Margie Orford signs with Head of Zeus

WATER MUSIC final cover front.png

Published to acclaim in South Africa by Jonathan Ball, Margie Orford's entire Clare Hart series has been acquired  in the UK by Laura Palmer of Head of Zeus,  in a deal brokered by Isobel Dixon. Head of Zeus will publish the fourth title in the series, GALLOWS HILL, in 2014, accompanied by the re-issued backlist. This will be followed by the fifth Clare Hart book, WATER MUSIC, which is just out in South Africa from Jonathan Ball.

Laura Palmer of Head of Zeus says: 'Margie Orford is a brilliant, sophisticated crime writer dealing with universal themes in an unusual setting. At Head of Zeus, we're looking forward to publishing all of her novels with fabulous new packaging, and bringing Clare Hart to a wider British readership.'

Margie Orford says: 'I am delighted that the Clare Hart series has found such a stylish home in Head of Zeus and  it will  be such a pleasure to be working with Laura Palmer again.'

Isobel Dixon, Margie's agent, says: 'Readers who've loved the suspense and flair of Margie's novels, and the stormy relationship between heroine Clare Hart and cop Riedwaan Faizal, will be happy to know there's more in store soon. Laura Palmer and the excellent Head of Zeus team have exciting plans for Margie Orford in 2014.'

Margie Orford, has been described as 'the Queen of South African Crime Fiction' - the Clare Hart series has been published in France, Germany, Holland, Spain, Russia and the Czech Republic. She was born in London and grew up in Namibia, the setting for BLOOD ROSE, the second novel in the series, which is also optioned for film. A Fulbright Scholar, she was educated in South Africa and the United States. She is Executive Vice-President of South African PEN, the patron of Rape Crisis and of the children's book charity, the Little Hands Trust. She lives in Cape Town.

Praise for Margie Orford:

'Margie Orford writes with great human insight, at times with poetic beauty, and always the ever-present deep, dark undertow of menace.' - Peter James

'The queen of South African crime thriller writers.' - Sue Grant-Marshall, The Weekender

Praise for GALLOWS HILL (Shortlisted for Herman Charles Bosman Prize 2012):

'Published to much acclaim, and it's understandable why. Orford's fourth Claire Hart thriller is the fastest most compelling read of them all.' - Mike Nicol, Books Live

'Orford's fourth Clare Hart thriller offers a superbly packaged, high-energy tale of murder, mass graves, corruption, cover-ups, crooked politicians, smuggling and gangsters. … A complex and intelligent plot unfolds at just the right pace, making this book very difficult to put down. I now have a new favorite crime author.' - James Retief, Cape Times

'Margie Orford's pacy dialogue and expert twist of the genre's base elements is masterful. GALLOWS HILL is the fourth book in the Clare Hart series and a great reason for any crime thriller fan to acquire the preceding titles.' - Nicole Roughley, Fairlady Magazine

For further rights queries contact Isobel Dixon:
For PR queries contact Becci Sharpe:

GALLOWS HILL and LOST GROUND on the Herman Charles Bosman Prize shortlist

LOST GROUND SA front cover.jpg

Media24 Books has announced the shortlists for its 2012 Literary Awards. Celebrating literary excellence, these prizes are awarded annually to South African authors and Margie Orford's GALLOWS HILL and Michiel Heyns' LOST GROUND have both been shortlisted for the Herman Charles Bosman Prize for English literature. Finuala Dowling's HOMEMAKING FOR THE DOWN AT HEART is also shortlisted for the prize.

The winners will be announced at an award ceremony on Friday, 8 June 2012.

Margie Orford's Clare Hart series has been translated into Czech, French, Dutch, Spanish, Russian and German. Michiel Heyns's novels are published in the US, France, and Holland.

Praise for Margie Orford and GALLOWS HILL:
'Margie Orford is the queen of South African crime thriller writers…The energy Margie Orford creates between her characters and the tautness of her plots is attracting new readers and publishers every month.' -- Sue Grant-Marshall, The Weekender

'Orford plots so brilliantly that to stop reading is as harrowing as to carry on.' -- Jake Kerridge, Daily Telegraph

'I'm a crime thriller junkie, and GALLOWS HILL fulfilled all the fixes I needed. … This was the first time, I had read this author, and won't be the last.' -- Elaine Ash, Pretoria News

'Margie Orford's pacy dialogue and expert twist of the genre's base elements is masterful. GALLOWS HILL is the fourth book in the Clare Hart series and a great reason for any crime thriller fan to acquire the preceding titles.' -- Nicole Roughley, Fairlady Magazine

Praise for Michiel Heyns and LOST GROUND:
'Michiel Heyns is part magician, part juggler and fine linguist.' -- Jane Rosenthal, Mail & Guardian

'LOST GROUND is a superbly crafted and compelling portrayal of loss and discovery. Heyns writes with absolute honesty, exploring the human condition with deep compassion and wit. His story transcends the confines of a small-town location to expose the innate insecurities that determine all of our relationships, struck through with irony and regret. Heyns writes with such grace and dignity, he deserves our praise and unqualified envy.' -- Andrew Brown

'LOST GROUND is the novel Michiel Heyns was always going to write: one that brings together all his many talents - a highly pedigreed writing style…brilliantly witty satire, a nuanced and convincing rendering of place, people and time, a gay counter-narrative, and the type of dialogue that only a committed eavesdropper can produce.  It is, in short, the best of THE CHILDREN'S DAY combined with the best of THE RELUCTANT PASSENGER, THE TYPEWRITER'S TALE and BODIES POLITIC…Without obviously "ticking boxes", Heyns knows just how to characterise contemporary South Africa…Whether you read it as a whodunit or as a portrait of the nation, LOST GROUND is utterly compelling - exquisitely written, profound, hilarious and hauntingly familiar.' -- Finuala Dowling,

'On the surface a gripping story of jealousy, lust, racial conflict and murder, LOST GROUND lays bare the struggle of a man to resist his past and its implications. A powerful tale of complicity, lost friendship and the lengths to which people go to protect themselves from truths that might destroy them.' -- Charles Lambert, author of LITTLE MONSTERS and ANY HUMAN FACE.