Matthew James Publishing has acquired Let The Game Commence by David Palin as part of the publisher's new digital first initiative.
Worldwide rights for e-book and paperback were acquired directly from the author and the novel will be published as an e-book in 2022.
The synopsis reads: "In a Faustian tale, Arthur Du Fuss, a lonely, bitter millionaire, commits suicide and leaves his fortune to one of his uncaring neighbours – a choice determined by them all playing a customised game of Chancery, the creepy, cult board game from which Arthur made his money. But participation in the game brings a curse far more sinister than anyone could expect, which leaves no one untouched, including Arthur himself."
Palin is the author of This Changed Everything (Nine Elms Books, 2018), The Half-Torn Page (Arena Books, 2019) and The Armistice Killer (Nine Elms Books, 2021). On the new deal, he commented: "This is a wonderful opportunity for me to reveal a different layer to the darkness of my writing. The book is very much set in this world, but with more than a hint of the supernatural."
The Matthew James Publishing Digital First initiative will see the publisher release new titles as high quality e-books before looking to bring them to market as paperback titles at a later date.
James Shaw, publisher and managing director, said: "We’re so pleased to have David on board. The quality of his work speaks for itself and we’re so pleased to extend our fiction offerings with such a dark and intriguing new book.
"The effects of the pandemic have taken their toll on us, just like they have on everyone else. This digital first initiative allows us to bring exciting new books to market whilst we work within the constraints of increased timescales, balance our workload, and refocus our output overall."