The Madeleine Milburn Agency (MMA) has orchestrated a major UK deal for a “‘Fargo’ meets ‘Broadchurch’” crime series, while handling a “record-breaking” number of auctions for Elizabeth Macneal’s The Doll Factory.
Territories continue to rack up for The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal (pictured), won by Picador in the UK after a 14-way auction. MMA founder Milburn, who called the novel a “magnetic début that will appeal to readers of historical and contemporary fiction”, sold North American rights to Emily Bestler for her eponymous Simon & Schuster imprint. MMA’s rights agent Alice Sutherland-Hawes has sewn up 20 translation deals, including French (Presse de la Cité), German (Eichborn/Lübbe), Italian (Einaudi) and Spanish (Ediciones B).
Meanwhile, Constable publishing director Krystyna Green has acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Milburn for three books in Charlie Bird’s West Country-set Mindful Murders series, which features a “classic chalk-and-cheese” crime-fighting duo: vegetarian, meditating cop Vince Caine and DI Shanti Joyce, seconded to the West Country from London.
Bird is the joint pseudonym of children’s author/ illustrator Laurence Arnholt and novelist Paddy Magrane. Green called the series “quirky, original and enormous fun”.
The first in the series, A Boy Named Art (slated for May 2019), sees Caine and Joyce at a Somerset gallery, where the body of a celebrated performance artist is found in a formaldehyde-filled tank. Bird said the series grew out of “years of meditation, vegetarian Cornish pasties and living amid the wild beauty of the West Country.”
MMA also announced that the film adaptation of Melanie Golding’s Little Darlings will go into development in July, after the firm’s film, TV and digital co-ordinator Hayley Steed finalised a deal with production company Free Range Films, recent adaptor of “My Cousin Rachel”.