THERE was nyet place like Petersfield for a prize-winning poet to launch her first novel.

Essex author Helen Whitten chose One Tree Books as the launch venue for her No Lemons in Moscow debut last Wednesday, November 22.

The author was part of a creative writing group in Petersfield for many years and has Ropley connections, so the Lavant Street shop was the perfect venue for the launch.

Set against the political and cultural turmoil of the break-up of the Soviet Union, No Lemons in Moscow is a story of love and betrayal, of one man’s determination to expose corruption and the impact of his actions on character Kate and all those around him.

Helen said: “A literary tour to Russia in 1990 changed my life and perspective.

“Like the main protagonist in my novel, Kate, I have been fascinated by Russian literature and Russia as a country and arriving there in the Gorbachev era was an eye-opener.

“I met a young Russian, Valera, in a bar and he had been to an English college and wanted to open a restaurant but couldn’t imagine how he could go to a bank and then pay back a bank once the restaurant started to make money.

“I kept a diary of this tour and have used it as contextual background.”

She added: “My narrative is therefore shaped by my own experience and also from my return trip to Russia in 2016 - but although there are similarities to my experiences, what happens in the book is fictional!”

No Lemons in Moscow by Troubador Publishing is available for £9.99