About the agency

Robert Smith Literary Agency Limited was set up in 1997 to seek out quality non-fiction authors with original and well researched book ideas. We work closely with our authors to develop their books, so that they have strong editorial and commercial appeal, enabling us to obtain the best possible advances and terms from publishers.


As long-standing members of AAA (The Association of Authors’ Agents), we are up-to-date with the latest industry intelligence to further and protect our authors’ interests.


Agency News

2022 / 2023


2022 was another hectic and successful year for the agency, and 2023 is going the same way.  We’ve sold publishing rights in nearly all the titles we have offered to publishers.  And the extraordinary demand from TV production companies for documentary and dramatic rights in our books continues unabated.  Nine titles were optioned or greenlit for production in just 2022 alone.


Book News


Chrissy Handy’s Seduced by a Sociopath was published by HarperCollins in June 2022.  It’s the story of Chrissy’s relationship with a master conman, Alexander de Rothschild-Hatton, and how she became his nemesis, resulting in his receiving an 18-year prison sentence.


Stonehouse: Cabinet Minister, Fraudster, Spy by Julian Hayes was published in paperback by Robinson / Little, Brown in September 2022.  In November 1974, John Stonehouse walked into the sea and disappeared, seemingly drowned.  Stonehouse family member, Julian Hayes, writes this definitive story of political intrigue, Cold War spying, financial fraud and marital treachery.


Roberta Kray’s 20th crime novel for Little, Brown, Hunted, was published in paperback in March 2023.  As always with Roberta’s novels, readers can expect a labyrinthine story with a cast of intriguing characters, and a shocking resolution that will thrill her fans.  Little, Brown have now commissioned a new two-book deal, taking her up to publication in 2025.


Nicholas James’s hilarious tales of bizarre experiences and eccentric clients as a London plumber, Pipe Dreams: Secret Diaries of a Neighbourhood Plumber, was published by Ad Lib in March 2023.


Doyenne of crime non-fiction, Carol Ann Lee, has chosen to write her new book on a very unusual subject, for publication in May 2023 by John Blake / Bonnier.  Something Wicked: The Lives, Crimes and Deaths of the Pendle Witches, takes us back to the famous 17th century witch trials in Lancashire.  For the first time, Carol presents the true characters and real lives of the women themselves, and the brutal way the law dealt with them.


We are delighted that Orion has commissioned a second book from Dave Berridge on his hair-raising experiences as a long-serving prison officer in HMS Parkhurst and HMS Albany.  It follows his No. 5 Sunday Times bestseller Inside Parkhurst in 2021.  Publication will be in summer 2023.


Orion has also commissioned for mid-2023 publication Steve Gallant’s extraordinary memoir, The Road to London Bridge, which culminates in 2019 with his courageous confronting of the terrorist, Usman Khan, who had killed two innocent people in Fishmongers’ Hall and others as he tried to flee along London Bridge.  In March 2023, Steve was awarded a Queen’s Gallantry Medal in the last list to be approved by the late Queen.  He tracks his remarkable progress from being a convicted murderer to renouncing all forms of violence, and since prison has dramatically turned his life around.


How To Catch A Killer by Dr Angela Gallop and Chris Gregg, is a breakthrough book on effective crime-busting by one of the UK’s best-known forensic scientists in collaboration with the former head of West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team.  John Blake / Bonnier has commissioned it for publication in Spring 2024.


Listed by Ad Lib for the same publication period is Sex, Lies and JFK: The Kennedys and the Hollywood Secret Police by former detective with LA’s Organized Crime Intelligence Division, Mike Rothmiller, with Douglas Thompson.


TV and Film News


A documentary based on Stonehouse: Cabinet Minister, Fraudster, Spy by Julian Hayes was screened on ITV in early January 2023.  It followed the third part of the drama series, Stonehouse, starring Matthew Macfadyen and Keeley Hawes, on which Julian was a consultant.


ITV 1 has cast Anna Maxwell Martin as Delia Balmer, who was very nearly murdered by serial killer John Sweeney, played by Endeavour actor Shaun Evans. She bravely fought him off and brought him to justice.  Based on Delia’s book Living With A Serial Killer, the four-part drama will be aired by the Channel on successive nights in late Autumn 2023 / January 2024.  Delia will also appear in a tie-in ITV documentary, to be aired on the last night.


Dead in the Water, Penny Farmer’s book about the murder of her brother and his girlfriend by serial killer, Silas Boston, off the coast of Belize on 4th July 1978, was published in 2018 by John Blake / Bonnier.  A 3-part documentary series has been greenlit by one of the major streamers for screening in late 2023.


Also greenlit for production is a major documentary series based on Killing Time by Karl Williams and Justin Penrose.  Karl describes his horrific ordeals while incarcerated in Dubai’s notoriously violent prisons on a false drugs charge.  It is to be screened by a major UK broadcaster in late 2023.


Listed below are five book option deals, all for TV drama series, which were contracted with agency clients during 2022:


The Road to London Bridge by Steve Gallant (see Book News above).


Call Me Evil, Let Me Go: A mother’s struggle to save her children from a brutal religious cult by Sarah Jones


How To Solve a Murder: True stories from a life in forensic medicine by Derek and Pauline Tremain


The Long Silence: The story of James Hanratty and the A6 murder by Valerie Storie, the woman who lived to tell the tale by Paul Stickler


Shamed: The honour killing that shocked Britain – by the sister who fought for justice by Sarbjit Kaur Athwal