Princess Margaret's former lady-in-waiting Anne Glenconner has struck a two-book deal for two crime novels with Hodder & Stoughton following the surprise success of her memoir, Lady in Waiting.
Non-fiction publisher Rowena Webb acquired world English language rights in two crime novels from Gordon Wise at Curtis Brown. The first–Murder on Mustique–will publish in November 2020 in a hardback, e-book and audio edition.
"Combining her wealth of knowledge and love of storytelling with a strong dash of suspense and humour, Murder on Mustique will enthral and entertain," reads the synopsis. Glenconner’s husband Colin Tennant, Lord Glenconner, bought Mustique in 1958 and together they transformed the island into a private paradise for the rich, often royal, and famous.
Glenconner said: “I’m thrilled to be working with the wonderful team at Hodder again on this exciting new venture into fiction. I’ve always loved storytelling, and to have found success as an author in my ninth decade has been an unexpected joy. I’m relishing the chance to tell more stories and transport readers to the island I love so much.”
Crime and thriller publisher Jo Dickinson added: “Very few people will get to experience Mustique first-hand–this novel will be the next best thing, give readers a taste of the lifestyle, the physical beauty of the island, and offering a real sense of escapism. Anne’s storytelling flair was abundantly clear in Lady in Waiting; this novel will be full of suspense and pace, married with a cast of unforgettable characters.”
The deal comes after Glenconner’s memoir, chronicling her life as maid of honour at the Queen’s coronation and lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret, became a surprise 2019 bestseller, with sales soaring after Glenconner's appearances on "The Graham Norton Show", Radio 4's "Today" and "Loose Women". It has sold 170,525 copies for £2.4m across all editions in the UK through the BookScan Total Consumer Market and was among the top non-fiction titles of 2019 in Australia and New Zealand.
Webb said: “The success of Lady in Waiting has been a real thrill for all of us. Anne’s voice and brilliant gift for narrative makes her move to fiction the natural next step. I hope her new and growing fanbase will adore the setting and her memorable characters in a wonderfully escapist murder mystery.”
In the US, Newsweek have named the memoir one of the "most anticipated books of 2020". Hachette Books will publish Lady in Waiting in the US on 24th March. 2020 will be a busy year for Glenconner, who will go to New York to launch the title in the US and then embark on a tour with Fane Productions in Australia and New Zealand. In the UK, Lady in Waiting will be published in paperback on 25th June, with publication backed by a high-impact marketing campaign and further media appearances from Glenconner. Ahead of the paperback Hodder will release An Evening with Anne Glenconner, a standalone audio edition of her live events taking place in the spring.
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