Book of the Month: Only We Know by Karen Perry

9781405913133We’re excited to announce our November book of the month, the thrilling second novel from Karen Parry, Only We Know.  We loved Karen’s bestselling debut, The Boy That Never Was, and the dark twists and atmospheric writing of Only We Know make it the perfect crime novel for a dark winter evening.

In 1982, on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday beneath the stifling heat of the midday sun, three children start a game that ends in tragedy.

Now, thirty years later, Nick, Luke and Katie are estranged, yet still bound together by the dark truth of what happened at the river that day.

Except some secrets won’t stay buried.

And when Luke suddenly vanishes and the threatening messages begin, it seems that the strings of the past are tightening around them all. Because someone else knows what they did and is intent on seeking justice, at any cost . . .

Only We Know will be published in paperback by Penguin Books on December 3rd 2015.  For more about our book of the month and the author, follow Karen Perry on Twitter (@KarenPerryBooks) and on Facebook.

Discovery Day Online

On the 26th November (just a few weeks away, now), we’re running our very first Discovery Day Online – a unique event we’re very excited about.

On the day, authors, readers, and anyone with an interest in the publishing world, will be able to pitch book ideas to us, get writing tips from Curtis Brown Creative, ask the agents at Curtis Brown and Conville & Walsh questions about the route to publication, and (our favourite, of course) join in with a live Twitter book group session with author Rachel Hore.

The whole day will take place on Twitter, and each event throughout the day will have its own hashtag, which you can add to your tweet to join the conversation. Feeling confused? Here’s our handy guide…


9am – 1pm

Your monthly chance to pitch directly to agents is back – just use the hashtag to get your pitch read by our agents.


1pm – 2pm

We’ll be reading The Silent Tide, a book set in the world of publishing, and have copies to give away if you’d like to join in on the day. All you have to do is let us know what your favourite book group book is on Twitter, using #DiscoveryDay, to win one of 10 copies we have to give away.


2pm – 3.30pm

Anna Davis, director of Curtis Brown Creative, along with published alumni Antonia Honeywell and Kate Hamer, will be tweeting writing tips and taking your questions about character, plot, genre, title, structure, style…well, anything you want to ask about your writing.


3.30pm – 5pm

Your chance to ask our agents questions about anything from pitching and submitting to self publishing and their favourite book this year. We’re all ears.

We hope you’ll be able to join us on the day. If you have any questions in advance, do email us on

‘On the Trail of Mary Renault’ by Gordon Wise

IMG_5521“Ten years ago I became Mary Renault’s literary agent and, by a quirk of her will, one of her literary executors.  Mary had died in 1983, but somehow I felt I had to try to get to know her.  It was a journey that began in Oxford and ended in South Africa – a bit like Mary’s own life.  She was both strong willed and a private person, and when she died instructed that all her papers be burned.  But she had passed over some documents to her biographers David Sweetman and Caroline Zilboorg, and these notes, together with taped interviews, are now housed in the archives of her old college, St Hugh’s in Oxford – together with some wonderful correspondence with one or two of her contemporaries over the course of five decades (St Hugh’s now own Mary’s copyrights.)  From a publishing perspective, Penguin’s archives at the University of Reading provided fascinating reading: it seems there was rarely a jacket design that there wasn’t a bit of a tussle over, not to mention cover copy. And looking at the annual correspondence written on aerogrammes and sent from London to Cape Town and vice versa, it becomes clear that at one time she was crossed over editorial matters: the hurt and fallout that followed from this meant that such a thing could never happen again.

I wrote about the work Curtis Brown and her new publishers, Virago and Open Road, have undertaken to enable the rediscovery of Mary’s work in a blog piece that was published for the tenth anniversary of her death, and reading that will join some more of the dots for you.  And it tells of how I ended my journey on a trip to Cape Town, where Mary moved to escape the restrictions of postwar Britain.  I felt that a very special voyage of rediscovery had come full circle after I drove past where her house had been, in a commanding position on a cliff overlooking the majestic sweep of Camp’s Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, to meet her former lawyer, who had been the son of her doctor.  He mixed me a very strong gin and tonic, and sat me down on a very particular chair under a striking picture.  That painting, he said, belonged to Mary.  And that was her chair.  I hope you enjoy discovering her work as much as I enjoyed that moment, and discovering her.”

The Last of the Wine, our book of the month, is published in the UK by Virago Modern Classics.  Follow Virago Press on Twitter at @ViragoBooks.