Birlinn is to publish The Bureau, a debut novel from "striking new talent" Jane Menczer.
Neville Moir, publishing director at Birlinn, acquired world English language rights to the title from David Smith at Annette Green Authors’ Agency.
Set in London before the First World War, The Bureau is narrated by Margaret Trant, who lives with her ailing mother in a boarding house in St John’s Wood. Since the death of her father, Margaret and her mother have fallen on hard times, with only Margaret’s meagre salary to keep them afloat. When circumstances force Margaret to leave her employer she finds herself mysteriously guided into a new position as a secretary in a dingy backstreet shop.
But all is not as it seems, and she is in fact working for a highly secret branch of the intelligence service, whose mission is to track down and neutralise the ruthless band of anarchists known as The Scorpions.
Smith said: “Jane’s prose is a delight to read and her characterisation is rich and diverse. The sense of time and place are conveyed with an effortless authenticity, and the unfolding of the story has the assurance of a master. Jane is a striking new talent.”
Birlinn will publish the title in Spring 2017.