Farshore has acquired The Very Merry Murder Club, a mystery anthology written by 13 authors, co-edited by Serena Patel and Robin Stevens and illustrated by Harry Woodgate.
The anthology will invite middle-grade readers to solve 13 winter-themed stories of murder, mystery and foul play, showing that "every child can crack the case and be the hero of these stories", said the publisher.
Contributors include Abiola Bello, Annabelle Sami, Benjamin Dean, E L Norry, Elle McNicoll, Dominique Valente, Joanna Williams, Masie Chan, Nizrana Farook, Patricia Lawrence, Roopa Farooki, Serena Patel and Sharna Jackson.
Lindsey Heaven, publishing director, signed the deal for world rights in all languages with Gemma Cooper of The Bent Agency and Kate Shaw of The Shaw Agency. The Very Merry Murder Club will be published on 28th October 2021.
Heaven said: "Serena and Robin, with their joint passion for excellent crime and mystery storytelling and diverse representation in children’s books, have brought together a stunning array of talent and exciting voices for this very special collection. Part of our mission at Farshore is that we publish stories for every child and The Very Merry Murder Club does that in criminally brilliant bucket loads. We’re so proud to be publishing this wintery gift of an anthology."
Patel, author of the Anisha: Accidental Detective series (Usborne), commented: "Like many writers of a diverse background, I grew up not seeing myself in the stories I loved so this is a subject close to my heart. Diverse stories create windows for every child, no matter their background, through which they can see, appreciate and empathise with someone else’s experience. With this collection we hope to inspire children from all backgrounds to fall in love with crime stories and perhaps even write their own one day."
Stevens, author of the Murder Most Unladylike series (Puffin), added: "I loved being part of the original Crime Club anthology, which highlighted some of the best children's crime writers working at the time. Now I'm thrilled to pass the baton to the next generation of authors who are pouring new life into the children's crime genre. Their stories promise to be bold, funny, exciting and deeply mysterious. The anthology is going to be a wintery treat for every child."