My new baby, Not Dead Enough (which I was pleased to see was the No 1 most pre-ordered novel on Amazon prior to its release) was given a fantastic send-off at Borders bookstore in Brighton on Thursday night, with a group of 200 people there, including half of Sussex CID, the Mayoress, and the whole of Brighton and Hove mortuary’s staff – so it would have been a bad place to commit a crime, but a good place to drop dead, straight on the pm slab in the morning with no hanging about! They always say that death is a great career move for an author.

Team Macmillan

Among the great and the good were the majority of my wonderful team at Macmillan – from left to right, Geoff Duffield, the Sales and Marketing Director, and the man really responsible for my writing crime and moving to Macmillan, Anna Bond to whom I owe a massive debt for getting me into a major promotion with every single book retailer in the UK, Stephen Dumugn, who is responsible for the look of the advertising and promotion, some geezer in the middle wot rites buks, Stephanie Bierworth, my editor, (who secretly writes my books – I just fill in a few blanks that she leaves), Rebecca Ikin, the new and wonderful marketing guru at Macmillan and last, the Greatest Ever Living Agent, Carole Blake, my mentor.

The highlight of my evening was being given the great cartoon (below) by Pete Betts, cartoonist genius, and husband of Pat Silver-Lasky, who herself is a talented author and screenwriter and has an amazing claim to fame – her former father-in-law, Jesse Lasky, one of the first and original Hollywood movie moguls, founded Famous-Players-Lasky which eventually morphed into that not insignificant organisation, Paramount Pictures.

It was also great to see my songwriter friend Tony Macaulay, who has written songs for Elvis Presley, Gladys Knight, Frank Sinatra and Englebert Humperdink, among many others and whose hits include the classic Build Me Up Buttercup.

But it was equally great to see some of my wonderful, less famous, readers. Trace Storey, a fan for very many years, who I have corresponded with but never met, who came all the way from Nottingham. Margret Ladboke, self-styled My Number One Fan who came from the Isle Of Wight – and brought me a wonderful and very touching police dog medallion from her late husband, a police dog handler, and many other fans who had travelled a great distance, and made it a very special event. Certainly the happiest book launch I have ever experienced.

So now, gulp – I have to wait for the reviews. If any of you read the book and enjoy it, please put a kind word for me up on Amazon. And if you don’t enjoy it, well, hey, you can always hope I skid off an icy road late on a dark night, when you just happen to be around to pull me from the wreckage and have a chainsaw and a blowtorch handy!