In Dead Woman's Mail, a Letter Accepting Her First Novel for Publication

Helen Gradwell died without receiving her good news
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2016 6:32 PM CDT
In Dead Woman's Mail, a Letter Accepting Her First Novel for Publication
Stock image   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A sad story out of England, where aspiring author Helen Gradwell died without ever learning that her first novel was going to be published. The 39-year-old was dead for nearly five months before a concerned neighbor asked authorities to check in on her in late April, the Telegraph reports. When they responded, they found her dead on her living room floor—and amongst the mail that had piled up behind her front door was a letter from a London publisher accepting The Nature's Spirits for publication.

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Gradwell suffered from debilitating migraine headaches, and likely overdosed on the painkiller tramadol, which she took to manage them, an inquest heard recently. Gradwell had last used her phone on Dec. 30, when she texted a friend to cancel their planned get-together; she was found in her pajamas, with a quilt and pillow on the couch, where she may have been sleeping. Her two dogs also died and were found in the same room, which was still decorated for Christmas, the Independent reports. As for the book, her family can't locate it, but they are trying to find it so it can be published and the proceeds donated to animal charities. (Read more England stories.)

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