Hodder & Stoughton has won an auction for a thriller about a woman who cleans the homes of undiscovered corpses by C R Robertson.
Editorial director Eve Hall acquired world all language rights to The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill and a second book, following a three-publisher bidding war, from Mark Stanton at The North Literary Agency.
The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill is to be published in hardback, trade paperback, e-book and audio in January 2022 and in paperback later the same year.
A former journalist, Robertson had a 20-year career with a Scottish Sunday newspaper before becoming a full-time author. He has previously written novels under his full name which was not disclosed by the publisher.
“The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill is a unique, voice-driven thriller following the insular, friendless Grace McGill who owns her own cleaning business that deep cleans the homes of Undiscovereds: people who die alone until they are found weeks, sometimes months, later,” Hodder said. “In one such place, the lonely flat of Tommy Agnew, Grace has her suspicions aroused by a hidden photograph and a stack of newspapers, all from the same date over many, many years. Grace can't get the mysterious life and sad death of Tommy Agnew out of her head, and she soon begins an investigation that could cost her life. The past has stayed buried for many years already, but Grace has never been one to brush things under the carpet.”
Hall said: “I fell in love with Grace from the first page. She is unique, wonderful, strange and clever – much like this novel as a whole. The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill reminded me a little of Belinda Bauer’s Rubber Necker in that it is driven by an unforgettable narrator, is brilliantly surprising and is beautifully written. There was also a twist in this which genuinely left me gobsmacked. Readers are going to fall in love with Grace and I’m so excited to watch that happen.”
Robertson, who divides his time between Scotland and California, said: “I couldn't be happier than to have signed with Hodder & Stoughton and to have found the perfect home for Grace. She's a complicated character so it's been thrilling to work with a talented team who understand her. I've enjoyed every step of the publication process and can't wait for Grace to take her first steps into the world.”