Fiction Sneak Peek: July 7, 2018 issue

I really like this illustration by Jim Dewar. It’s for Julia Douglas’s story Above Her Station, which is set in the 1920s. What I like about it is that it captures the period feel of the story, but without looking old-fashioned or dated. And it tells you it’s a fun story, too. Well done, Jim. The story? As a lowly housekeeper, Juliet knows her place in employer Robert’s life…

In The Kissing Tree by Michael Ingram, illustrated by Ruth Blair, Naomi revisits the tree that she knows was so very important to her late mother. This is Michael’s debut story, by the way. Congrats, Michael, and welcome to the “Friend”.

Have you ever bought something on impulse? Haven’t we all? Something like The Red Jacket in Anne Goring’s story, illustrated by Mandy Dixon. It’s never been out of the wardrobe, until today…

Ooh, Murder At Lea Cottage by Tony Redcliffe is about – well, the clue’s right there in the title, isn’t it? Mrs Fenton has been killed; is her husband the culprit? Illustrated by Gerard Fay.

Maxine takes A Day Off From The Cat Café – with Angus. And he’s taking her somewhere very special. I think that deserves another “Ooh.” This is another story in Suzanne Ross Jones’s occasional series.

A lovely idea features in The Cloud Appreciation Society by Linda Lewis. It’s a real thing – did you know? Andrew’s friend has signed him up to it, though he thinks it’s literally a waste of time. Don’t worry – he learns…

Fifty years of marriage, a lifetime full of special memories, come under the spotlight in Wendy Clarke’s story That Special Something, illustrated by Pat Gregory.


This week in Busy Bees by Della Galton, Elizabeth runs into an old boyfriend, but is the flame still alight?

And in Riverside, Jim’s got a question to ask Ruby. Sorry, but I need to “Ooh” again.


Part 2 of The Hop Fields Of Kent by Alison Carter sees Zhou now in Kent, his friendship with Jennie growing. Illustration: Helen Welsh.

And it’s part 3 of Who Killed Jock Dobbin? by Paula Williams, illustrated by David Young. Jess’s curiosity about Jock is growing….

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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.