Deal follows pitch at the 2016 The Write Stuff
Georgina Morley at Pan Macmillan has signed at auction The Adventures of Maud West, Lady Detective by Susannah Stapleton, a bookseller with Wenlock Books in Shropshire. Pan Mac has UK and Commonwealth rights through Tim Bates at Peters, Fraser & Dunlop. Stapleton signed with PFD after she had pitched her idea for the book at the Write Stuff panel event at the 2016 London Book Fair.
The book (2019) will follow the curious life and career of Maud West, who opened her London detective agency in 1905 and sleuthed on behalf of society's finest for more than 30 years. It will interweave tales from Maud West's casebook with social history.
Morley said: "I've never known a proposal elicit quite such shrieks of joy from my colleagues. Maud's story is really quite extraordinary and will appeal to readers who love Dorothy L Sayers - who has a walk-on part in the story - and Agatha Christie. It's bliss and I can't wait to read Susannah's completed manuscript."
Stapleton said: "I'm thrilled that Maud West has found such a wonderful home at Macmillan. The team's enthusiasm for Maud is hugely gratifying, and the chance to work with an editor of George's calibre is beyond anything that I had imagined as a debut writer."