Comedian Frankie Boyle is making his crime fiction debut with Meantime, a “phenomenal” story set in the Scottish independence referendum's aftermath, to be published by John Murray imprint Baskerville.
Yassine Belkacemi, editor and publicity director, bought world rights from Richard Cook at the Lisa Richards Agency. Baskerville will publish in hardback, e-book, and audio in July 2022.
Boyle’s Glasgow-set debut follows Valium addict Felix McAveety as he tries to solve the murder of his best friend. When police lose interest in the case, Felix enlists the help of retired crime novelist Jane Pickford. Their quest takes them into “the dark heart of Scottish politics, the orbit of drug dealers, and the matrix of AI, as they seek justice for their friend”.
The author said: “I love crime fiction, and I love funny novels, so I thought I’d have a bash at putting them together. I’m also very keen on not going mad during a lockdown, and writing the book really helped with that. If you want to read about someone with few skills and little insight making a very poor attempt to solve his friend’s murder, this is the book for you.”
Belkacemi commented: “I’ve been a huge admirer of Frankie from his stand-up to his journalism but even so, I was completely taken aback by how accomplished a novel Meantime is. Frankie is clearly a crime fiction aficionado and Meantime plays with the genre in some very clever ways while also being a real page-turner. At the heart of the book though is an emotional heft in the friendships, love stories, and tragic losses that he puts his characters through, which makes Meantime really stand out and I’m sure will surprise readers. I can’t wait for people to read this phenomenal book.”
Alongside being a comedian and TV regular, Boyle has written three bestselling non-fiction books including My Shit Life So Far (HarperCollins) and Work! Consume! Die! (HarperCollins). Through Nielsen BookScan he has sold 574,373 print books for £4.78m in the UK, with My Shit Life So Far the bestseller, on 232,433 in hardback.