Fiction Sneak Peek, April 15, 2017 issue

This illustration has a story behind it.

You’ll recognise Val Bonsall’s intrepid detectives Glyn and Chrissie. They have another case to solve in “The Dog Who Didn’t Bark”. I’ll let you into a secret about that illustration…

See how the dog, whose name is Smudge, has a black patch around his eye? We didn’t make our instructions clear when we first sent the brief to Philip for the artwork and it came back with, yes, Smudge wearing a black eye patch! Philip did wonder…

However, all that’s in the later pages. We open this issue with a classic 19th century drama by Pamela Kavanagh, “Cottage For Sale”, with two sisters setting up a new venture. Illustration by Mandy Dixon.

Our next story is so touching, about a little girl whose parents keep squabbling, and because she can’t put into words how she feels, Milly simply stops talking. “Look Who’s Talking” is by Ellie Edwards and illustrated by Sarah Holliday.

Marion’s disgusted by her golden wedding anniversary photo in “To Have And To Hold” by Eirin Thompson. The passing years can be unkind, can’t they? But she doesn’t know the half of it…  Illustrated by Sarah Holliday.

Del’s decided to open an American restaurant in a quiet Cotswolds village in Jean Cullop’s “Del’s Diner”. Bright idea or doomed to fail? Illustration by Jim Dewar.

Oh, I do like our next story, by Alison Carter. Titled “A Foot Apart”, that’s the distance that Jessica and her dance partners had to maintain as schoolchildren – much to her current pupils’ amazement. But she can still show the youngsters a thing or two. Illustrated by Ruth Blair.

Such a beautiful illustration by our own Sarah Holliday for Pamela Ormondroyd’s story “A Proper Granny”. I can guarantee you’ll go “Aaww…..”


Easter comes to Kildartie in Joyce Begg’s “On Wings Of Song”, and it’s a time just made for music.

Talking of music, everything’s set for Susan and Dave’s big day in “Riverside”, so long as nothing – or no one – gets in the way. Our weekly soap is by Glenda Young.


Jonas has something to own up to in “The Warmsleys Of Pedlars Down” by June Davies, illustrated by Sailesh thakrar.

And, oh, exciting, it’s the final instalment of Jan Snook’s “Winner Takes All.” Will Cindy finally get her come-uppance? I can’t wait!

Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.