Crime writer Patricia Cornwell has moved to HarperCollins for her next two books in a deal that sees her publishing combined under the roof of one global publisher for the first time. Cornwell has been published by Little, Brown in the UK, and Penguin in the US.
HarperCollins will publish Cornwell around the world in the English language including the UK, US, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, and India. The first book will be published in autumn 2014, and will feature her lead character medical examiner Kay Scarpetta.
The deal was negotiated by David Highfill, vice-president and executive editor at Harper US imprint William Morrow with Esther Newberg of ICM Partners. Brian Murray, president and chief executive of HarperCollins Publishers Worldwide, added: "We are thrilled to partner with Patricia Cornwell to publish her books globally in all English language markets. Patricia has a long history of entertaining readers around the world and we look forward to expanding her audience even further."
In the UK Patricia Cornwell will be published on the HarperFiction imprint. Julia Wisdom, crime & thriller publisher HarperCollins UK described it as "a major coup for HarperFiction’s growing crime and thriller list". It is also the first major acquisitions announcement made since new HarperCollins UK chief executive Charlie Redmayne took over. Redmayne said: "In my first week in the role of c.e.o., it is a great honour to be involved in publishing the undisputed queen of crime fiction, Patricia Cornwell.”
Cornwell is the author of 21 Scarpetta novels, five non-Scarpettas, two cookbooks, a biography and Portrait of a Killer. She has been worth £56.3m to UK booksellers since Nielsen BookScan records began in 1998, and her last two books have sold 398,000 copies in the UK, taking £2.7m at bookshop tills. Dust, the 21st Scarpetta book, will be published by Little, Brown in the UK in November.
David Shelley, publisher at Little, Brown Book Group in the UK, said: "For all of us at Little, Brown, it has been a pleasure and a privilege to publish Patricia Cornwell for the last 23 years—from her truly groundbreaking debut novel Postmortem onwards. We are very much looking forward to the publication this autumn of Dust, the 21st Scarpetta novel, and we wish Patricia and the Kay Scarpetta series all the best for the future."
Cornwell added: "I am extraordinarily excited about the opportunities ahead, and really looking forward to working with the innovative and talented team at William Morrow and HarperCollins."
Fox 2000 Pictures president Elizabeth Gabler, who is developing a film based on Cornwell’s novels, added: "We are tremendously excited about bringing Kay Scarpetta to life in the feature film adaptation of Patricia Cornwell's fantastic books. Scarpetta is one of those rare, larger than life characters—brilliant, intuitive, tough and sexy—and it is one of our greatest priorities to begin production on the film as soon as possible."
Photo credit: Debra Gingrich