THE OTHER SIDE OF TRUST by Neil Robinson to Burning Chair Publishing

Former Home Office employee Neil Robinson’s spy thriller THE OTHER SIDE OF TRUST has gone to Burning Chair Publishers for World English Rights.

When the three leaders of an opposition group to Iran’s Islamic regime are all murdered within 48 hours of each other in Cambridge, Hamburg, and New York, an MI6 agent is sent to Tehran but finds his instincts rebelling against the evidence in the deadliest mission of his life.

Robinson now works for Lord’s Cricket Ground where he has remained for the last 15 years currently as the MCC’s Head of Heritage & Collections, where, among other things, his job involves looking after the Ashes Urn.

He has written widely about cricket and sporting heritage for a variety of publications and in 2015 published Long Shot Summer, a book about one of the most humiliating years in English cricket history. His fiction writing covers very different ground. A lifelong lover of spy novels, he takes inspiration from thriller writers like Len Deighton and John Buchan and seeks to create novels with a sense of place and character.

Burning Chair recently published former spy John Fullerton’s successful spy novel series.

ALISTAIR MACLEAN’S WAR by Mark Simmons to Pen & Sword

World Rights have gone to Pen & Sword for a biography of Scottish thriller writer Alistair MacLean’s early years in the Royal Navy and its influence on his most famous works.

Alistair MacLean

Alistair MacLean’s first novel HMS Ulysses sold a quarter of a million copies in hardback in the first six months and sold millions, enabling him to become one of Scotland’s most prolific and successful writers.

Lee Child was heavily influenced by that book and commented in 2005 that ‘it had some of the best-drawn characters I had read in the genre…. Even today I can sense MacLean’s influence I learnt a valuable lesson in how to write a hero who is totally full-blooded without going over the top.’ 

With the centenary of MacLean’s birth in 2022, this book will serve as a timely reminder of the significant influence this Scottish writer had on future generations of thriller writers.

The book will be published in hardback with a Foreword by Lee Child and unpublished MacLean material.

A TASTE FOR TREASON by Andrew Jeffrey to Birlinn

World Rights have been sold to Scottish publisher Birlinn for A TASTE FOR TREASON – Breaking Nazi Spy Rings in Europe and the United States by Dr. Andrew Jeffrey.

This is the dramatic, untold story of how a Nazi spy’s letter, posted in New York and intercepted in Scotland, broke spy rings across Europe and North America.

This story has never been told in its entirety and benefitting from forensic new research, the book follows parallel Nazi spy plots in the UK and USA as they converged on a Scottish post office in 1938 and triggered an unprecedented international counter-espionage investigation that kick-started today’s Anglo-American intelligence and security alliance.

It is set against a dramatic background of mounting international tension and shot through with spy fact and fiction staples such as seedy traitors, alluring femmes fatales, sinister Nazi thugs, Hollywood movie stars, violent deaths, and evocative locations.

Dr Andrew Jeffrey is an established author and historian who brings experience and authority to the project. Glasgow-born, he has a history Ph.D. from St Andrews University and has written academic papers, articles and features on military and maritime history. He undertakes regular speaking engagements and has worked in radio, television and on social media and is also a former sea fisherman, Royal Navy reservist and RNLI lifeboat coxswain. 

Birlinn Limited is an independent publishing house based in Edinburgh, Scotland established in 1992.

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING POIROT to St. Augustine’s Press

The Importance of Being PoirotUS Rights have gone to St. Augustine’s Press for Jeremy Black’s The Importance of Being Poirot.

Black offers a guided tour through the mind of Agatha Christie and life during the Great World Wars. Hercule Poirot as a character is masterfully imagined, but Black shows us how he is inseparable from Christie’s turbulent and changing world. He also illuminates significant social commentary in Christie’s fiction.

The book will be published in hardback from September 2021 with a delightful original painted artwork for its cover.

Deal News: BEHIND CLOSED DOORS – THE SECRET LIFE OF LONDON’S PRIVATE MEMBERS’ CLUBS by Seth Thévoz to Little, Brown

Little, Brown imprint Robinson, has acquired World English rights to the story of London’s hidden world of private members’ clubs.

With a keen eye for the juicy anecdote, Thévoz tells the fascinating and entertaining story of the rise, decline and resurgence of London’s Clubland, from the late-eighteenth century to the present day. If we think of these clubs as predominantly white, male and aristocratic, we could not be more wrong. Their true story is infinitely more interesting.

This is a chronicle, as informative as it is entertaining, of the ups and downs of London clubland, and how it had an impact on parts of the world far from London. It is packed with amusing anecdotes and illustrative examples of the growth of this quirky, unique institution, which grew to spread around the world. London, though, with its four hundred clubs, was always at the heart of this distinctively British form of leisure, across more than three centuries.

Thévoz is an investigative journalist specialising in corruption. His work has also appeared in the Observer and he has been a part-time research assistant to Michael Crick. Major stories he has worked on or broken include over-spending scandals around the 2016 EU referendum, the Cambridge Analytica–Facebook scandal, and the 2021 government ethics scandal. In 2020, he was shortlisted for a British Journalism Award for his investigative work with OpenDemocracy. His first book, Club Government, which was shortlisted for the Whitfield Prize, was praised by Ian Hislop as a ‘fascinating forensic study of the period’s networks of power’. He also contributes to Private Eye, allegedly. 

As the librarian at the National Liberal Club, he is a clubland insider. Behind Closed Doors is a distillation of a decade of research and writing on London’s clubs, based on exclusive behind-the-scenes access to archives and proceedings, as well as a love of gossip and scandal. 

Duncan Proudfoot, publishing director of Little, Brown’s Robinson imprint, said: ‘This promises to be a wonderfully entertaining book that will overturn everything we thought we knew about London’s clubs and reveal them for the unexpectedly varied yet still peculiarly British cultural institution that they have remained through over three centuries.

Seth Thévoz said: ‘I am thrilled to be signing up with Robinson. I’ve had this book in mind for a long time, drawing on over a decade of research, and getting to know the secrets and pressures of clubs from the inside. There’s a lot of lurid speculation around this hidden world; the truth is, if anything, even more bizarre.