Farshore has snapped up a two-book deal in a three-way auction for A Skeleton in the Closet, the first of the new middle grade detective series by debut author Claire Hatcher-Smith, illustrated by Lester McGoogan.

Set to publish in paperback in March 2025, A Skeleton in the Closet follows Mizzy spending summer with cousins who have outgrown her, making her feel more sidelined than usual. Upon discovering great aunt Jane’s diaries in a locked wardrobe, everything changes when she learns that her aunt didn’t die in her sleep but under suspicious circumstances by the involvement of a family member. Under the guise of a family-tree school project and armed with a new set of Pipsqueak markers, it’s Mizzy’s chance to prove herself to her cousins – and the world. The second book will follow its publication in March 2026.

Claire shared that “Mizzy is a little bit of every child with Down’s Syndrome I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with (and learn from) over the years and I’m thrilled she’s found a home with such an amazing international team. I can’t wait for her to show us all that no one should ever be underestimated.” 

Chloe Seager, Director of Children’s & YA commented “Move over, Miss Marple! Mizzy has my entire heart and I can’t wait for the rest of the world to fall for her, too.”

Lucy Courtenay, senior commissioning editor who acquired the UK & Commonwealth Rights added that “This neurodivergent middle-grade love letter to Miss Marple is a joy” and the “twisty plotting and endearing characters are a genuine delight.”

Claire is a speech and language therapist who has worked with children over thirty years. She believes every child has the right to be seen and heard, even if, especially when, it makes other people uncomfortable.

We’re thrilled the series has found a home and we can’t wait to join Mizzy on her investigation! Read the full article here.