HAPPY NEW YEAR (can we stop saying it yet?)

It’s January 7, so I think we probably can. But I hope you had a blinder, didn’t murder any member of your family and are now as tubby as the fatted calf to see you through the misery of January. In cheery news, I hope, anyway, my new book – LOOKING OUT FOR LOVE – is published in less than a month (pre-order it HERE if you like which would be extremely lovely of you, and then it’ll [hopefully] arrive on the very day it comes out). It features Stella, my blonde, very beautiful and very spoiled heroine, plus an ageing private detective called Marjorie, a retired police dog handler called Harold, and an extremely handsome and deeply mysterious man who may or may not be an arms dealer called Fitz.

Alternatively, it’s out in less than a couple of weeks if you’re reading this down under since Australia is publishing it before anyone else on Jan 18. I think this may be because it’s beach weather down there so you can all kick off to Bondi with it. JEALOUS, you lucky, lucky things. It hasn’t stopped raining in London now for 271 days. Or at least it feels like it hasn’t (I know, I know, we had a very dry summer, I just have an incredibly short memory).

Past few Tel columns HERE. Erm, what other news do I have for you? Not much, tbh. My January is mostly being spent chained to my desk while I race to finish my next book, which involves a chef, so I’m currently walking in and out of the library every day listening to the Desert Island Discs of various chefs for inspiration. I cannot recommend Keith Floyd’s enough because he’s very candid about his marriages, and yesterday I listened to Raymond Blanc’s which made me BARK with laughter because it was so French. In one bit, he talks about a working-class couple arriving at Le Manoir (he knew they were working-class, he explains solemnly, because they were in a Mini not a Rolls Royce). Anyway, wanting to make this couple feel comfortable, good old Raymond (also very seriously, as if he was doing a charitable act) tells Sue Lawley that he showed them ‘zee less sophisticated items on zee meh-nuh…’ Gee, I bet they were really grateful for that, I thought, as I trotted through the park.