Puffin will publish the ninth and final novel in Robin Stevens’ Murder Most Unladylike series in August 2020, a decade after she began writing the books.
Natalie Doherty, editorial Director at Puffin, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Gemma Cooper at the Bent Agency.
The currently ninth and final instalment in the series will see schoolgirl detectives Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong visit Egypt and “undertake their most dangerous case yet”, Puffin said.
The first book in the series, also called Murder Most Unladylike (Puffin), was published in 2014 and won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize in the younger fiction category. Stevens has sold 586,134 books for £3.4m, with Murder Most Unladylike her bestseller, at 98,011 copies sold in total, according to Nielsen BookScan.
Stevens, who has been chosen as one of 2020’s official World Book Day authors, said: “'Writing Murder Most Unladylike has changed my life in ways I never thought possible. I began the series in 2010 because I had an idea for a story that I couldn't get out of my head - I never imagined that I would still be telling stories about my detectives Daisy and Hazel ten years later, or that my books would have found so many passionate and engaged readers all over the world."
The California-born author revealed that the two protagonists, Daisy and Hazel are “not the little girls they were in Murder Most Unladylike any more”.
“They've changed and grown into brilliant, confident, clever detectives, and that's why I've decided that it's time to bring this part of their adventures to a close with their ninth full-length murder mystery,” she said. “There's a story I've been desperate to tell for years, and it feels right to let my detective duo bow out with their biggest and most dangerous case yet. They're going to come face to face with life and death on an Egyptian cruise - and the Detective Society will never be the same again.”
Stevens hinted that the central characters may reappear in another series. “All I can say at the moment is that I'm not done with Daisy and Hazel's world yet.”
Doherty said: “Robin and her creations, Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong, are true treasures of children’s literature – loved by so many readers around the world. We’re incredibly proud to publish Robin, who is a tireless advocate for reading and storytelling and the power of imagination, and who writes the most brilliantly addictive, warm, smart, sensitive and funny mysteries that inspire young minds to be ever more curious about the world around them. We couldn’t be happier that Puffin will publish this ninth and final novel in the series.”