Fiona Veitch Smith - Author

About the Author

Formerly a journalist, Fiona Veitch Smith is now an author of books for adults and children. She has also written theatre plays and screenplays. Her adult mystery series set in the 1920s, Poppy Denby Investigates, is published by Lion Fiction. The first book in the series, The Jazz Files, is a nominee for the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Endeavour Historical Dagger award, 2016. The second, The Kill Fee, was published in September 2016. For more on the Poppy Denby Investigates series including background material on the 1920s, film reels, period fashion and fabulous jazz recordings visit www.poppydenby.com

Featured books by Fiona Veitch Smith

The Crystal Crypt

The Crystal Crypt

Author: Fiona Veitch Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/11/2021

Whoopee, isn’t this just the bee’s knees of a murder mystery! I’ll stop with the 1920’s slang now, but seriously, this really does rather beautifully conjure up the years after World War One. Sleuth and reporter Poppy investigates the death of a female scientist in Oxford. I have just adored every one of the Poppy Denby Investigates series which began with the Crime Writers’ Association Endeavour Historical Dagger Award shortlisted The Jazz Files, a wonderful historical mystery that I described as: “supplying oodles of 1920’s fizz and fun alongside a firm foundation from the suffragette movement and scars of the First World War”. These books could be classed as cosy as well as historical crime, but I’d say the cosy comes with a good twist of provocative nudges and digs. The Crystal Crypt is the sixth to feature Poppy, is it the last? Potentially, as a few of the loose ends from the series are rather nicely tied up. Poppy really does know her onions (sorry, sorry, definitely no more 1920’s sayings from me), she’s likeable, bright, and forward-thinking. The surrounding characters are fabulous too, though a favourite of mine has to be the wonderfully witty Rollo Rolandson. Fiona Veitch Smith encourages the plot to sing, while allowing the reader to investigate not only the crime, but also the social and political issues of the time. The Crystal Crypt is a wonderfully entertaining, vivid, yet thoughtful historical murder mystery that I can most definitely recommend.

Books of the Month
The Art Fiasco

The Art Fiasco

Author: Fiona Veitch Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/10/2020

A wonderfully atmospheric and engaging murder mystery set in the 1920’s, featuring a charismatic amateur sleuth. ‘The Art Fiasco’ is the latest in the Poppy Denby Investigates Series, which we included in our Book Series collection. Do start with The Jazz Files, it was shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Historical Dagger Award, and this is a series that deserves to be savoured in order. Sitting three years after The Cairo Brief in 1924, Poppy visits Northumberland to celebrate her father’s birthday and finds herself embroiled in an investigation. Fiona Veitch Smith does a wonderful job of balancing cosy and charming with murder and mayhem. Behind the glitter and glitz the author examines class and child exploitation with care and consideration. The differing age groups work wonderfully together, and I just adore Aunt Dot. Poppy shines with vivacity, a romance hovers, while darkness threatens to overwhelm. The Art Fiasco really is a gloriously readable slice of historical crime fiction.

eBooks of the Month
The Cairo Brief

The Cairo Brief

Author: Fiona Veitch Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 21/09/2018

An entirely charming, fascinating murder mystery set in the Golden Age Twenties. The Cairo Brief is the fourth in the simply fabulous 'Poppy Denby Investigates’ series. Poppy is invited to attend a country house for the auction of an Egyptian mask… murder, curses and general skulduggery await her keen investigative skills. While this could potentially be read as a standalone, I do recommend starting at the beginning of the series with the wonderful The Jazz Files which was shortlisted for the Crime Writers Association Endeavour Historical Dagger Award. Fictional characters mingle quite beautifully with historical figures such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Howard Carter and Emmeline Pankhurst. I adore Poppy, she’s intelligent, progressive, and knows her own mind. Fiona Veitch Smith’s descriptive detailing is just gorgeous, the dresses sparkle, the cars zip (or putter) along, and historical facts pepper and blend in with the storyline. Just perfect if you love to visit a bygone era, The Cairo Brief is a teasingly delicious and wonderfully readable mystery. 

The Death Beat

The Death Beat

Author: Fiona Veitch Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/10/2017

When London Daily Globe editor Rollo Rolandson has to return to New York for three months he takes his star reporter, Poppy Denby, with him. Poppy is very excited to be working on the world-famous New York Times and looks forward to immersing herself in the arts and entertainment of Manhattan. Instead, she is allocated The Death Beat - journalese for obituaries - and tied to her desk. But our intrepid young reporter has a nose for a story and when a European prince dies in a luxury penthouse apartment she starts to investigate. She follows a sordid trail involving illegal immigrants, forced labour, eugenics, and sexual scandals...and an unexpected ghost from her past. From the speakeasies of Greenwich Village to the sweat shops of the Garment District, Poppy Denby seeks justice for the victims of a shameful crime.

eBooks of the Month
The Kill Fee

The Kill Fee

Author: Fiona Veitch Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/09/2016

