This is the second in the "Abbot Agency" series, from the creator of Ellie Quicke. Velma is charm itself, especially when she's being inexact with the truth. Now she wants Bea, widowed owner of the Abbot Agency, to check up on her stepson Philip, as he's somehow acquired a valuable picture last seen in the flat of an elderly lady who's been murdered. Maggie, Bea's noisy but good-hearted assistant, moves into a vacancy in Philip's flat, to investigate. However, a professional art thief who aims never to leave his victims alive, is also after the picture. Needing a courier to take stolen treasures abroad, he arranges for innocent Maggie and her awkward flatmate, Charlotte, to carry the goods across to his formidable 'business partner' on the continent. Can Bea locate Philip and the missing Millais, extricate the girls, the booty and her new outfit from Bruges, without falling foul of someone who already has several murders to his credit?
Veronica Heley is married to a probation officer with a musician daughter and is actively involved in her local church and community affairs. She lives in Ealing, West London.