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!
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.
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.
Tomorrow is the launch date of The Art Fiasco! Hurrah! In previous years, with previous books, I’ve always had a jazz-filled live launch with 1920s attire at various venues in an around Newcastle upon Tyne. But this year, sadly, due to Coronavirus restrictions, that is not possible. But never fear! Poppy will be lovingly released into the world with a jam-packed online blog tour, hosted by a fantastic crop of book reviewers and Poppy Denby fans. You can follow Poppy’s tour around the internet from Friday 23rd – Friday 30th. She’ll be delighted to have you along.
Readers of my Poppy Denby books may have noticed that in each of my books there are always some characters with disabilities. There are of course the regular characters who appear throughout the series: the fabulous Aunt Dot who is in a wheelchair and the tough-as-nails editor Rollo Rolandson with dwarfism. However, in each book there are also additional characters with some form of disability.
I have been speaking to disability awareness charity Through The Roof about the reasons I include disabled characters and why I think more novelists don’t do so.
Last night I had the privilege of having a consultation with the incomparable Dr Noir (the founder of Newcastle Noir) talking about my Poppy Denby books, and in particular, The Art Fiasco, set at the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle. The conversation ranged from my great grandfather’s murder, the importance of women’s voices in my books, to where to find loos on 1920s cruise ships. And all over a lovely glass of champers! Here’s a direct link to the video with Dr Noir ..
Poppy Denby investigates