Head of Zeus signs Naughtie debut

Head of Zeus has acquired three new titles, including the debut novel from BBC Radio 4 presenter James Naughtie.

Senior editor Rosie de Courcy, who joined the publisher in December, signed Naughtie’s Cold War thriller The Madness of July in a world rights deal with Felicity Bryan at the Felicity Bryan Literary Agency.

De Courcy has also signed a novel from former Chatto & Windus production editor Mary Gibson. Custard Tarts and Broken Hearts is set against the backdrop of a Bermondsey factory on the eve of First World War, based on the author's family’s experiences. De Courcy signed UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, in a three-book deal with Anne Williams at the Kate Horden Literary Agency.

Another three-book deal has been signed with Fiona Mountain. The Secret Passion of Mistress Fawkes retells the Gunpowder Plot from the point of view of Guy Fawkes' wife. De Courcy acquired world rights in a deal with Broo Doherty at Wade and Doherty. The novel will be released in March 2014 in hardback and digital.