James Oswald, author of the Inspector McLean series, is to move from Penguin to Headline imprint Wildfire for his next four books.
Publishing director Alex Clarke acquired UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) to four books from Juliet Mushens at Caskie Mushens.
Oswald’s Inspector Tony McLean series began with Natural Causes, which was initially self-published, and then went on to be published by Penguin. The Wildfire deal includes two new books in the McLean series, and two books in a second series featuring a new lead character, DC Constance Fairchild.
Oswald said: "After a lucky thirteen books in five years, it was a hard decision to leave Penguin, but I am absolutely thrilled to be joining Wildfire. I am very impressed with the energy and enthusiasm of the team, and with the quality of the titles they have published so far. Where better to launch my new series and character, Constance Fairchild? Alex Clarke was my editor for the first six Inspector McLean books, too, and I’m delighted to be taking that series forward with him once more."
Clarke said Oswald was "one of the best crime writers in the business", and it was a "total joy to be working with him again".
"Not only will we be continuing the best-selling McLean series, but we have the brilliant new Constance Fairchild series to introduce to crime fiction fans," Clarke said.
No Time to Cry, the first title of the new Constance Fairchild series, will be published in autumn 2018.
“Readers are going to love James’s new lead character: Constance, Con to those who know her, delivers everything that one has come to expect from an Oswald protagonist," Clarke added. "She is of course something of an outsider, but possessed of such warmth, humanity and determination that we are rooting for her from page one.”
No Time to Cry will be followed in the Spring of 2019 with a new Inspector McLean novel.