Verve expands list with 'genre-bending' debut and final Vera Kelly mystery

Verve expands list with 'genre-bending' debut and final Vera Kelly mystery

Verve Books is expanding its list, signing with a trio of writers including literary scout Eve Gleichman, writer Laura Blackett (pictured) as well as Rosalie Knecht of the Vera Kelly spy series.

Editor Jenna Gordon is broadening the Verve list, which publishes women and non-binary writers of fiction across all genres, with a focus on crime and thriller writing.

Gordon acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, for open market Australia and New Zealand rights, excluding Canada, to The Very Nice Box by Blackett and Gleichman from Jenny Meyer at the Meyer Literary Agency. The book has been selected as a New York Times Editor’s Choice and one of LGBTQ Reads’ ‘Most Anticipated’ books.

This novel is told in the voice of Ava, an eccentric product engineer living in New York and has sparked comparisons to Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and The Other Black Girl.

Gleichman is a graduate of Brooklyn College’s MFA program in fiction and works as a literary scout. Blackett is a woodworker and writer. The Very Nice Box is their first novel and will be published in digital format in February 2022, with the paperback original edition to follow in July 2022.

Gordon said: "The Very Nice Box is a fresh, funny, genre-bending debut with a shocking twist. Ava’s story offers sharp and timely cultural commentary whilst being entertaining, relatable and incredibly poignant. We’re thrilled to be welcoming Laura and Eve to the Verve list."

Gordon also acquired the final instalment in Knecht’s Vera Kelly spy series from Rachel Clements at Abner Stein on behalf of Soumeya Roberts at HG Literary. Vera Kelly Lost and Found will be published in e-book in June 2022, with the paperback original publishing in September.

Set in 1971, Vera is put to the test as she searches for her missing girlfriend, and is finally forced to reckon with her own complicated past.

Author, translator and social worker Knecht recently won the 2021 Sue Grafton Memorial Prize for her previous novel in the series, Vera Kelly Is Not A Mystery (Verve).

Gordon added: "We’re delighted to once again bring the much-loved Vera Kelly to UK readers, in her most high-stakes case yet, which will both satisfy fans of the series and provide a wonderful introduction to the compelling and wholly original Vera for new readers. We are proud of the distinct list of outstanding women’s fiction that Verve is building and welcome agent submissions from new, diverse voices to add to the fold."