It’s 8 months to the day since my last post, so grab yourself a cup of tea and pin your lugholes back: I’ve a lot to tell you.
A couple of weeks back my car napped it. Fuel pump shot. Only, as it turned out, it wasn’t the fuel pump. It was the electronic control unit for the pump. Estimated repair cost: £800-£900. The value of car: £200. No contest. I got £80 for it scrap.
A couple of days ago, I bought a replacement. The guy wanted £750 for it, but he came up against one of the toughest negotiators in the business – my wife. She beat him down to £650. The last we saw of him as we drove away, he was sobbing into his wallet which wasn’t quite as full as he’d anticipated
My new, second hand rustbucket is an ageing Renault Clio 1.2. It’s not pretty to look at, but then again neither am I. As long as it gets me where I’m going, and that’s not far these days, I’m happy.
Chuffed to have saved £100, I got onto my insurers to change the car details, which usually incurs an administration charge of about £40. No chance. Cost of changing insurance: £144. Bear in mind that it was only the car that was changing. Nothing else. After the customary screaming fit, I shopped around to try and find a decent quote and I got one or two which were reasonable. But when I took into cancellation charges on my current policy, which is only halfway through the year, I would have still ended up paying through the nose.
So much for saving £100 on the cost of the car.
Other problems are less amenable to such rapid, if expensive resolution. A part of the reason I’ve been quiet for so long is deteriorating health. Arthritis, COPD, type II diabetes. I’m pushing up towards the big 7-0 and these things happen. Most of it a self-inflicted, so I don’t moan too much, but it is seriously debilitating.
Beyond that I’m concerned for my daughter Angela, who has Motor Neurone Disease.
In addition, one of my sons is having relationship problems, while another son is suffering similar health problems to mine. Of the fourth child, I’ve heard nothing for months.
I’m not trying to depress you, but this awful set of circumstances has taken its toll on my creativity and productivity. Mind you, I’m assuming you missed me. For all I know, you might be saying, ‘Thank God for a bit of peace and quiet’.
I’m slowly getting back into the swing of writing. For fans of the Sanford 3rd Age Club Mysteries, there will be nothing new until early next year, at which point the rights to the series will revert to me. This is not a reflection on Crooked Cat Books, who as far as I’m concerned, have done an excellent job over the last six years. For contractual reasons, I’m not at liberty to say anything more. When the rights come back to me, the series will be republished with fresh covers, and I hope to be picking up where we left off with Squire’s Lodge Murders.
Despite the hiatus of the last eight months, Robert Devine made his debut with reprints of two former Crooked Cat titles. Voices is now republished as Ghosts, and The Handshaker has reappeared as Dominus, both now owned by me and authored by Robert Devine.
Why the pen name? David Robinson is best known for light-hearted works, and these books, universally acclaimed as top drawer, sold very poorly. People could not square the dark and gritty tales with a writer who routinely laughs at the world.
Robert Devine has more titles in the offing, including sequel(s) to Dominus. For more information you should go to:
There’s very little on the site at the moment, but you can register your interest, and Mr Devine is likely to begin blogging soon.
And that’s about it for this entry, so drink your tea before it gets cold.
Oh, there is one last thing. I almost forgot.
Today sees the start of the ‘internationally famous’ CROOKED CAT SUMMER SALE.
All my titles are reduced to 99p on the Amazon UK site, and there are similar reductions on the worldwide site. Aside from that there are hundreds of other bargains from Crooked Cat.
So if you’re new to the Sanford 3rd Age Club Mysteries, you can pick up all sixteen for less than twenty quid.
Why are you waiting? Go to:
For more information.
See you later.