Serpent Papers goes to Quercus

Serpent Papers goes to Quercus

Jessica Cornwell’s hotly-tipped “literary Da Vinci Code” trilogy has been snapped up by Quercus in a six-figure deal.

Editor-in-chief Jon Riley bought UK and Commonwealth rights excluding Canada from Felicity Blunt at Curtis Brown for the three books, the first of which is The Serpent Papers. The deal was sealed on the evening before Frankfurt Book Fair, and closed yesterday (10th October).

California-raised Cornwell, the granddaughter of John le Carré, has set the trilogy in Barcelona. It tells of three bodies appearing in rapid succession, their skin tattooed with a cryptic alphabet and tongues severed. Investigations into the death lead to an ancient book of witches and writing women and “a whispered secret from the time of Christ”—The Serpent Papers.

The trilogy had already been pre-empted in Norway within 24 hours of the manuscript being sent out, with interest from Canada and North America.

Blunt told The Bookseller Daily: “Jessica speaks French, Catalan and Spanish and that shows throughout the whole trilogy, it is about language and the impact it has on our lives. She has a really special talent.”

Quercus will publish in 2015.