‘For my son Tom. Since it was a vain attempt to match his prodigious literary output that got me into this situation in the first place.’ This slightly gushy (and therefore untypical) dedication at the front of Mrs Malory Wonders Why was the first clue I had as to how and why Hazel Holt created Sheila Malory. Thank goodness she did. Her stories about a middle-aged widow who solves murder mysteries saw me through a month in 2017 when two of my sons, simultaneously and both on the other side of the world, were seriously ill. Similarly, in March 2020 when it became clear that a pandemic was unavoidable and we had better hunker down or perish, I hunted out my store of Mrs Malories again. Everyone has an author whose work they turn to when it seems like the end of the world as we know it, and Hazel Holt is mine. She is something of a mystery herself, though.