Crime writer Mari Hannah is moving from Pan Macmillan to Orion Fiction.
Hannah, who was named the winner of the Polari First Book Prize for her debut in 2013, said of the change that she was looking forward to a "new challenge" and to being published to "a wider, international audience".
Senior commissioning editor Francesca Pathak acquired world rights to three novels in the Stone and Oliver series by Hannah from Oli Munson at A M Heath.
The first book in the Stone and Oliver series, The Lost, will be published as a paperback original in spring 2018. Set against the backdrop of inner city Newcastle and the dramatic wilderness of Northumberland, the book's protagonists are DI David Stone, who has just arrived home from the Met police, and DS Frankie Oliver, a third generation detective who followed her father and grandfather into the force.
Pathak, who moved to Orion Fiction from Cornerstone in October, has also secured a debut crime writer for the list: Niki Mackay. World rights were acquired from Jo Hayes at The Blair Partnership
I, Witness, due for publication in early 2018, opens with a young woman named Clare Reynolds, who has just been released from prison for manslaughter and has hired a private investigator to clear her name. The only issue is that the PI remembers the case well – she was the first officer on the scene when Clare was found holding the knife that killed her best friend.
Pathak commented: "I am delighted to welcome Mari and Niki to Orion Fiction, and feel that these acquisitions are a great reflection of the crime and thriller list I’m looking to build here. We have so many fantastic heritage authors at Orion and it’s very exciting to be able to bring in some fresh voices to compliment that."