Hodder and Stoughton has won a new Brontë Mysteries series from Rowan Coleman, imagining the sisters as amateur sleuths ahead of their writing careers.
Editorial director Melissa Cox acquired British Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) in the first two books in the series from Lizzy Kremer at David Higham at auction.
Promising "a well-plotted mystery full of chilling atmosphere and allusions to the written work of those three famous sisters", Hodder will publish Coleman's series under her pen name Bella Ellis, releasing the first book in hardcover, audio and e-book in November 2019.
Hodder says the first book in the series will be The Vanished Bride, "a mystery with a literary twist, as Coleman imagines the well-known Brontë sisters finding themselves embroiled in the disappearance of a young woman, whom they suspect has been murdered by her wealthy husband".
Cox said: "I am a huge fan of Rowan Coleman’s writing so when I heard she had written a mystery that imagines the pre-writing career Brontë sisters as amateur sleuths, I knew I wanted to read it. The book was all I had hoped for and more, a well-plotted mystery full of chilling atmosphere and allusions to the written work of those three famous sisters. It’s a must-read for fans of the Brontës of course, but I think will appeal to anyone looking for something to keep them reading late into the night. I cannot wait to publish the first book in what I am sure will grow to be a very popular series."
Coleman, best-known for her women’s fiction, including The Memory Book and The Summer of Impossible Things, is next publishing The Girl at the Window with Ebury in summer 2019.