Rights House and PFD snap up crime estates

Rights House and PFD snap up crime estates

The Rights House and PFD have acquired four crime estates from Chorion in its intellectual property sell-off, acquiring works by Dennis Wheatley and Margery Allingham.

Backlist and estates agent Camilla Shestopal will manage the estates at PFD. She said: "These are focused high-profile estates that might have a brand that is more recognisable to purchasers. Our strategy is to focus on international sales for these authors, to get them recognised globally, with new series for TV and radio too."

She added: "There is a new enthusiasm about the classics. The energy of digital is a major opportunity to place those fantastic stories that are out of print. Wherever the titles are out of print, the digital opportunities are a focus. London Book Fair will definitely be a focus for us, and we are very much in the market for buying more estates."

Dennis Wheatley [pictured], who died in 1977, wrote thrillers and occult novels, with The Devil Rides Out among his best-known works. PFD acquired more than 65 of his titles.

Nicolas Freeling, who died in 2003, was a crime novelist, perhaps best known for his Van der Valk series. PFD will be managing an estate of 37 of his detective novels.

PFD also acquired the entire estate of crime author Edmund Crispin, comprising nine novels and 42 short stories, plus the entire estate of Allingham, comprising 20 novels and 44 short stories.

Chorion has been selling off its assets since it broke its banking covenants in September last year and was unable to restructure its £70m debt.