Miranda Jewess, editorial director at Serpent’s Tail crime imprint Viper, has acquired two more novels from author Janice Hallett.
Jewess acquired UK and Commonwealth rights plus audio to The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels and an untitled second novel in a two-book deal from Gaia Banks at Sheil Land.
The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels will be published in January 2023 and will use Hallett’s epistolary style to tell the story of two competing true crime writers who are both racing to finish books on the Alperton Angels case. The synopsis reads: "The Angels were a doomed cult who engineered their own downfall when they stole a baby who they were convinced was the anti-Christ. Now that child has turned eighteen and can finally be interviewed, and both authors are desperate to get the scoop. But what is it like to grow up knowing that you were almost ritually murdered? And when one of the writers begins a correspondence with the imprisoned leader of the cult, they start to wonder if perhaps the Alperton Angels were right about the anti-Christ all along…"
Viper published Hallett’s debut thriller The Appeal in January 2021, it was the Sunday Times Crime Book of the Month and Waterstones Thriller of the Month. The first paperback print run was 40,000 and a second has just been ordered, the publisher said. The imprint will publish Hallett’s second novel, The Twyford Code, in January 2022.
Jewess said: "Janice has burst onto the crime scene with a bang this year – I’ve been so thrilled at the response to The Appeal, a book that has both the small-town intrigue of Agatha Christie, but also a thoroughly modern and unique format that readers have really responded to. She’s been a joy to publish and I’m so looking forward to her next three books with Viper. I think her star will only rise and rise."
Hallett added: "Viper is an exciting imprint with a stable of quirky and interesting writers, so being part of its origin story is a joy and a privilege. Working with Miranda Jewess and her team on The Appeal and The Twyford Code was such a positive creative experience, I can’t wait to continue my literary journey with them."