Viking, Penguin Random House, has acquired The Secrets of Rochester Placea “spellbinding” historical mystery from Iris Costello. Commissioning editor Vikki Moynes acquired world English rights from Olivia Maidment. The novel will be published in December 2022. Iris Costello is the brand new pseudonym of novelist Nuala Ellwood, the author of two bestselling books: My Sisters Bones and The Day of the Accident.

The Secrets of Rochester Place is an evocative, intricately layered mystery following the intertwining stories of a young Basque girl as she flees civil war to 1930s London and a present-day emergency dispatch worker who unravels a long kept family secret, centering around a “quirky” Georgian house in Tooting. 

Vikki Moynes commented: “‘In The Secrets of Rochester Place, Iris has penned an utterly absorbing, atmospheric family drama with a riveting mystery at its core. From the very first page, I cared fiercely for these characters and was fascinated by the rich historical detail Iris artfully weaves through. We’re so excited to be publishing Iris and can’t wait for her readers to be swept away by this story of survival, belonging and of ordinary people defying the odds.” 

“Having the opportunity to write historical fiction for Viking Penguin with The Secrets of Rochester Place has been an absolute joy for me,” Iris Costello added. “I can’t wait for readers to discover the magic and wonder of this mysterious house and its enchanting inhabitants.”

Olivia Maidment said: “The Secrets of Rochester Place is a beautiful, evocative novel and an incredibly exciting new direction for bestselling author Nuala Ellwood. I’m so pleased that this new stream of Nuala’s writing has found its perfect home with her long-term publisher, Viking, with Vikki at the helm.”