Polygon has acquired World rights for The Malt Whisky Murders by debut crime author Natalie Jayne Clark. The deal was brokered by Jenny Brown of Jenny Brown Associates, who said: ‘Natalie wowed everyone at Bloody Scotland with her fabulous pitch, and within a week of the festival we had a pre-emptive offer from Polygon. We’re thrilled to be working with the team to bring this fresh, distinctive crime novel to readers.’ The Malt Whisky Murders will be published in early 2025.
‘The 100-word pitch to Bloody Scotland – and then the first page of the first chapter alone – were enough for me. I’m delighted to welcome Natalie to Polygon’s crime list. Whisky, a queer-owned distillery in Campbeltown, ghostly visions and two corpses pickled in a barrel: what’s not to like?’Polygon’s senior editor, Alison Rae
Natalie: ‘This is an absolute dream come true. To go from an idea, to pitching to a room of agents and publishers at Bloody Scotland, to gaining a wonderful agent and book deal in a very short space of time has been a glorious whirlwind of joy. I’m thrilled to embark on this literary journey with Polygon and to work with such an incredible team. I can’t wait to share Eilidh and Morag’s (mis)adventures in whisky and love and murder with the world.’
When a dilapidated whisky distillery comes up for sale in Campbeltown, a place once hailed ‘Whisky Capital of the World’, Eilidh and her wife Morag jump at the chance to run the first women-owned whisky distillery in Scotland. But a grisly, decades-old secret is soon revealed: two dead bodies have been stuffed into whisky barrels, perfectly preserved in single malt. To add to their woes, a TV crew has just arrived, and the locals won’t leave them alone.
There are several close calls for the women as well as whisky tastings, ceilidhs, protests, scandals and everything you’d expect from a wee Scottish town imprisoned by its own geography. No matter how hard you try, the locals will always find out your secrets.
Natalie Jayne Clark is a neurodivergent writer, editor and producer based in Perth. Natalie writes for SNACK Magazine, is the Assistant Producer for StAnza Poetry Festival, and works across the arts and culture industry in a variety of roles. Her poetry can be found in anthologies from Flapjack Press, Speculative Books, and Open Book, and she has won several poetry slams. She is also a certified whisky ambassador and is partial to a Springbank or a Bruichladdich.