Century has scooped Alias Emma, an “adrenaline-fuelled, read-in-one-gulp” thriller by Ava Glass, a pen name for Christi Daugherty.
Publisher Selina Walker acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, in a two-book deal from Madeleine Milburn with Olivia Maidment at the Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency. It will be published in August 2022 in the UK and US.
North American rights have been sold to Anne Speyer of Ballantine Bantam Dell, and five swift international deals were struck for German, Spanish, French, Dutch and Portuguese (EU) rights. The book has also been optioned for film and TV rights by a "renowned" producer.
Alias Emma introduces a young female spy, Emma Makepeace, who in the opening pages is sent on a mission to bring in a man wanted by the Russians. The synopsis goes on: “Emma finds him late at night, and realises that to get him to safety she must cross London and reach MI6 on Vauxhall Cross by dawn. So far so easy, one might think, but the Russians are in control of the 500,000 CCTV cameras across London, which Emma knows she must avoid at all costs. Emma’s journey takes her via London’s inland waterways, and underground via London’s hidden Fleet River and finally up the Thames as dawn breaks in a boat chase worthy of James Bond.”
Walker said: “It is a really, really fun and accomplished read with similarities to 'Killing Eve'. This is escapist fiction at its very best, and we will be pitching it hard as a female-led thriller which everyone can enjoy.”
Milburn added: “I am thrilled that Century is going to launch Alias Emma, the first in a meticulously plotted, utterly addictive, explosive new female spy series that fans of all things espionage will devour. I’ve worked with Christi for over a decade now, and this is the series she was always meant to write, with her first-hand experience of this world and her track record of authoring a YA international bestselling series that also took the world by storm.”
Daugherty is a former crime reporter whose books have been translated into 25 languages. She lives in the south of England, and at one time worked for the British government.
She said: “I've had the character of the spy Emma Makepeace in my head since I worked for the government over 10 years ago, so I'm thrilled that Alias Emma has found such a perfect home with Selina Walker and her fantastic team at Century. Selina is a legend in British publishing and I can't wait to go on this journey with her. To also have the opportunity to work with Anne Speyer at Ballantine Bantam Dell is beyond amazing. I've admired her work from afar for years. Add into the mix the publishers around the world and I can honestly say, this is the ultimate dream team!”
- Michael Joseph scoops Wilkerson's debut Black Cake
- Hodder scoops 'lyrical' novel from publisher Jacquie Bloese
- Trapeze scoops 'magical' debut from Willberg in two-book deal
- Allen Lane scoops Fowler's British countryside history in 12-way auction
- PM’s days are numbered in Daugherty’s new YA spy-thriller series