Avon snaps up 'brilliantly crafted' Belfast crime series from Dempsey

Avon snaps up 'brilliantly crafted' Belfast crime series from Dempsey

Avon has snapped up Who Took Eden Mulligan? and one further book by Sharon Dempsey, marking the start of a “brilliantly crafted” Belfast-based crime series.

Commissioning editor Katie Loughnane bought world English language rights from Lina Langlee at The North Literary Agency. The book is slated for publication in spring 2021 in trade paperback.

Avon explained: “The novel sees DI Danny Stowe and Forensic Psychologist Rose Lainey investigating the murder of four people in a run-down cottage outside of Belfast. Inside the cottage, the words 'WHO TOOK EDEN MULLIGAN?' are graffitied on the wall, connecting the murder scene with the famous cold case of Eden Mulligan, a mother-of-five who went missing during The Troubles.”

Loughnane said: “Sharon does a truly exceptional job of writing about grief, fear, love and emotional damage whilst packing in twists and turns aplenty. I’m delighted that she has chosen Avon to launch her brilliant series, in which she’ll continue to weave addictive present-day storylines with compelling mysteries from Belfast’s past. Who Took Eden Mulligan? is a compassionate and gripping story, made even better through having Danny and Rose at the helm of the investigation. It marks the start of a very promising new Irish crime series for Avon, and I can’t wait to publish it next year.”

Dempsey is a PhD candidate at Queen’s University, exploring class and gender in crime fiction. She was a journalist and health writer before turning to writing crime fiction and has written for a variety of publications and newspapers, including the Irish Times. She also facilitates creative writing classes for people affected by cancer and other health challenges.

She said: “I’m completely thrilled and honoured to have found a home for my books with Avon. I was blown away by the HarperCollins team’s enthusiasm for Who Took Eden Mulligan? They totally understood my ambition for this procedural series and believe in the strength of my protagonists to keep readers interested. My amazing agent Lina Langlee brokered the deal during lockdown and we are so thrilled for my book to have such an enthusiastic welcome from the whole team. I feel so fortunate to have Katie Loughnane as my editor to help bring my stories and characters into the world, and to know that I can continue writing for a living.”