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Black & White to publish sequel in Johnson’s ‘addictive’ mystery series 

Black & White Publishing, the flagship commercial imprint of Bonnier Books UK’s Black & White Publishing Group, is to publish Hell’s Bells by Jill Johnson, the second novel in her Professor Eustacia Rose Mystery series. 

Campbell Brown, executive publisher at Black & White, acquired World English rights from Anna Soler-Pont at Pontas Literary and Film Agency. 

In this sequel to the tantalising Devil’s Breath, Professor Eustacia Rose is back to solve another murder using her extensive knowledge of botany.

Eustacia Rose’s life is beginning to return to normal; she is back teaching at UCL and her relationship with Matilde is blossoming. Until a man is found dead with a needle in his neck and some people seem to know more about the killing than they let on. The threat to Eustacia only increases when a PhD student harasses her to gain access to her poisonous plant collection, only for him to contact an illegal lab selling synthetic toxins, before turning up dead shortly after… As the body count rises, Eustacia has no choice but to investigate the deaths in earnest. 

The sequel to a novel acclaimed by authors such as Jessica Fellowes (The Mitford Murder series), Esther Freud (I Couldn’t Love You More) and Salena Godden (Mrs. Death Misses Death); Hell’s Bells will have you entangled in this addictive, dark academia mystery.

Jill Johnson said: “I am absolutely delighted that Black and White Publishing has given me the opportunity to bring the second Professor Eustacia Rose Mystery: Hell’s Bells to readers. I really hope they enjoy the development of this quirky, awkward, brilliant character, and root for her as she attempts to rebuild her reputation, grapple with relationships, confront her past… oh, and solve a couple of murders!”

Campbell Brown said: “We’re thrilled to be back working with Jill Johnson in this exciting next chapter with Professor Eustacia Rose. After the fantastic response to Devil’s Breath, alongside it being a BBC 2 Between the Covers pick, we can’t wait for readers to return to this addictive mystery series in Hell’s Bells.” 

Jill Johnson is a Māori writer based in the U.K, having lived in Southeast Asia, Europe and New Zealand. She moved to London when she was eighteen and the following year opened Gosh! Comics. Alongside this, she and her partner launched a graphic novel company, publishing, amongst others, the work of Alan Moore, Robert Crumb and Gilbert Shelton. Whilst running her businesses and raising her three children, Jill obtained a BA Hons degree in Ornamental Horticulture and Design. In 2013, she submitted her writing to Faber and Faber, and was accepted into the Faber Academy. Her first novel The Time Before the Time to Come was published in 2018. 

Hell’s Bells will be published 4 July 2024. 

Author photo by Charlotte Macpherson