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Simon Fonthill surfaces again on December 17th when the 12th in the series – and possibly the last, I can’t help feeling – hits the nation’s bookshops.  It’s called “Dust Clouds of War” and takes Simon, 352 Jenkins, Alice and their trusty tracker, Mzingeli, through the deserts and mountains of what was then German East Africa.  It was, in fact, “the other 1914-18 war” because it began a few days before the little affair in Europe and ended a few days after that one.  And the Germans, cut off from home and reinforcements and completely outnumbered, outfought the British and Empire troops until the bitter end.  Salutary!

Whether I bid a final good-bye to Simon et al I don’t know, we shall have to see when I emerge from the terrible North Cornwall coast line in 1842, where I am in the middle of what I truly hope will be a bit of a thriller about Cornish wreckers.  (Did think about calling it Jamaica Out but decided not to, you’ll be glad to hear).

There is faint and distant talk about a book of Fonthill short stories, but we will have to see.

While writing, may I grovelingly apologise for not replying directly to so many messages I have found that have been written to me concerning earlier blogs.  A computer glitch (honestly!) seemed to show that there were none.  But of course there were.  I must now try and get around to answering them all directly – if my gallant readers who wrote are still alive that is!

A Merry Christmas to you all!