Joffe Books has snapped up the "brilliantly entertaining and heartwarming" 37-strong series of books that inspired the hit ITV series "Heartbeat".
The publisher acquired world English digital and print-on-demand rights to the complete Constable series by Nicholas Rhea through agents Peters Fraser + Dunlop. The first five books will be released on 14th March 2020, with new covers for the entire series featuring artwork by North Yorkshire artist Colin Williamson.
The books feature "the feel-good tales of life as a village policeman in 1960s North Yorkshire", according to the synopsis. Rhea, the pseudonym of Peter Walker, has drawn on his experiences as a police officer in a rural Yorkshire village in the 1960s to write the novels.
Rhea’s daughter Sarah Walker commented: "When I heard about the offer, I cried solidly for about half an hour, especially when I read of Joffe’s commitment and true passion for the Constable series. Jasper Joffe’s enthusiasm for my dad’s work made me so proud and I just wish Dad was here to see it for himself."
Jasper Joffe said: "We’re immensely proud to sign these books and honoured by the trust the family have placed in us. We think they’re wonderful, heart-warming and funny, and we want a whole new generation of readers to enjoy them."
Widow of the late author, Rhoda Walker, said: "Peter worked so hard all his life writing books, his first being published back in 1967, and he never stopped. His family was his motivation to build a body of work that he intended to be a lasting legacy for his children and grandchildren. This contract with Joffe will go a long way to making that wish come true. Peter would be absolutely thrilled, as am I."
Giulia Bernabè of Peters Fraser + Dunlop said: "We couldn’t have wished for a more enthusiastic and supportive publisher than Joffe Books for Nicholas Rhea’s Constable novels. Fans of the Heartbeat series are in for a treat and new readers won’t be able to help falling in love with these charming and timeless stories of rural Yorkshire."
Rhea received the Crime Writers’ Association John Creasey Award for his services to the association. He wrote over 110 books in his lifetime using as many of five pseudonyms before his death in 2017.