Nosy Crow has signed up journalist and cookery writer Ella Risbridger to write her first children’s books, which will include two middle-grade novels and a poetry anthology.
The deal kicks off with the first novel, The Secret Detectives, an “exciting and unputdownable historical mystery” which Nosy Crow said is “perfect for fans of Katherine Rundell and Robin Stevens”. The Secret Detectives will be released in February 2021 with the sequel to follow the next spring.
Nosy Crow’s senior commissioning editor Tom Bonnick bought world rights to the two middle-grade novels from Daisy Parente at Lutyens & Rubinstein. Meanwhile, Nosy Crow head of picture books Louise Bolongaro acquired a children’s poetry collection from Risbridger, which will be published in September 2021 and illustrated by Anna Shepta.
Risbridger’s much-acclaimed genre-bending cookery book cum depression memoir Midnight Chicken & Other Recipes Worth Living for was published by Bloomsbury in January 2019. She also edited an adult poetry anthology, Set Me on Fire (Doubleday), which was released last autumn.
The Secret Detectives takes place aboard the SS Marina, where Isobel witnesses a someone being thrown overboard in the middle of the night. But when the ship’s captain insists that nobody is missing, Isobel and her reluctant new friends must discover both who the killer is—and who the victim was—before the ship returns to England.
Bonnick said: ‘I have been a huge admirer of Ella's writing for adults, including her journalism for The Pool and her wonderful cookbook, Midnight Chicken, for many years, and to be publishing her first novel for children is the most enormous privilege. Inspired by the classic literature from her childhood, Ella has created a brilliant and beautiful story...The Secret Detectives is a true modern classic.”