Ann Cleeves has written a short story based on indie store Forum Books in Northumberland, which even features manager Helen Stanton as a character.
Pan Macmillan has produced 500 copies of Frozen for Forum to give away free to customers who pre-order her new novel The Darkest Evening, published on 3rd September.
The initiative is being promoted to coincide with Independent Bookshop Week.
Cleeves explained: “Forum Books in the small Northumberland town of Corbridge has supported me since they set up shop many years ago. A couple of years ago, they changed premises and moved into an empty chapel in the heart of the town. When the builders were renovating the building, they discovered an enormous baptismal font just below the pulpit; the pulpit is still there and used as a stage for events.
"Now, I’m a crime writer, so when Helen, the shop’s owner showed me the coffin sized hole in the floor, I was already imagining a body.The germ of an idea for a Vera short story developed and the result is Frozen.”
Stanton added: “Ann has always been good to us, and we’ve loved supporting her at book events all over the North-East. And, then she does this! It’s a brilliantly evocative short story featuring Vera popping into our bookshop. It gave me genuine goosebumps reading this unguessable wee whodunnit, I just can’t wait to share it.”