Canelo have acquired a new 18th Century historical crime series by Douglas Skelton.

January 27, 2022

Assistant Editor Kit Nevile has acquired world English language rights to a new historical mystery series by Douglas Skelton from Jo Bell of Bell Lomax Moreton Agency in a three-book deal. 

Set in the early 1700s, the suspense-filled series begins with An Honourable Thief. It is 1715, and Great Britain is alive with a rumour that Queen Anne, upon her death bed, inscribed a secret will promising the nation to her half-brother James, instead of George I of Hanover. With Jacobite rebels, James’s supporters, massing across the border, those in power know that they must uncover the truth to restore order. Enter Jonas Flynt: thief, gambler, killer, and man of honour. 

An unwilling member of a top-secret intelligence group, the Company of Rogues, Jonas is ordered to recover the document, if it exists, whatever the cost. The trail takes him from London to the Edinburgh of his childhood where he is embroiled in a long overdue family reunion, a street riot, jail break and a lynching before he can find the answers he seeks - not just about the missing will, but the dark secrets of his past.

Douglas Skelton has published twelve non fiction books and ten crime thrillers. He has been a bank clerk, tax officer, shelf stacker, meat porter, taxi driver (for two days), wine waiter (for two hours), reporter, investigator and local newspaper editor. Thunder Bay, a dark and atmospheric tale of secrets, lies and murder on a Scottish island, was published to great acclaim in 2019, and was longlisted for the McIlvanney Prize. Douglas contributes to true crime shows on TV and radio and is a regular on the crime writing festival circuit.

Kit Nevile says: ‘It is a very difficult task to combine a rapier-sharp mystery plot with a historical setting that feels both deeply realistic and wholly authentic. Douglas has achieved this expertly, in a novel that I was absolutely blown away by. His characterisation is exceptional, as is his world building, and from the murky depths of London’s cutthroat back alleys, to the terrible, raucous clamour of the Edinburgh gallows, we follow a fascinating collection of people and a wonderfully original tale. I’m absolutely thrilled to be working with Douglas to bring this fantastic new series to publication.’

Douglas Skelton says: ‘The idea for the Flynt Adventures occurred to me when I read a single line that mentioned Queen Anne and a mysterious letter that she penned to her half-brother. Over time this grew into An Honourable Thief. I’m delighted that my agent Jo Bell, Kit and the team at Canelo are confident that Jonas is a series character and I’m looking forward to seeing his adventures reaching readers.’

An Honourable Thief will be published in October, 2022, in ebook and paperback, with Death of a Justice to follow in June 2023 and book three in Winter 2024. For more information please contact elinor@canelo.co