Constable is publishing a new crime series starring a cleaner and immigrant as its "feisty heroine", by debut author Elizabeth Mundy.
The first in the series, In Strangers’ Houses, introduces the reader to Elena Szarka, a Hungarian cleaner working in London, whose best friend and co-worker Timea disappears. As the police seem disinterested it is left to Elena to find her friend. The blurb reads: "And, of course, when you clean people’s houses you discover all their dirty secrets…"
Krystyna Green, publishing director at Constable, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in three crime titles from debut author Mundy, represented by Euan Thorneycroft at A M Heath.
Green said: "In Elena we have a sparky and feisty heroine, while the series is perfectly pitched for these post-Brexit days – we have Hungarian cleaners, Polish Uber drivers, Syrian newsellers and a Cypriot gangleader, all set within the London Borough of Islington."
Mundy is said to draw on her own family history in the writing of the series, as her grandmother emigrated from Hungary in the 1930s. She said: "I’m delighted to be working with Constable. Their strong record in series crime is great for Elena’s future – working as a cleaner means she’ll uncover plenty more messy situations."
She added: "Being an immigrant gives Elena the outsider perspective often enjoyed by detectives. But being a cleaner gives her privileged access to people’s private lives."
Constable will publish In Strangers’ Houses as a paperback original in January 2018.