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Yesterday’s announcement that Harry Potter author is publishing her first adult novel this year sent shockwaves through the fandom.

Many questions are still left unanswered: What’s the title? Is it a series? What’s the release date? What’s the genre? Today, a little light MAY be shed on the latter question.

The Guardian has rounded up a few comments from insiders and looked at her her editor at Little, Brown to conclude it’s likely to be in the mystery/crime genre:

But yesterday’s (detail-free) announcement about her new book for adults gives a vital clue that she’s been writing a crime novel. It has the fingerprints all over it of the hugely respected editor David Shelley, a man who counts Dennis Lehane, Val McDermid, Carl Hiaasen and Mark Billingham amongst his authors and who comes from a background steeped in crime and thriller writing. And now he’s going to be editing Rowling’s new book.

I met Shelley five years ago when I was writing a profile of him for the Bookseller. He’d already made quite a mark on publishing: he was publishing director of Allison & Busby at just 23. An independent press strong in crime and thriller writing, Shelley dragged A&B back into profit, introducing a line of library hardback crime novels and eventually catching the eye of Little, Brown, which he joined as editorial director for crime and thrillers.

Today, he’s publisher. He’s created a host of thriller bestsellers: Panic by Jeff Abbott, The Shakespeare Secret by JL Carrell, The Brutal Art by Jesse Kellerman. He’s taken over editing major brand-name (crime) authors including Billingham, Nelson DeMille and Duncan Falconer.

Winning Rowling for Little, Brown, though, is his greatest coup yet. All we know at the moment about the new book is that it’s “very different to Harry”, as Rowling tweeted this morning. (This “cover” on her agent’s website gives even less away). Knowing her fondness for crime writing (Dorothy L Sayers is “queen of the genre”, she’s said in the past), and taking Shelley’s background into account, I’m going to stick my neck out and say it’s a mystery. Not a slasher thriller sort of a book, more a Poirot-esque detective story.

The crime world is all aflutter at the prospect, in any event. “Wouldn’t it be funny if JK Rowling’s first novel for adults turned out to be a crime story set in Edinburgh? My word yes,” tweeted Ian Rankin. “Might explain why she left the neighbourhood (me, McCall Smith, Atkinson near-neighbours) and moved across town … She’s certainly a fan of the traditional whodunit.”

“Nice to see that JK Rowling has such good taste in editors. I guess I’m willing to share David Shelley… Do you think her choice of Mr David means she’s writing a thriller/crime novel?” wondered McDermid, adding: “If Mr David inspires JKR the way he does me, we’re in for something rather tasty.”

All these details are very exciting!

Now that you’ve taken this evidence into account, do you think it’s a mystery/crime?

  • http://twitter.com/mariaggonzalez Maria Gonzalez

    Ah, that’s my least favorite genre, but I’m sure Jo will change my mind.

    • Lily

      No doubt about it. 

  • http://www.twitter.com/morgan_burt Morgan Burt

    Didn’t Jo herself essentially tell us that it would be in this genre…years ago?

    • http://benchpressabear.tumblr.com Joan

      I don’t know about “years ago”, but she definitely had mentioned it before. In all fairness, she did mentioned other things too. 

    • Katcolado11

      Was going to say the same thing.  Yes, I remember her stating that in an interview after Deathly Hallows was released.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrew-Nguyen/100002019886179 Andrew Nguyen

        in the half-blooded prince special edition dvd the special features came with a short documentary of her writing the last harry potter book im pretty sure that near the end it said she was writing again and it was going to be mystery…. idk this is from the top of my mind

    • Lucia

      she has mentioned the idea of doing a crime novel in the past, but she also mentioned doing a ‘political fairytale’ and other such things too. There’s no indication if this is actually one of those ideas, but either way they will release info when they think it’s fitting.

  • http://dervish-banges.tumblr.com Tariq

    She’s already quite good at mystery and suspense. The Harry Potter books without mystery would be “Harry Potter and His Crazy Professor” or “Harry Potter Fights the Heir of Slytherin” Without mystery these books would definitely be just more action and teen angst and no “Who is R.A.B?! WHY DID SNAPE KILL HIM!? Oh lord he’s not a…NO HARRY DON’T DIE.”

    • http://twitter.com/Tygridia tygridia

      It would be twilight

      • LilyLuna

        No. She’s still Queen Rowling, that’s far too much of a down-grade.

        • http://twitter.com/Tygridia tygridia

          You’re right! Silly me…

  • http://twitter.com/jameswb94 James Bolan

    Yeah didn’t she even say something regarding the mystery genre towards the end of the “Year in the Life” documentary, even? Or am I imagining that? 

    • Guest

      no, i think she did!

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gavin-Walsh/100000260589961 Gavin Walsh
        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joey-Mangum/1820064015 Joey Mangum

          So, she didn’t… I just watched it back in its entirety… Just talk of the fairy tale…

  • Guest


  • Zgalpaz

    That’s good, if it’s like Poirot -which is kinda the French Holmes- it’s going to be good. I like Holmes

    • Lilac Dolphin

      Poirot. Is. From. Belgium. But, I like Poirot and Holmes. High Five! XD

      • LilyLuna

        Thank. You. :)

        I’m glad I’m not the only person who’d have spotted that. XD

  • http://twitter.com/JCman7 James Donnellon

    I was hoping it was going to be a mystery! 

  • http://twitter.com/Bubblybeing Bubbly

    If it’s mystery/crime, which I believe is likely, I hope that

    a) it deals with politics
    b) the characters are extremely interesting and well-rounded

    Otherwise I’ll have to opt out of this one because mystery/crime is hardly a favorite genre of mine, and even if it was I’m a bit fed up those kind of novels. They’re everywhere lately (where I live at least)

  • http://twitter.com/lookalivesteph Stephanie

    Sounds exciting! Can’t wait to read more from Jo.

  • Gary65

    I always thought JK Rowling was like a supernatural Agatha Christie. now she’s the regular Agatha Christie too xD 

  • Turbo

    Her new book will totes be the new Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series.

  • moonshoespotter1712

    interesting!! :) i’m not that into ordinary family dramas or stuff like that so this is exciting. :)

  • 7Starrchasers

    I knew it….dunno how but I did…either way, I’ll still pre-order it!

  • Lucy

    To be honest, I wasn’t too excited when Rowling announced she has written a new adult novel. But mystery/crime is one of my favourite genre, so if this is true, I will definitely read it and try to get every single person I know to read it!

  • Angry birds

    Im playing angry birds right now

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