Corvus acquires Grave Expectations by Alice Bell

19th July 2022

Corvus Publishing Director Sarah Hodgson has acquired UK and Commonwealth rights (excl Canada) in Alice Bell’s ghost-filled cosy crime caper Grave Expectations as part of a two-book deal from Stevie Finegan at Zeno. North American rights were sold to Anna Kaufman at PRH. Grave Expectations will be published as a Corvus lead title in May 2023 in hardback, trade paperback and ebook, and in paperback in October 2023.

Alice Bell is the deputy editor of Rock Paper Shotgun, a popular PC gaming website, and in 2019 she was named one of the 100 most influential women in the UK games industry.
She grew up in Southwest England, and after spending several years in London now lives in Cork, Ireland.

How do you solve a murder when the ghost of a 17-year-old keeps telling you you’re doing it wrong?

Claire Hendricks is a hapless 30-something true crime fan treading water in the gig economy working as a medium. When she is invited to an old university friend’s country pile to provide entertainment for a family party, her best friend Sophie tags along. In fact, Sophie rarely leaves Claire’s side, because she’s been haunting her ever since she was murdered at the age of 17.

When the pair arrive at The Cloisters, they find themselves drawn to a tragic and unrecognizable ghost, clearly an unquiet spirit who met an untimely end. Teaming up with the least unbearable members of the Wellington-Forge family – depressive ex-cop Basher and teenage reactionary Alex – Claire and Sophie determine to figure out not just whodunnit, but who they killed, why and when.

Together they must race against incompetence to find the murderer before the murderer finds them, in this funny, modern, media-literate debut mystery for the My Favourite Murder generation.

Alice Bell says,

“I’m so looking forward to waking the dead with Corvus and PRH in 2023 and beyond. To see Grave Expectations published at all is almost unbelievable, let alone getting to work with editors as smart and passionate as Sarah and Anna, who have helped bring Claire and Sophie to life (and un-life) in ways I never expected. It’s very invigorating to be so supported in my efforts to put more swearing, crying, and falling over into cosy crime.”

Sarah Hodgson, Publishing Director, Corvus, says,

“I absolutely adored Grave Expectations from the first line – it’s a murder mystery that is full of heart and humour, filled with memorable and relatable characters you can’t help but root for despite their flaws and foibles. It reads like the perfect mash-up of ‘Ghosts’ and ‘Knives Out’. I couldn’t be happier to be working with the clever, funny and hugely talented Alice Bell on this incredibly entertaining and endearing new series.”