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Apologies for the silence.  I’ve been away on holiday, plus it’s that peculiar limbo phase in the writing and publication of a book: the draft is out with beta readers and I am waiting (nails bitten almost to the quick) for the feedback.  There’s no point making any changes myself until I get that, although I am allowing my mind to wander to the matter of chapter titles.  My working titles are always terrible – “Sam goes to Chelsea”, or “Freame discusses tontines”, for instance – so I remove those from the beta draft as they contain spoilers for each chapter.  Once the text is finalised, I get to devise proper chapter titles, which I really enjoy.

A while ago I asked you whether I should continue with the final (sob!) Sam book next, or launch into my new Cambridge-set series, saving the seventh Sam for later.  At the moment, I have four votes in favour of starting the new series and two (one by email) in favour of sticking with Sam.  Still undecided…

And here’s a conundrum – although perhaps I shouldn’t mention it in case it jinxes something.  I track my book sales quite closely, looking at the KDP sales dashboard a couple (OK, several) times a day – it’s like a nervous tic.  And someone introduced me to the marvellous and colourful (and free) Book Report app, which takes the sale data and displays it as multicoloured bar charts and pie charts, and even tells me how much money I have made today (£4, thank you for asking).  And these have both revealed a peculiar spike in sales of “Portraits of Pretence” – that’s the fourth Sam book, the one about art fraud.  Ten copies sold in the past month, which is many more than usual.  Has it had a good review somewhere?  Is someone’s book club reading it?  Have some art historians discovered it?  I’m not complaining, obviously, but I am curious.  I’ll carry on watching it…