Mantle has acquired two historical crime thrillers by debut author Laura Shepherd-Robinson in a "hotly contested" auction, earmarked to be "lead hardbacks" for Janaury 2019 and 2020.
Maria Rejt, publisher of Mantle, did the deal for British and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, with Antony Topping at Greene & Heaton Ltd.
The first book, Blood & Sugar, is set in London and Deptford in the late 18th century and tells a "compelling an unsparing" story, drawing the readers into "dark and desperate" times in England's history, according to Rejt. The second title, following a year on, is The Daughters of Night which features some of the same "beautifully drawn" characters.
Rejt said: "I knew pretty quickly after Antony had submitted Blood & Sugar that I was reading something very special indeed. Laura's writing is extraordinarily good, with beautifully drawn characters. The story is compelling and unsparing. The blood and sugar of the title, and the settings of London and Deptford in the late eighteenth century, take us into dark and desperate episodes from England’s history, the consequences of which are still with us today."
Shepherd-Robinson added: "The moment I walked into the room for my first meeting with Maria, I could feel her excitement and love for Blood & Sugar. I am so happy my books are going to be in the hands of such an inspiring editor, along with the team at Mantle and Pan Macmillan. This is everything I ever hoped for and more."
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