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The Group Captain And The Lady

In an uncharacteristically exciting and surprisingly "out of left field" move, the Threadbone Press's main crime imprint - Crimeshelf - has acquired the rights to Suffolk author Crola Haress's East Anglian-based "Cavendish Murder Mystery" series.

A new lease of life. Crola Haress's The Group Captain and the Lady series have been treated to a Threadbone Press's Crimeshelf imprint makeover in the hope of promoting better sales.

Administrators for the previous publisher - the now bankrupt and wholly defunct Permanently Reliable Press Group Ltd - recently offered copyright in the series - alongside that of all other titles previously owned by the Permanently Reliable Press Group - to all-comers in what was described by industry insiders as a publishing fire sale. It is thought to be the first time that the Threadbone Press - a hitherto resolutely Dorset-focused publishing house which boasts amongst its stable of authors the likes of Doug Graves, Gordon Tanqueray, Emmas Roid, Quintus Remus, Polly Anthus, Maisy Darling, Agatha Panthus and Locke D Roome - has strayed into "foreign" author territory. Part of a wider post-Drexit initiative designed to extend the Threadbone Press's global reach, one observer described the move as "high risk" in a CONTRIK-69-dominated landscape, especially given that "no-one has been allowed to acquire a book for more than a year, whilst the prospect of the ban on non-essential reading being lifted at any time before 2026 remains a pipe-dream". As another professional observer of the industry observed of the venture, "It's only an observation but I would venture to say that the professional observant would think it worth observing that this is an odd time to be venturing into new ventures of this kind - at least that's my observation and one I would venture as an experienced professional observer of the industry and ventures like it."

Featuring the detective duo known, enigmatically, as the Group Captain and the Lady, the series has attracted widespread critical acclaim since it first appeared in 2019. Despite the fact that the Permanent Press's antiquated - and frankly inept - marketing department's efforts have meant that print runs have been limited to fewer than 30 copies, the titles' new owner believes there is scope for much higher sales and even for TV and Film adaptations. The style of the novels has been described as Agatha Raisin meets Midsomer Murders via Aurora Teagarden crossed with Inspector Morse, Father Brown and "that one set in the Caribbean - you know the one with the lizard". Casting, however, will not be easy: "everyone will have their idea about what the Group Captain and the Lady look like and who they are based on", says Threadbone Press Merger and Acquisitions Manager Mi'chelle Kompany. "Perhaps we should have a reader's competition to decide who plays them in the TV series".

ALL OUT: The Threadbone Press has spared little effort [but not much cash] in its radical make-over.


Who do you think should play The Group Captain and the Lady? Answers on a postcard to: The Group Captain and the Lady Fantasy Casting Competition, c/o The Competition Office, The Threadbone Press, Great Heaving, Dorset.

The winner will be invited to afternoon tea with a "local" inhabitant of the delightful village of Cavendish [travel expenses not included] and have the chance to play sleuth in a specially-devised "spot the author" game held in the actual locations mentioned in the books.

Competition - as well as lockdown - rules apply - see website for details. The winner will be announced once a sufficient number of people have read the books and entered the competition and/or when sufficient funds are available and eating in company is properly licensed by the RDC/Suffolk Constabulary's CONTRIK-69 Comestible Consumption Enforcement Team. Don't hold your breath [Ed].

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