Hodder & Stoughton has acquired two more books in The Brontë Mysteries series by Rowan Coleman, who will continue to publish the books under the pen name Bella Ellis.
Editorial director Melissa Cox acquired British Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Hellie Ogden at Janklow & Nesbit UK.
In the series, Coleman imagines the Brontë sisters as "detectors" trying to solve local crimes before their literary careers are established. Two books in the series have already been published by Hodder & Stoughton, The Vanished Bride (2019) and The Diabolical Bones (2020).
The third book, The Rise of the Red Monarch, will be published in autumn 2021 and will be set as the sisters’ poetry collection has been published to great acclaim, but poor sales. Anne receives a letter from her friend Lydia Robinson, who recently eloped with Harry, a young actor. Following her disinheritance, the couple have been living in poverty in London and Harry has got himself into danger after ‘losing’ something valuable that he was meant to deliver to a criminal gang. Harry has gone missing, and Lydia has a week to return what her husband stole, or he will be killed. The sisters agree to help Lydia, beginning a race against time to save Harry’s life – and coming face to face with a terrifying adversary whom even the toughest of the slum-dwellers are afraid of, The Red Monarch.
Cox said: "Working on the Brontë Mysteries has been a complete joy and career highlight – Rowan’s Brontë expertise brings such a believable quality to these utterly satisfying mysteries. They’re the perfect read for Brontë fans and cosy crime readers alike and I am so happy to say that we’ll be publishing more books in the series."
Coleman said: "Seeing The Vanished Bride and The Diabolical Bones being so brilliantly published by Hodder is one of the happiest and proudest moments of my career, so I’m thoroughly delighted to be adding two new novels to the Brontë Mysteries series, and look forward to the series going from strength to strength, guided by Melissa Cox and the talented Hodder Fiction team."
Coleman is the author of 14 novels including The Memory Book (Ebury, 2014), The Summer of Impossible Things (Ebury, 2017) and The Girl at the Window (Ebury, 2019).