I was so touched to receive some wonderful gifts from my readers recently – it was like Christmas all over again!

First, there was the beautiful “fan art” created by Patrick Wirbeleit in Germany, who sent me his paper-cut illustration of the “Little Stables Tearoom” from my Oxford Tearoom Mysteries


Look at the amazing detail!

This is the first fan art I have ever received – I was so excited when I got it. It’s a big milestone for an author! I’m going to frame it and put it up on the wall in my office!

Thank you, Patrick!! 🙂

And then, as if that wasn’t wonderful enough, I received another parcel in the mail, this time from Connie Leap in Tennessee, U.S.A. She had sent me a beautiful crocheted doily… and something else that was… er…  slightly strange…

What was it?? My husband and I puzzled over it for ages but we couldn’t figure it out. It looked like a little knitted jumper with 4 pom-pom legs and a pom-pom tail – and a sort of hat thingy in the shape of a poodle head!

Maybe it was some kind of cat outfit for Muesli to wear? But try as we might, we couldn’t figure out how to get it on her! It seemed too small and there were no holes for her legs…

Finally, I had to email Connie to ask. I had already sent her a thank you for the parcel – and now I had to email again to sheepishly admit I had no idea what the strange white thing was…

Connie had a good laugh and told me that it was a “Hooch Pooch”! A type of crocheted bottle cover in the shape of a poodle, which was popular in the 1950’s. She had made it in honour of the scene in Muffins and Mourning Tea (Oxford Tearoom Mysteries #5) – when the Old Biddies present Gemma with a crocheted doll toilet roll cover for her new cottage (much to her horror!)

I was incredibly touched. It was so sweet & thoughtful to remember such a small detail and take the time making me something related to my story.

Thank you, Connie!! 🙂

Well, Gemma might not have been keen on her gift but I LOVED mine!!  I hurried to the pantry to find a bottle of wine to “dress” with the Hooch Pooch, and was delighted when it fit perfectly. It was so adorable!

Muesli, however, was not so sure…


“Oh dear! Hooch Pooch has fallen down!”


“Here you go… I’ll help you up again.
Hmm… Hooch Pooch seems to have lost his head…”


“You know, he’s not the only cute one around here…”


“Anything Hooch Pooch can do, I can do better.
Look at me – Hooch Kitty!”


Thank you so much again – not only to Patrick and Connie – but to all of you wonderful readers who have sent me emails and messages, and left comments here on the website, telling me how much you love my books (and sharing pictures of your pets!)…

…and also to those who have taken the time to leave a review on Amazon (so important & helpful for a new author like me!)

Thank you for bringing a smile to my face every day. 🙂


ps. I know many of you are waiting impatiently for the next Oxford Tearoom Mystery (Book 6: Four Puddings and a Funeral) – I’m hard at work on it and I’m aiming to release it in March… so not long now!

In the meantime, I hope you’ve checked out my new series: BEWITCHED BY CHOCOLATE Mysteries which just launched two weeks ago – I think you’d enjoy it too!



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