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!
This week I’m a special guest on Keith Newman’s Northern Culture Show on Radio Northumberland. You can catch me and Keith talking about my Poppy Denby books and doing a brief tour of locations of the latest book set in Newcastle and Northumberland. The show will be aired 1pm tomorrow, 2pm on Saturday and 4pm on Sunday. Tune in via their website, the TuneIn app or ask Alexa to find it for you. www.radionorthumberland.com
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.
You can read the interview here.
I had a fantastic evening at last night’s historic crime panel, the penultimate event of the flapulous Newcastle Noir 2019. Here I am in conversation with my fellow partners in crime. From left to right, Ann Landmann (moderator), Lesley Thomson, Nicola Ford, yours truly and Oscar de Muriel.
What a lovely surprise to hear that The Cairo Brief is one of the Love Reading’s editors picks of the week. And what a fabulous review!
“An entirely charming, fascinating murder mystery set in the Golden Age Twenties. The Cairo Brief is the fourth in the simply fabulous ‘Poppy Denby Investigates’ series. Poppy is invited to attend a country house for the auction of an Egyptian mask… murder, curses and general skulduggery await her keen investigative skills. While this could potentially be read as a standalone, I do recommend starting at the beginning of the series with the wonderful The Jazz Files which was shortlisted for the Crime Writers Association Endeavour Historical Dagger Award. Fictional characters mingle quite beautifully with historical figures such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Howard Carter and Emmeline Pankhurst. I adore Poppy, she’s intelligent, progressive, and knows her own mind. Fiona Veitch Smith’s descriptive detailing is just gorgeous, the dresses sparkle, the cars zip (or putter) along, and historical facts pepper and blend in with the storyline. Just perfect if you love to visit a bygone era, The Cairo Brief is a teasingly delicious and wonderfully readable mystery.”
To read other reviews of The Cairo Brief on Love Reading click here.
Friends, fans and followers of Poppy Denby I need your help. I’m delighted to report that book 4 in the series, The Cairo Brief, has been nominated for the People’s Book Prize for fiction. It is one of 20 books on the shortlist. The list now goes out to public vote. If you enjoyed the book – or haven’t read it yet but have read and enjoyed the other Poppy books – please vote for it. And ask your friends and family who you have passed it onto to do the same! Thank you You can vote here.
All and sundry, sundry and all (at least those who live within commuting distance of Newcastle upon Tyne) are invited to celebrate the launch of the fourth Poppy Denby book, The Cairo Brief, on Saturday 20th October, 4.15pm, Jesmond Library. I do hope to see some of you there!
Drum rolls and trumpet toots … ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the new Poppy Denby! The Cairo Brief, fourth in the series, will be published 21 September. If you haven’t read the first three books yet, I suggest you get started! They are great holiday reads (if I may say so myself).
Poppy Denby is on top form solving the mystery surrounding the ancient Egyptian mask of Queen Nefertiti. Highly recommended!
Dolores Gordon-Smith, author of the Jack Haldean murder mysteries
Intrepid Poppy Denby visits a country estate not unlike Downton Abbey in this caper. It’s great fun following Fiona’s crew of early 20th-century reporters as they seek scoops and solve murders on the side
Deb Richardson-Moore, author of The Cantaloupe Thief, The Cover Story and Death of a Jester
Thoroughly enjoyable mystery. Murders, sinister figures, a cursed Egyptian mask…and a seance! All the ingredients for another superlative Poppy Denby investigation.
A. J. Wright, award-winning author of the Lancashire Detective Series.
Fiona Veitch Smith, where have you been all my life? Poppy Denby is delightful, the plot rocks, and the 1920s era is perfectly evoked. British mystery fans, you want to read this. You really, really do.
Cassandra Chan, Author of the Bethancourt & Gibbons mysteries