Canongate is to launch a new crime fiction imprint called Black Thorn in May 2019, following its acquisition of fiction publisher Severn House in 2017.
Publishing a wide range of titles from Severn House’s list into paperback for the first time, Black Thorn will release two of the list's paperbacks each month and simultaneously around the world. This will be the first time that many of these Severn House titles have been available to the trade. The imprint will be managed by publishing coordinator Holly Domney, who has moved from her role within Severn House.
The 2019 list will be launched with Catherine O’Connell’s The Last Night Out, and The Savage Shore by David Hewson, author of The Killing trilogy. Rights in The Last Night Out, a psychological thriller, have already been sold by Canongate to Albin Michel in France, De Agostini Libri S.p.A. / DeA Planeta Libri in Italy, Droemer Knaur in Germany, Editora Planeta do Brasil in Brazil, Planeta Portugal in Portugal and Grupo Planeta in Spain. The Savage Shore, an Italian mystery featuring detective Nic Costa, is the latest novel from Hewson, whose novels have already sold over 200,000 copies worldwide, according to the publisher.
The 14 titles to be published in 2019 are Caro Ramsay’s The Suffering of Strangers, Simon Brett’s The Liar in the Library, Patricia MacDonald’s The Girl in the Woods, Glenn Cooper’s Sign of the Cross, Paul Doherty’s Dark Queen Rising, Cynthia Harrod-Eagles’ Old Bones, Alys Clare’s A Rustle of Silk, Chris Simms’ Loose Tongues, Hilary Bonner’s Deadly Dance, Humphrey Hawksley’s Man on Ice, Sally Spencer’s The Shivering Turn, Mike Ripley’s Mr Campion’s Farewell, Michael Jecks’ Rebellions Message and Cora Harrison’s A Shameful Murder.
Canongate c.e.o. Jamie Byng said that when the publisher was assessing Severn House as a possible acquisition, among the "exciting opportunities" it offered was the launch of a commercial fiction paperback list, drawing from Severn House’s "outstanding roster" of books and authors.
"I am thrilled that we are now able to share our plans for Black Thorn which we believe is going to be a great success and which adds a distinctive new strand to Canongate’s publishing output," he said.
Meanwhile, Domney spoke of the variety of titles within Black Thorn's catalogue which will "feed the hungriest of crime fiction readers who need to devour one mystery, then reach for the next one.”
Domney said: “The authors on the Black Thorn list are crime writing veterans and their experience shows in the quality of their stories. Catherine O’Connell’s The Last Night Out was so gripping I nearly missed my train stop. Simon Brett’s The Liar in the Library made me laugh out loud."