HarperFiction bags Racculia's charity detective hunt

HarperFiction bags Racculia's charity detective hunt

“A love letter to great British literary detectives” by US author Kate Racculia has been bought by HarperFiction.

Billed as combining the mystery of a Conan Doyle novel with the emotional pull of “Little Miss Sunshine” with a “salute to the singular spinsters” of Barbara Pym, Tuesday Mooney Wore Black follows a death at a charity auction triggering a city-wide treasure hunt.

Martha Ashby, editorial director at the HarperCollins imprint, bought UK and Commonwealth rights excluding Canada rights from Juliet Mushens at Caskie Mushens on behalf of Bonnie Nadell at Hill Nadell Literary Agency. It is slated for publication in autumn 2019.

While Pennsylvania-based Racculia has been published in the US previously, this is her first UK novel.

“Inspired by one of the many weird and wonderful jobs that Kate has held, the eponymous heroine of the novel, Tuesday Mooney, is a problem solver by nature,and hones her talents in her job as a researcher, tracking down high wealth individuals for targeted charitable donations,” the publisher said. When an eccentric billionaire dies “very publicly” at a charity auction and leaves his fortune to the winners of a city-wide treasure hunt, Tuesday teams up with an unlikely group of misfits and oddballs to play the game.

“I’ve never read a book quite like Tuesday Mooney and was completely blown away by how intricately and seamlessly Kate wove her story,” Ashby said. “Part treasure hunt, part whodunnit, with a nod to everything from Cluedo, to The Goonies, to Edgar Allen Poe, this is an unlikely mashup of genres that has the emotional heart of “Little Miss Sunshine” and the satisfying unravelling of a mystery of the best of Conan Doyle. I’m so thrilled to be publishing Kate’s UK debut novel and can’t wait for readers to meet Tuesday.”

Racculia said: ‘I’m thrilled to be working with Martha and everyone at HarperFiction, and beyond delighted to be making my UK publishing debut, especially with a character like Tuesday Mooney, who is in no small part a love letter to great British literary detectives, from Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple to Adam Dalgliesh (and Cordelia Gray, about whom I wish P.D. James had written more), Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane – and there’s a salute to the singular spinsters of Barbara Pym in Tuesday too.”