Back to News & Media

2 min read

First ever ‘gridlocked’ murder mystery snapped up by Zaffre

Zaffre, the flagship fiction imprint of Bonnier Books UK, has acquired the first ever ‘gridlocked’ murder mystery by Jo Furniss. 

Senior Commissioning Editor Kelly Smith acquired world English language rights from Jordan Lees at The Blair Partnership. Smith bought 4 books in total in a six-figure deal.

Dead Mile is set on a motorway during rush hour and is perfect for fans of Belinda Bauer and Ruth Ware. Sergeant Belinda ‘Billy’ Kidd is driving home from the airport, jet-lagged and ready to resign from a career that has left her traumatised. Menopause has robbed her confidence too – now she’s a traffic cop who’s afraid to drive. When brake lights haemorrhage up the motorway, the cars grind to a halt. Moments later she finds a dead driver in a black sedan…

Kelly Smith said: ‘Jo’s whip-smart writing took me to the fast lane as I raced through Dead Mile on submission. It’s the most relatable locked-room mystery I’ve ever read and I’m so thrilled to be steering this through to publication.’

Jo Furniss said: ‘Writing Dead Mile was a fun ride, especially when it delivered me to a new publishing home at Bonnier Books UK. Kelly Smith and the whole team have championed this novel and its irascible narrator, Sergeant Belinda ‘Billy’ Kidd. I’m excited to see where a journey of four books will take us.’

Jo Furniss is originally from the UK, but spent much of her adult life overseas, living in Cameroon, Switzerland and Singapore – now back in England. Her novels include the survival thriller, All the Little Children, which was an Amazon Chart bestseller in the UK and US. Jo has contributed short stories to the Afraid of the Light anthology series, which was nominated for the CWA Dagger Awards in 2021/22, and raised thousands of pounds for British charities. A former BBC broadcast journalist, Jo also writes for the award-winning SHORT HISTORY OF podcast from Noiser Productions.

Dead Mile will be published in paperback, audio and eBook on 4th July 2024.