So who says there is no humour inside mortuaries? This is the Brighton and Hove City Mortuary Xmas card and if you look closely you will spot the real life Cleo Morey (Elsie Sweetman), Darren (Sean Didcott) and the wonderful Victor Sinden.

Two weeks ago I attended the Mortuary’s annual Xmas dinner at the excellent Emperor of China Restaurant in Brighton Marina. All the Coroner’s Officers were there as well as two pathologists and it was a hugely cheery evening, without a dissection in sight. I think the choice of a Chinese restaurant was wise — no danger of offal being on the menus — something I have discovered that many mortuary technicians and pathologists do not like. Hmmm, cannot think why not…!!!!

I’m afraid my blogging has been a little sporadic this year — coping with writing a new Roy Grace novel a year, plus all the many thousands of emails you kindly send me, takes a toll on my time, but I will continue in 2008, because I enjoy it. But this will be my last post until towards the end of Jan — I am going to take a long break this Xmas and recharge my batteries, so I can set to work fresh and energized on the next book, in late Jan.

Thank you all so very much for you kindness, support and enthusiasm throughout 2007. It is so great to be ending the year on a high – No 2 on the Sunday Times Bestseller list for the past two weeks, and No 1 in WH Smith and Tesco. And the Roy Grace series has just gone into its thirtieth language, this week, as well. So all in all, a brilliant result, thanks to you, my wonderful readers.

I wish you all a very, very Happy Christmas and tons of good luck for 2008

Peter James