Newcastle, about a murder at the Laing Art Gallery. As this book came out during lockdown I was unable to do all the local events I had planned for it. I do hope you can join me. £3 donation to the library. And a chance to buy signed copies or just to say hello!
Randomly.Shop bookshop have asked me what makes me tick. I talk about my latest book, my writing process, and how difficult it was to keep on writing during lockdown. I also reveal which of the six Poppy Denby books is my favourite. To find out, visit https://randomly.shop/blog/fiona-veitch-smith-interview/
Join me in conversation with Warwickshire Libraries, Newcastle Libraries and the British Library on Tuesday, 8 March at 7.30pm
From the event website:
Warwickshire Libraries, in partnership with Newcastle Libraries and the British Library are thrilled to be hosting a virtual ‘in conversation’ with crime author, Fiona Veitch Smith.
We will be talking to Fiona, author of the Poppy Denby Investigates series, about her inspiration in creating the 1920s reporter sleuth and how she has drawn on her own experience working as a journalist and lecturer in journalism.
Fiona will also be sharing her knowledge of some of the formidable women journalists of the early 20th century.
Today on Poppy’s blog tour for The Crystal Crypt we are stopping of at Jaffareadstoo. She says:
“Beautifully written, with both a sense of fun, and pathos, the glorious city of Oxford comes to life and thanks to the cleverly designed map, I was able to, quite literally, follow in Poppy’s footsteps as she moves through the city on her hired bicycle. […] Poppy Denby is, by far, my favourite amateur sleuth, and I look forward to meeting her again soon.”
I must confess, the map is my favourite part of the book. It took me ages to source just the right one and to plot Poppy’s adventures on it. But it helped me visualise where Poppy was going from the very beginning.
And it’s Happy Publication Day for The Crystal Crypt! Out today in paperback and ebook (already out in audio). Poppy and I will have a glass or two of bubbly this evening. It’s hard to believe this is book 6 already. Thanks so much to my family, friends and loyal followers of Poppy for your support over the years. It brings me joy to know that my imaginary friend and literary creation is so well loved. Thank you all
The audio version, published by WF Howes, and narrated by the fabulous Helen Keeley, is coming out on Thursday 4 November. The paperback and ebook versions, published by Lion Fiction, will come out on Friday 19 November. You can pre-order by clicking here.
Poppy Denby’s next adventure, The Crystal Crypt, will be released in November. Today, in collaboration with Love Reading, we reveal its cover! And here it is…
Reporter sleuth Poppy Denby is asked to investigate the mysterious death of an up-and-coming female scientist in an Oxford laboratory known as the Crystal Crypt. The official verdict is that Dr June Leighton died in a tragic accident, but Dr Leighton’s lab assistant believes it was murder. However, when Poppy discovers that the colleague has spent time in a mental institution and has an unresolved murder in her own past, Poppy wonders if she is being misled. But then, another female academic is attacked, and Poppy herself becomes a target. This is the sixth book in the Poppy Denby Investigates series.
I’m going to be joining a stellar line-up of crime writers, publishers and agents in the Pro-Writing Aid Crime Writer’s Week on 19 – 23 April. Alongside the likes of Peter James, Leigh Russell, Karin Slaughter and Ian Rankin, I’ll be sharing my experience of crime writing in a session on research for historical mysteries. I will be looking at how to create an authentic historical world. Do join me at 3pm (UK time) on Wednesday 21st April for a totally FREE session. And of course, dip in and out of any and all of the other talks and workshops taking place that week. Visit www.prowritingaid.com/crimeweek to sign up. Full details below.