An atmospheric, lively romp through 1920 in this wonderfully blended mix of crime fiction and historical fact. Reporter Poppy, with her nose for intrigue and links to some fascinating people, finds herself in the midst of murder, mayhem and Faberge Eggs. This is the second in the ‘Poppy Denby Invesigates’ series and just pops with attitude now that Poppy has settled in after her exploits in ‘The Jazz Files’. The list of characters and historical characters, map, and explanation of white and red Russians sets the tale firmly in place. Poppy’s story in 1920’s London, is interspersed with intriguing glimpses back to Russia in 1917, slowly the important background information is revealed alongside the action of the moment. Fiona Veitch Smith admits she has diverted history, just a tad, to make the story flow, and this ensures the tension and energy is maintained throughout. ‘The Kill Fee’, full of the dastardly and dazzling just roars along, it is a thoroughly captivating and entertaining read. ~ Liz Robinson

eBooks of the Month
The Jazz Files

The Jazz Files

Author: Fiona Veitch Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 18/09/2015

An entertaining historical mystery supplying oodles of 1920’s fizz and fun, alongside a firm foundation from the suffragette movement and scars of the First World War. It’s the summer of 1920 and as Poppy arrives in London she discovers the enticing world of journalism and a mystery that has been desperately waiting to be solved since 1913. In the historical notes Fiona Veitch Smith reveals that she has played (just a little) with the timeline of the 20’s, however the vivacious story just zips along due to the excitement of the theatre and jazz clubs and menace of a dastardly foe. This is the first in the ‘Poppy Denby Investigates’ series and introduces the fast paced world of journalism with flair, making for an engaging read. ~ Liz Robinson   A 'Piece of Passion' from the Publisher... The Jazz Files is a gloriously fun read – it's fast-paced, clever, and extremely likeable. The first book in The Poppy Denby Investigates series, The Jazz Files introduces a host of brilliantly drawn characters who bring the roaring 20s to life. A book that will embroil you in the lives of the Suffragettes and draw you into an investigation full of intriguing twists and turns! ~ Jess Tinker, Editor, Lion Hudson Books in the Poppy Denby Investigates Series: 1. The Jazz Files 2. The Kill Fee  3. The Death Beat 4. The Cairo Brief 5. The Art Fiasco 6. The Crystal Crypt Serial Reader? Check out our 'Fall in Love With a Book Series' collection to find amazing book series to dive in to.

eBooks of the Month

Other books by Fiona Veitch Smith

Charles Babbage and the Curious Computer

Charles Babbage and the Curious Computer

Author: Fiona Veitch Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 18/02/2021

One ordinary meeting of the science club at Parkview Primary School becomes extraordinary when their teacher takes them back in time to 1843 to meet Christian inventor Charles Babbage. There they learn about his latest invention, the Difference Engine, but they have to be careful - if they're not back in an hour they'll be stuck in the nineteenth century forever! This brilliantly fun graphic novel for 7- to 9-year olds is a fantastic time travel adventure that will keep kids on the edge of their seats. Children will love the memorable characters and colourful artwork from illustrator Laura Borio that brings to life Fiona Veitch Smith's entertaining story, and the graphic novel format is perfect for kids beginning to explore their own independent reading. As they follow the journey of the science club, children will learn about the history of the computer and its inventor, Charles Babbage, and about how science and faith go hand in hand. Produced in partnership with the Faraday Institute, it ties in with the National Science Curriculum for Key Stage 2, making it ideal for reading in the classroom as well as at home.

Joseph and the Hidden Cup

Joseph and the Hidden Cup

Author: Fiona Veitch Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 18/01/2018

Joseph waits for his brothers to return to Egypt with his younger brother, Benjamin. Will they finally recognise the brother they had left for dead? And will Joseph ever be reconciled with his long-lost family?

Joseph and the Fearful Family

Joseph and the Fearful Family

Author: Fiona Veitch Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 18/01/2018

Having helped Pharoah make sense of his strange dreams, Joseph is now the second most important person in Egypt. Pharoah puts him charge of making sure everyone has enough food. When famine stirkes, Joseph's long-lost brothers come to ask Joseph for food - but they don't recognise the brother they thought was dead. Will Joseph choose to help them or take his revenge?

Joseph and the Forgetful Servant

Joseph and the Forgetful Servant

Author: Fiona Veitch Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 21/09/2017

Joseph used to live on a farm in the land of Canaan with his dad, stepmothers, eleven brothers and lots and lots of cows! His jealous brothers sold him as a slave and now he lives in Egypt. Mrs Potiphar told lies about him, so Joseph now finds himself in prison, with only his imaginary cows to keep him company. Soon he's joined by a butler and a baker who used to work for Pharaoh. The butler and the baker have strange dreams. Can Joseph work out what they mean? 'Lively, fresh and innovative retellings, these fabulous tales of the young Joseph are an absolute delight.' Alexa Tewkesbury, children's author

Joseph and the Dreaming Pharaoh

Joseph and the Dreaming Pharaoh

Author: Fiona Veitch Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 21/09/2017

