Whisper of a Kill

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Title: Whisper of a Kill
Publisher: Manacles Press
Author(s): Lois Welling
Cover Artist(s): Suzan Lovett
Date(s): May 1992
Medium: print zine
Genre: slash
Fandom: Professionals
Language: English
External Links: Whisper of a Kill (The Professionals Circuit Archive)
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Whisper of a Kill is 104-page slash Professionals novel by Lois Welling. The cover art is by Suzan Lovett.

Art has been included on Fanlore with the publisher's permission.

The second chapter of this novel was published in 1987 in the convention zine Cocktales. [1] The novel may have begun as a circuit story. Even after it publication in 1992, the first three pages could still be found on the Circuit Library.[2]

It is an alternate universe Bodie/Doyle origin novel featuring Doyle in CI5 and Bodie as a merc who makes a bid to join the squad by setting up a kill on Cowley.

By 1994, the editors of Manacles Press announced they had sold over 300 copies of the zine.

In the zine, the editors thank the author:
Lois, we can only say that we're glad we didn't know you five years ago; to have known this was in the works, and been forced to wait so long to see the culmination of this beautiful, beautiful story would have been a living hell. We can't thank you enough for allowing us to work for you on this effort. It has been a wonderful, whirlwind time and we've had an incredible amount of fun! Can't wait to do it again!
Panoramic art "Dualities" by Suzan Lovett, winner of a 1993 STIFfie award, winner of a 1994 Huggy Award, full-sized image here. What may be only faintly seen on this low resolution image is the fact that Doyle's reflection on the left is nude.

In the zine, the author thanks the artist: "A fanwriter's fantasy: A Suzan Lovett cover. Thank you, Suzan, for making it a breathtaking reality."

Reactions and Reviews

Unknown Date

A Whisper of a Kill by Ann Barrister (Lois Welling) has a great Suzan Lovett picture as a front cover. Ann uses Bodie's time as a mercenary in Africa to bring him to the attention of Cowley, CI5 and Doyle. Cowley decides to bring him in to CI5, but most of the agents, Doyle included, are suspicious of his motives. How Bodie finally earns Cowley and Doyle's trust and eventually Doyle's friendship and more makes for interesting reading, and this has one of the most original beginnings that I can remember, and a very different way of introducing us to Bodie and Doyle while still remaining firmly in the CI5 universe. Her Cowley is superbly written, and I like the background she gives to both Bodie and Doyle. Apparently this is on the CD under the name Lois Welling and was printed as a zine by Manacles Press with the Suzan Lovett painting round as the cover. Now that would be worth having! Thanks to my ProsLit sibs for that piece of information.[3]
...a lovely wraparound cover by Suzan Lovett. Published by defunct Manacles Press, and one last moment of silence. This is the last AU how-they-met story, I swear. This one postulates what might have happened if Bodie had stayed in Africa. [4]
Interesting A/U, and solid characterization. I find the initial premise intriguing enough that I'm willing to overlook the somewhat disjointed nature of this tale. (Nothing a solid editing couldn't fix.) [5]


I like this one, and it is probably worth buying just for the cover, but it is one of the many fan stories with a good beginning that doesn't quite live up to it. I did like it. (Boy I sound grouchy today...) [6]
I read Whisper Of A Kill, which disappointed me no end. Too short and abrupt an ending, and a lot of loose ends left hanging. I wonder what others thought? It was so well written that it was probably more disappointing than if it had been written poorly. [7]


... the slightest-bit-AU, its first three pages can still be found on the Circuit -- and I loved it even then. Wraparound Lovett cover. [8]


I *definitely* consider good artwork an excellent reason to pay more for a zine. I've had more than one experience where people have purchased two copies of "Whisper of a Kill," Lois Welling's novel, so they could cut off the wraparound cover from one and frame it, whilst still keeping an intact copy for reading.[9]


