Viking has acquired The Real Pet Detective from retired policeman turned missing pet investigator Tom Watkins.
Watkins is the founder of pet detective agency Animal Search UK, whose clients have included Emma Bunton, Abbey Clancey and Mark Cavendish.
After hearing about the tragic story of a missing dog on the radio, Watkins launched a mission to rescue the dog, using the skills and tactics of his career in the police force. When the rescue was successful, he set up the agency which is said to have reunited thousands of missing pets with their owners.
Watkins' tactics for getting the nation's pets home, safe and sound have included recording the owner's voice to lure cats from their hiding place and organising a "Crimewatch"-style reconstruction of a dog-snatching on national TV.
The book is said to appeal to readers of A Street Cat Named Bob (Hodder) and Lost and Found: True tales of love and rescue from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, (Penguin) as the story of 20 years of missing pets, their owners and Watkins' team of expert pet investigators.
Emily Robertson, editor for Penguin Life and Viking, bought world rights from Susan Smith at MBA literary agency, for the book, which is to be published as a hardback and e-book on 6th April 2017.