There is no escaping from the November darkness this year. No Hawaii. No trips of any kind. It seems that my community has decided that the best way to enjoy the season is to watch the birds. It’s surprising what enterprising and patient photographs can see around us. I’m paying more attention to the small birds that hop outside my windows now. We’re making the best of the times. My empathy to all in the same situation.  We will manage. Things could be worse and all that. This is a picture of a beautiful November Saturday between storms.

In the meantime, my computer is working, the Internet is working and I am writing Danger in Edinburgh (working title).  It’s a treat to settle into the lilting accents of my grandfather and his contemporaries who had the soft accent of the western isles.  I visited Benbecula in the company of my daughter and two of my friends. We were welcomed by total strangers who, once they knew my grandfather’s name, pointed out his father’s house (still standing) and farm and then upon inquiry, my cousin’s house. I did feel at home there, and my cousin made me welcome. Benbecula when I was there in the middle of May was a beautiful place with turquoise blue water, white sand and miles of brush, broom, peat and heather. I can see why their greatest export is people as there is no commerce there, but there is poetry and beauty. When we were in the ferry line up ready to leave the islands, I spotted a van with the owner’s name on it. I hopped out of the car and stopped the driver. “Are you my cousin’s son-in-law? “Aye are you the cousin from Canada?” My daughter and I talked to him in the bright sunshine and biting wind until we had to leave on the ferry. We felt the warmth of interest and kindness wherever we went there.

Writing about Edinburgh and about the characters of Edinburgh put me back into the idiomatic rhythms of the language. English, so different when it’s Scottish.

The Virtual Tour has finished and ten people won a copy of Crime in Cornwall The British Book Tour Mysteries Book 2 and one person one both Hazards in Hampshire and Crime in Cornwall.  I found it fun to follow the reviews, the recipes, the character blogs and the excerpts. It was a varied tour and I hope you enjoyed it. You can still see it at the following site:

Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book

Facebook ads will be flashing all over the place for two weeks. I have no idea where they are going. It’s a new experience for me but I trust they will be promoting Crime in Cornwall. I hope you aren’t inundated with them.

A Book Launch at the Gibsons Library on Dec 5th at 2 pm

It should be a different experience for me and for my local friends. Last year, for Hazards in Hampshire, we crowded into a room and had a great time listening to the Bianca Amati (on Audio Books) read the first part of the book with her impeccable English accent. We had Victoria Sponge cake, made by the local bakery, which was delicious and drank tea from dainty tea cups. It was fun. This year, I will read in my own accent, which is Canadian, and offer a recipe instead of a slice of cake. Not quite the same. Although, we will be able to reach more people all over the country and, perhaps all over the world, which will be decidedly different. There will a Question and Answer period so you can ask me whatever you like. Sam Talbot, librarian, will handle the technical aspects of the launch, so I can give my attention to your interests.

I am still able to get out on the ocean in a kayak, although last week the chop on the water and the wind made it a little difficult. It calmed and we were able to get a decent paddle. Seals escorted us up and down the bay, curious about us.

I hope everyone is having as much normal life as possible. At least we can read.

All the best.


(Photo of heron by Diane Hill)