HarperCollins has secured a six-figure deal for The Colour of Bee Larkham's Murder by Sarah J Harris in a "whirlwind" pre-empt ahead of LBF.
Martha Ashby, commissioning editor at HarperFiction, bought UK and Commonwealth (excluding Canada) rights in a one-book deal with Jemima Forrester at David Higham. This is Forrester’s first major deal since joining the agency last July.
The Colour of Bee Larkham's Murder tells the story of Jasper, a young boy with both synaesthesia and face-blindness. Jasper has seen a new colour, one that he’s never seen before: the colour of murder. As he struggles to get to the bottom of the mystery, including his own role in his neighbour Bee’s murder, someone out there is determined to stop him.
Forrester said The Colour of Bee Larkham's Murder was the book she "dreamt" of finding when she moved into agenting. "It has a fascinating premise, a page-turning plot and an unforgettable central character at its heart. I loved Jasper immediately. He’s utterly unique, unintentionally funny and heartbreakingly vulnerable," she said.
Ashby said: "I’m over the moon to be working with Sarah and Jemima on this brilliant book. I loved the pitch from the moment I heard it, and I loved Sarah’s beautiful writing from the first page, as she whisked me into Jasper’s colourful yet claustrophobic world. Funny, heartfelt with a cracking mystery at its heart, Jasper is a fantastically intriguing and unreliable narrator. This is going to be a huge book for HarperFiction in spring 2018 and I can’t wait to publish this with the fanfare that it deserves."
Harris added: "I've been overwhelmed by the amount of interest in my debut adult novel and know I've found the perfect home for it. I'm so thankful to Martha Ashby and my amazing agent, Jemima Forrester, for helping make my dreams come true."
The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder is Harris' debut adult novel but she is the author of Scholastic's YA Jessica Cole: Model Spy series written under her pen name, Sarah Sky.
HarperCollins will publish The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder in hardback in Spring 2018.