Piccadilly Press is delighted to announce the acquisition of Watts & Whiskerton, an adorable highly illustrated series by Waterstones Children’s Book Prize shortlisted author–illustrator Meg McLaren. It will be Meg’s debut young-fiction series, and follows a dog and cat detective duo solving mysteries and making mischief.
Ella Whiddett, commissioning editor at Piccadilly Press, acquired World English rights in print, eBook and audio, securing a three-book deal from Alice Williams at Alice Williams Literary.
In the first book, Buried Bones and Troublesome Treasure, Watts doesn’t think he’s got what it takes to be a great detective like his parents. Until he befriends Pearl Whiskerton, a curious cat with a nose for mysteries, who persuades him to help her investigate a series of strange goings-on at Whiskerton Manor.
Meg McLaren said: ‘I’m so excited to be working on my first young-fiction series with Piccadilly Press. The team have been a joy to work with and I can’t wait for readers to meet my new detective duo. I hope they’ll enjoy solving the mysteries as much as I have enjoyed writing them.’
Ella Whiddett said: ‘Watts and Whiskerton are the most charming detectives I’ve ever had the good fortune to solve mysteries with! Working with Meg has been so fun and she has created a delightfully playful pastiche of the classic detective genre for a new young audience, full of gentle humour and gorgeous two-colour illustrations.’
Meg McLaren is an author–illustrator based in Inverness, Scotland. She has published multiple picture books, including Life Is Magic, which was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize in 2017, and most recently Wee Unicorn. Watts & Whiskerton is her debut fiction series for young readers. When she’s not up to her eyeballs in ink, Meg can usually be found on a very long walk, in front of a TV mystery or trying to convince her dog that it’s not dinner time yet. @MegfaceMcLaren
Watts & Whiskerton: Buried Bones and Troublesome Treasure will be publishing in September 2024, with the sequel following in 2025 and the third instalment coming in 2026.