Fiction Sneak Peek: Dec. 30, 2017 issue

Happy Hogmanay by Eirin Thompson

This likely looking pair snapping a selfie are Maureen and Jean. You may remember that you met them last week in our December 16 bumper Christmas issue. This week they’re planning a New Year bash in Happy Hogmanay by Eirin Thompson.

We take electricity for granted in our homes, but for Ailsa and Rory, its arrival on their rural Perthshire farm is beyond their wildest dreams. And yet we’re only talking the 1950s – almost unbelievable. “Electric Dreams” is by Ewan Smith.

Such a sweet illustration sets the romantic tone of “Love Birds” by Wendy Clarke. Christopher loves Clare and thinks he’s ready to take the next step – or is he?

“Ghost For Hire” by Donald Lightwood is (surprise!) a ghost story set in a fine Georgian mansion called Abertay Castle, with housekeeper Roberta given a very unusual Hogmanay task by the master.

We’ve more Hogmanay celebrations in “Fireworks At The Cat Café” by Suzanne Ross Jones. Fireworks? Cats? Not a good combination!

Stefania Hartley takes us to Palermo in “Cooking With Franca”, Franca being an ordinary – if beautiful – wife and mother who cooks up the recipe for stardom. Illustration by John Hancock.

In “Time’s Running Out”, Amy tells Toby she loves him, and what does he say? “Thank you.” Ouch! Read what happens next in Rebecca Mansell’s story, illustrated by Philip Crabb.


It’s part 2 of “The Mystery Of the Missing Du Mauriers” by Nicola Burggraf. Enjoying this one? Got any theories yet? It’s all about the photo this week… Illustration: Kirk Houston.

“No.4, Whitehall Gardens” by Alison Carter is on its penultimate episode, with Griff about to declare himself to clementine… Illustration: Sailesh Thakrar.


Beryl’s got her pins out in Tales From Prospect House by Malcolm Welshman.

And New Year comes to Ryemouth in our unmissable soap “Riverside” by Glenda Young.

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.