Most people figure it's worth the cover price just for the wraparound perfect-bound Lovett color cover. They're right. [10]


This is a wonderful novel length AU. Bodie is an assassin who is hired to kill Cowley, instead he puts his gun and his life into Cowley's hands.What follows is a very satisfying read.The debriefing sections at the start feel straight out of the series. There is angst,hot sex and misunderstandings.Great back stories for both guys, which easily explain how they became who they are when we meet them. Characterisation of all characters is excellent.Even though it is an AU the characters are familiar and true to the series. AU's are common in Pros fandom and this is an especially good example of one. You're really rooting for it to work out for them, and you care a lot for all the characters.[11]


That's a fic I want to get my hands on. I keep hearing good things about it. [12]

I'm new to "slash," and new to the Pros fandom, but in general, I hate AUs. The reason I LIKE Pros fanfic is because Bodie and Doyle are two tough, very masculine, edgy men who have a dangerous job as agents in a covert elite intelligence/law enforcement agency. Also, the setting is the late 1970s-early 1980s, and that's part of the fun of the story (although I can't ever stop thinking that if they're written as gay and fucking around, that's a very dangerous time, which is why I'm tolerant of the early "lets be monogamous" agreement that features in a lot of the fanfic. I'd rather read that than have every story dealing with the guys dying of AIDS). So, when the characters are taken out of that setting, I have far less interest in reading about them. If they aren't in CI5, then how are they Bodie and Doyle?

The very few AUs that I have enjoyed either keep the guys in CI5 but change how and when they get there, or cleverly work canon into the AU. An example of the first would be the most excellent "Whisper of a Kill," which has one of most original opening scenes I've read, when Bodie is stalking Cowley to assasinate him, and ends up handing over his gun and saying he wants to work for him. We had a discussion about whether this was, in fact, an AU, since the plot and characters are firmly grounded in the CI5 world. Bodie just comes in at a different time, in a different manner. [13]


'Whisper of a Kill' by Ann Barrister is my favorite long story... Even the cover art on Whisper appeals to me -- window reflections of Bodie with a big gun and Doyle's naked arse. It's now available online in the circuit archive, which, by the way, was BRILLIANT and is still the best example I can think of for fannish cooperation and creative endeavor, by dint of sheer effort, both artistic and administrative." [14]


You'll get my Perestrioka, White Rabbit, Lucifer Falling, Whisper of a Kill, Injured Innocents, Choices, Cosmic Collected, Broken Images, Second Grace, Harlequin Airs, Pandora's Box Affair, Primal Instincts 2, I Still Have Plans, and a variety of multi-media zines [out of my hands] only after my body is dust. [15]


  1. "'Whisper of a Kill, Chapter 2' by Lucky is the second chapter only of the zine novel Whisper of a Kill by Lois Welling, which is now online." -- from The Hatstand
  2. Fans discussing the zine and its circuit origins on the Virgule-L mailing list in 1994, accessed April 2, 2012.
  3. from alicambs Professional Recs, Archived version]
  4. The Professionals Fanzines, Archived version
  5. from is Katya
  6. Sandy Hereld, December 7, 1992 at Virgule-L, quoted on Fanlore with permission
  7. from Short Circuit #11 (December 1992)
  8. from Michelle Christian on Virgule-L, quoted with permission (April 16, 1994)
  9. The cover art inspired many fans to buy multiple copies of the zine; Charlotte Hill's post to the Virgule-L, quoted with permission (March 1996)
  10. comments by Jane Mailander on Virgule-L, quoted with permission (April 22, 1998)
  11. a rec by rach74 at Crack Van, posted October 11, 2004
  12. comment by Josh Lanyon at You Are What You Do?; reference link, August 5, 2007
  13. comment by blkandwhtcat at You Are What You Do?; reference link, August 5, 2007
  14. from A 2010 Interview with Brenda Antrim
  15. a March 24, 2011 comment on a mailing list, quoted anonymously