William Deverell — Novelist

The official website of William Deverell, Winner of the Dashiell Hammett Award for Literary Excellence in North American Crime Writing

The Blog: March 2, 2014

Widgeon Threatens Libel Suit

Well, friends, it appears I may be sued for libel, as well as face expulsion from the International Crime Writers Association. This is because my last few posts seem to have infuriated Cornish novelist Horace Widgeon, creator of the mildly successful Inspector Grodgins series.

The email attachment that he fired off to me (which I will reply to, but give me a while to consult with my inner lawyer) confirms one of my knocks against Widgeon: he lacks a sense of humour. I write satire. He doesn’t get satire.

Hey, Horace, me cocker, I’m only sending you up, it’s all in good fun. Get over it. Pour yourself another Laphroaig. This grumpy photo from the dust jacket of For the Fun of It suggests you could use one:


Creator of the Inspector Grodgins Series

Cobble Cottage
18, Vicarage Lane
Cornwall, England
PL24 2AG

March 2, 2013

Dear Mr. Deverell.

Let me preface this letter, with as much civility as I can muster, by saying I was an early champion of your works, and felt no envy at – nay, I applauded – your unexpected success. More power to you that you slid smoothly from successful trial lawyer to successful writer (even though you didn’t pay the traditional price of living out of a suitcase padded with rejection slips).

That said, it takes no pleasure to notify you that I propose to put your legal skills to the test by taking action against you for defamation, plagiarism, and copyright infringement. As well, I shall be moving to have you struck from the Registry of the International Association of Crime Writers .

Until I came upon your posting ‘The Blog: February 18,’ I had resisted rising to the taunts and insults (inter alia: ‘He is reputed to be quite the sot’) thickly strewn about in the previous two instalments. (Two decades spent as a customs officer to finance my writing habit have endowed me with a certain thickness of skin.)

I even managed to swallow the outrage I felt at your utter defiance of international copyright laws by so generously cutting and pasting from my several texts on the art of mystery writing.

I might even have bit my tongue over your mocking use of significant content from my (very well received) novel For the Fun of It. What broke the camel’s back is that you defied paragraph 14 (b) of the IACW Code of Ethics by GIVING AWAY ITS ENDING. Un crime majeur in our profession, sir.

Please expect to hear from my solicitors should you not promptly publish in your so-called blog a full and unequivocal apology.


Horace Widgeon, OBE, MBE