The Final Days of Children’s Author Helen Bailey

By January 10, 2017News

In April of last year we shared the shocking news of the disappearance of children’s author Helen Bailey who went missing from her Royston home on the 11th of April 2016 along with her beloved Dachshund Boris.

After weeks with no sign of her and no activity on her social media accounts or her phone or bank Helen’s remains were found in the septic tank under her home alongside the body of her little dog, and her fiancé Ian Stewart immediately came under suspicion of causing the writer’s death and was subsequently arrested and charged with Helen’s murder.

During his trial it has been revealed that Helen’s final days were spent in a drug induced stupor as her fiancé cold bloodedly administered sleeping medication that he had been prescribed before suffocating her and dumping her body in the family home’s septic tank and in opening the trial at St Albans Crown Court, prosecutor Stuart Trimmer QC said: “The crown say this was simply a long-planned, deliberate killing, a cynically executed murder that had money as its driving motive.”

The prosecution state that the motive for Helen’s murder was simply for financial gain, Ian stood to gain a huge amount from the author who was worth an estimated £4 million at the time of her death as he stood to gain both the house and a substantial amount of money should Helen die prior to their marriage.
To add credence to the tale that Helen had simply disappeared it is claimed that Stewart also killed her Dachshund Boris as it was well known that she adored the little dog and would never leave him behind.

Prior to her disappearance Helen had complained of feeling unusually tired with her internet history showing she had made a series of web searches which included:
“Why do I keep falling asleep?
“Can’t stop falling asleep
“I’m so tired.
“Falling asleep at work.

Prosecutors claim that it was because Stewart had been secretly administering Zopiclone which he had been prescribed for insomnia, traces of which were found in Helen’s body and it is claimed that once she was unconscious that Stewart suffocated her with a duvet that he was seen on CCTV dumping at a local recycling centre.

Helen was best known for her children’s books about Electra Brown and Daisy Davenport, but found a new audience with her blog, Planet Grief, about becoming a widow.
The case continues.

Adaptation of The Miniaturist to Air This Christmas

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In the spring we brought you the news that filming had started for the BBC adaptation of Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist with filming taking place in Amsterdam, where the novel is set. The historical novel is set in 1686 and the judging by the photos released this is to be a lavish adaptation and now we can confirm it’s on the BBC Christmas schedule!

Anya Taylor-Joy stars as Nella Oortman, with Romola Garai playing her cold, domineering sister-in-law Marin. Nella’s husband will be portrayed by Alex Hassel of Cold Mountain fame and that’s just a small number of the excellent cast. Read More

Chris Riddell in War of Words with John Lewis over Moz Likeness

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Author and illustrator Chris Riddell got into a little Twitter spat last week with retailer John Lewis over the Moz character from the new advertising campaign, and a week on it’s still rumbling on as the ever witty and creative Chris Riddell continues with a stream of monster talk.

The former children’s laureate, Riddell, pointed out that Moz the Monster bears a striking similarity to Mr Underbed, his own monster character. Riddell then went on to show blow by blow how the stories are almost identical, and even the monsters bear a striking resemblance. Read More

A Wrinkle in Time: Release Date and New Trailer

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A few months ago Disney announced that they’d be adapting the classic sci-fi A Wrinkle in Time and released a small first trailer to give a taste of what was to come. All we knew at that point was that the film was marked for a spring 2018 release but this week, Disney have released a first trailer for the movie, and we have a release date too!

If you are beyond excited, and don’t have the advantage of being able to create A Wrinkle in Time then you’ll have to wait a little while yet, March 9th is the release date for cinemas. Read More

National Book Award Winners 2017 Announced

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The final winners of the National Book Awards 2017 was announced this week at the 68th National Book Awards ceremony. Last month we brought you the list of all the National Book Award finalists, and now we have the final winners in each category.

The National Book Awards is one of the oldest and most prestigious literary prizes known and each year honours winners in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature and this year also honoured Annie Proulx, and Richard Robinson, Chairman, President & CEO of Scholastic. Read More

Catch 22 To Get TV Adaptation, and George Clooney will Direct and Star

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Catch 22 is one of those novels everyone tells me I should read, but despite many (7 to date) attempts, I can’t get past page 100. So I for one am absolutely thrilled to hear there is to be a serialised adaptation of the black comedic satire that has become the most famous anti-war book ever written.

We haven’t seen Clooney on the small screen since ER, nearly twenty years ago but with Catch 22 he’ll not only star in the six episode series but he’ll be directing it too! Clooney won’t be taking the star role, he’ll be playing Yossarian’s commander, Colonel Cathcart. Read More

Orwell Statue Unveiled at BBC Broadcasting House

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On the 7th November this year, a brand new statue of one of my all time favourite authors was unveiled outside the BBC’s London Head Quarters, at New Broadcasting House.

Eric Blair had worked at the BBC as a producer for the “Empire Service” over 70 years ago and some suggest that it is this time at the BBC that gave him the inspiration for room 101, in his now famous novel 1984 which he penned under the more familiar name George Orwell.

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