Mantle has acquired two books by début writer Mary Paulson-Ellis in a “hotly contested auction”.
Publisher Maria Rejt bought UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, to The Other Mrs Walker and one other book from Clare Alexander at Aitken Alexander.
The Other Mrs Walker is described as having “echoes of Kate Atkinson and Catherine O Flynn's What Was Lost”. It follows Margaret Penny, newly arrived in Edinburgh, who, finding herself tasked with uncovering the mystery of an old woman who died alone, follows a trail of peculiar objects which both lead her back into the past and reveal secrets within her own life, too.
Rejt said: “As soon as I began reading The Other Mrs Walker, I knew I was in the hands of a very special storyteller indeed. This utterly beguiling debut is perfect for all those who fell in love with Emma Healey's Elizabeth is Missing and marks the arrival of a wonderful new literary talent'.
Alexander said: “Mary Paulson-Ellis has a singular voice and I believe that publication of The Other Mrs Walker will mark the start of a truly exciting new literary career.”
Mantle will publish The Other Mrs Walker in March 2016.