Pembroke: A novel way to pay off the mortgage

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The Independent Online
A family saga of sexual conflict is topping up the bank balance of a Hoare Govett employee. Janet Inglis, who works in the broker's information processing department, received a thumping pounds 200,000 advance for her debut novel Daddy's Girl in February. The no-holds barred tale was scribbled on the train between her Sussex home and the Govett offices.

The sequel, Father of Lies (more family sagas, more sex), is out in April, as is the paperback of Daddy's Girl. After a trip to the Frankfurt Book Fair later this month, the 47-year-old Canadian is off to Moscow to do background research for novel number three (a sex and Smirnoff affair, no doubt). 'It's what I always wanted to do,' she says. 'I'm not thinking of leaving Hoare Govett but I am gradually paying off my mortgage.'

GORDON Baxter, soup king of the glens and the man who spurned 172 takeover bids, has finally decided to step down. The wobbly-jowled Mr Baxter has run WA Baxter in Speyside, Scotland for 48 years. After a lifetime dreaming up recipes for soups such as Royal Game and Cullan Skink he is to become president. He leaves his long-time fishing partner, Joe Barnes, ex-Sainsbury MD, as chairman and his children Audrey and Andrew in charge.

'I'm 76 and want to do other things,' Mr Baxter says. He is not hanging up his can-opener for good, however. He is off to Hong Kong and China next month, then Australia in December. Both are work trips. 'If I can't do some work when I'm in a foreign country, then I'm not going,' he says.

MARKET reaction to Hamley's debut figures will be watched with particular interest by one shareholder. Cedric Hamley, 95, is the last remaining family shareholder in Britain's best-known toy shop. Mr Hamley is the proud owner of precisely one ordinary share. It was presented to him by the chairman, Howard Dyer, after the group was floated this year.

TALES of woe from the ranks of the black cab driver. According to Manganese Bronze, maker of the traditional black taxi, drivers' key concerns these days are mugging and theft of their portable phones.

CHANGES are afoot at Knobs & Knockers, the once accident-prone retailer which had the distinction of going bust twice in little more than a year. The company has appointed a new chairman, Richard Pears, and is bidding again for a serious high street presence.

It started selling a more upmarket knob and knocker in Harrods this year, and has outlined an expansion programme not seen since it had nearly 100 shops in the late 1980s. 'We've got 16 outlets at the moment and are looking for an extra 20-25,' says the company's Top Knob.

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