Monday, July 1, 2013

Christian Fiction Icon Veronica Heley

Last week I took my grandsons to the nearby branch of the Boise Public Library which I most often frequent. Standing in the checkout line I looked over the books the staff had selected to feature. And there, on the very top, was FALSE ALARM by Veronica Heley.

Beloved, prolific writer and gracious, Christian lady, Veronica Heley is something of an icon in the world of Christian Mystery writing. And I am privileged to call her a valued friend, even though we’ve only met through the internet. I am so pleased to have Veronica as my guest today to celebrate the release of MURDER WITH MERCY.

Tell us about it, Veronica.

Veronica: MURDER WITH MERCY is the fourteenth (yes really! 14th!) Ellie Quicke mystery. It is now out in the UK. Allow a couple of months for it to reach Canada, America, Australia, et al.
In this story, Ellie is asked to investigate whether or not some deaths in the community are exactly what they seem, while her pregnant, difficult daughter Diana is struggling to cope at work, and her husband is still in a wheelchair. What’s more, sabotage at the big house nearby is being blamed on young Mikey, who is certainly up to something. Can Ellie track down whoever it is who is killing for mercy, keep Mikey out of the clutches of Social Services, and steer her difficult daughter Diana into calmer waters?

Donna: That sounds wonderful, Veronica! I’m a great Ellie Quick fan and one of the best things about the series is Ellie’s, as you say— difficult— relationship with Diana, so I can’t wait to read it. How many books have you published? Or have you lost count?

Veronica: If I’ve counted correctly, FALSE REPORT was my 68th book to be published, though they haven’t all been gentle crime. Along the way I’ve written a quartet of contemporary romance/suspense stories in the Eden Hall Series, some historical fiction and many books with a Christian background for children of all ages… including STORIES OF EVERYDAY SAINTS, which has proved a useful resource book for people working with children. Some copies of these are still available through Amazon or Abe Books. I also write a short story for the Methodist Recorder now and then. The early Ellie Quicke stories are now being reissued by Ostara, and audiobooks are also available of the books in the detective series. And soon all the crime books will be available for downloading.

Donna: Goodness, "prolific" really doesn’t cover it. What are your other recent releases besides MURDER WITH MERCY?

Veronica: UNSUNG HEROES is now out as an e-book. This is a collection of short stories originally published in the Methodist Recorder, concerning the problems of three retired men and their families. There are also some Ellie Quicke short stories.

CRY FOR KIT, and SCREAM FOR SARAH. First published l970s, have been joined by FEAR FOR FRANCES in large print versions from Chivers. Warning; some sex and violence in the first two! The third is a Victorian romp-cum-whodunit. They are also available to download as e-books.

FALSE ALARM, the 7th Abbot Agency story, is now available in hardback and also as an e-book. Bea is asked to find the person who laid a booby trap for the powerful tycoon, Sir Lucas Ossett, in his own block of flats. Review for this: Kirkus: ‘The Abbot Agency’s seventh outing will be just the thing for readers who like their cosies with a bit of bite.’ And from Library Journal: ‘Think of the series’ seventh outing as a big old-fashioned country-house case, Agatha Christie-like, but dressed-up smart and chic for today.’

MURDER BY MISTAKE is now available in large print.

FALSE REPORT is available as a paperback and also as an ebook . This is the story in which Bea finds that assisting a vertically challenged musician to get some home help is asking for trouble, especially when a pretty girl has been trafficked into this country by a gang who target wealthy men.

Donna: That’s absolutely amazing, Veronica! Thank you so much for all your hard work, for the joy you give your readers and for being such an inspiring example for all of us.

Donna Fletcher Crow’s latest releases are AN UNHOLY COMMUNION in the Monastery Murders series, A TINCTURE OF MURDER in the Lord Danvers Victorian true-crime series and the ebook version of GLASTONBURY, The Novel of Christian England. You can see more about them at


  1. Welcome to International Christian Fiction Writers, Veronica! Thank you for being my guest.

  2. My goodness! Prolific is inadequate. What an inspiring interview. Thank you, Veronica and Donna.

  3. This sounds like an author I should definitely check out. Thanks for introducing us, Donna.

  4. Great interview. Thank you for the introduction--I shall look out for these.

  5. Donna and Veronica, thanks for your insightful interview. The Ellie Quick mystery series sound like fascinating reads :)

    And Donna, I spotted your 'An Unholy Communion' book cover in the latest Koorong catalogue, on the same page as Ian Acheson's 'Angelguard'. It's great to see international Christian fiction being featured in Aussie book stores :)

  6. Thank you so much, Narelle! I'm delighted to know that Koorong is getting the word out! I'm really looking forward to my blog tour in Australia!!!

  7. Despite all those books I had not heard of this
    author before. So thanks. Now I will keep an eye out.