Joseph is still in prison in Egypt, with only his imaginary cows for company. Pharaoh's butler, who promised to help him, has forgotten all about him. Meanwhile, Pharaoh is having some very strange dreams. Pharoah's butler remembers that Joseph helped him to understand his dreams. Can Joseph do the same for Pharaoh and finally be free? 'Fiona Veitch Smith and Andy Catling have done an excellent job . . . The text is fun and accessible and imaginative, yet still faithful to the biblical story. And, best of all, there are cows!' Bob Hartman, storyteller and author

Joseph and the Jealous Brothers

Joseph and the Jealous Brothers

Author: Fiona Veitch Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 18/08/2016

In the second book in the Young Joseph series, Joseph's brothers grow more and more jealous of their favoured brother. They come up with a cunning plan to take Joseph down a peg or two by throwing him in a well to give him a fright. Eventually they sell him to passing slave traders but that's not the end of his story!

Joseph and the Rainbow Robe

Joseph and the Rainbow Robe

Author: Fiona Veitch Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 18/08/2016

In the first book of the Young Joseph series, we find Joseph living in Canaan with his dad, stepmothers, eleven brothers - and lots of scene-stealing cows! Joseph is his father's favourite, which makes his brothers very cross, especially when he tells them about the dream he has had in which the sun, moon and eleven stars bow down to him. To cheer him up, Joseph's dad gives him a beautiful coat of many colours - a 'rainbow robe' to remind him that God loves everyone - even his brothers.

Joseph and the Lying Lady

Joseph and the Lying Lady

Author: Fiona Veitch Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 18/08/2016

In the third book in the series, Joseph finds himself in Egypt and is sold to a very important man called Potiphar. Potiphar is very busy and his servants are very lazy - as a result his house is a mess! With the help of his ever-helpful cow companions, Joseph soon takes charge and has things spick-and-span in no time. There's only one problem - and that is Mrs Potiphar, who is jealous of Joseph. What scrapes will Joseph get into next?

David and the Giant

David and the Giant

Author: Fiona Veitch Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/08/2015

When the whole army of Israel is too scared to fight a giant, will young David be any braver? David must draw on his experience of seeing off the Hairy Beast to deal with a far greater foe. In this retelling of the familiar story of David's encounter with Goliath, children are taught that any problem can be overcome if we approach it with courage, self-belief, and faith in God. It is a tale which encourages us to read between the lines of what the Bible tells us about David's early years. The light-hearted and beautifully illustrated pictures will delight parents and children alike, regardless of religious conviction.

David and the Lonely Prince

David and the Lonely Prince

Author: Fiona Veitch Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/08/2015

David is invited to a sleepover at King Saul's palace. But will David and the king's son ever become friends? David and the Lonely Prince shows us that for many children, learning to make friends can be a challenge. It is a tale which encourages us to read between the lines of what the Bible tells us about David's early years. The light-hearted and beautifully illustrated pictures will delight parents and children alike, regardless of religious conviction.

David and the Grumpy King

David and the Grumpy King

Author: Fiona Veitch Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/08/2015

When David agrees to spend a holiday with his best friend Jonathan, he never imagines he will have to run away from a spear-throwing king. In this age-appropriate retelling of the Bible story of when Saul tries to kill David with a spear, children learn about the faithfulness of God, the value of friendship and the need to forgive our enemies. It is a tale which encourages us to read between the lines of what the Bible tells us about David's early years. The light-hearted and beautifully illustrated pictures will delight parents and children alike, regardless of religious conviction.

David and the Never-Ending Kingdom

David and the Never-Ending Kingdom

Author: Fiona Veitch Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/08/2015

In this final adventure, David is transported forward in time to the little town of Bethlehem, which has just witnessed the birth of a new King. But all is not well in Israel and it is not long before David is called upon to once more stand up to the terrible Hairy Beast - this time in order to save the baby Jesus. The light-hearted and beautifully illustrated pictures will delight parents and children alike, regardless of religious conviction.

David and the Kingmaker

David and the Kingmaker

Author: Fiona Veitch Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/08/2015

The prophet Samuel is looking for the next king of Israel. Will he find him on David's farm? David and the Kingmaker examines the vital issue of self-worth, and reminds children that good character is far more important than good looks, brains, talent or popularity. Through his encounter with the prophet Samuel, David catches a glimpse of how God sees him, and of his amazing future as king of Israel. It is a tale which encourages us to read between the lines of what the Bible tells us about David's early years. The light-hearted and beautifully illustrated pictures will delight parents and children alike, regardless of religious conviction.

David and the Hairy Beast

David and the Hairy Beast

Author: Fiona Veitch Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/08/2015

David's dad gives him a very important job to do. But can the shepherd boy overcome his fear of the Hairy Beast to save the flock? David and the Hairy Beast gently explores the issue of a young child's sense of identity and belonging in the family, showing how even they can make a positive contribution. It is a tale which encourages us to read between the lines of what the Bible tells us about David's early years. The light-hearted and beautifully illustrated pictures will delight parents and children alike, regardless of religious conviction.