Hodder & Stoughton has acquired four novels in a series from the “queen of Polish crime writing”, Katarzyna Bonda [pictured].
Bonda is currently the biggest-selling female author in Poland, and acclaimed by readers and reviewers, the publisher said.
The books were acquired by publisher Nick Sayers from agent Sandra Sawicka at Marjacq Scripts. Hodder will commission the translation and control World English rights, but all translation rights will be handled by Marjacq. The first book in the series, Girl at Midnight, has sold over 180,000 copies in Poland and the second has recently topped the bestseller list there, selling over 50,000 copies since publication in April.
Sayers said: “I don’t read Polish but I was intrigued by the very strong story in the English synopsis – a double time- frame narrative reaching back to the time of Solidarity from a present-day murder case, with a strong female protagonist and lots of twists to the plot. Then I was lucky to have a colleague in Joanna Kaliszewska who read the books in the original language and absolutely loved them, so we decided to get involved. It’s very exciting. Katarzyna is a former journalist with a great eye for what makes a story work. In the year of The Girl in the Spider’s Web, no-one can doubt that readers enjoy crime in translation and I think they will be fascinated by these novels.”
Sawicka added: “I’ve been looking for a Polish writer to bring to the UK for quite some time, and when I stumbled upon Girl at Midnight, I knew this had to be it. Bonda is a world-class storyteller, with a strong, fresh voice which pulls you in immediately.”
Hodder plans to begin publishing in early 2017.
The author has just been interviewed about her success on the BBC World Service arts programme "Outlook", for broadcast later in the month.