Rights to Jessica Fellowes’ debut novel The Mitford Murders (Sphere), the first in a new series of the same name, have sold in four pre-empts across Europe.
The novel, a murder mystery set in 1920 in the world of the famous Mitford sisters, and following the real unsolved murder of Florence Nightingale’s goddaughter, was pre-empted in Italy (Neri Pozza), France (J.C. Lattes), Sweden (Polaris) and Denmark (Politiken), while an auction is currently underway in Germany.
Fellowes is the author of five official tie-in books to "Downton Abbey" and niece of its creator Julian Fellowes. Her book will publish with Sphere in the UK in hardback, audio and e-book in September.
Sabine Schultz, editor at Neri Pozza, who is publishing the series in Italy after a two-book pre-empt, said: “The individual stories of the Mitford sisters are incredibly compelling and offer a wonderful backdrop for a series of mysteries. And Jessica Fellowes’ voice is just perfect – great writing combined with excellent storytelling.”
J C Lattes' commissioning editor Carla Briner, who is publishing the book in France, added: “Jessica’s novels will charm a new generation of French readers and provide a refreshing addition to this classic genre.”
The Sphere rights team is reportedly also fielding "strong interest" from "numerous" TV production companies in the series.