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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

2024 Book Publications

 

Dead in the Water by Penny Farmer is a revised edition tying into Amazon Prime’s documentary series based on her book of the same title.  It’s published in February 2024 by Bonnier.  It is the chilling story of how with steely determination, Penny tracked down Duane Boston 40 years after he had murdered her brother Chris Farmer and his girlfriend Peta Frampton, on a boat sailing down the coast of Belize.

 

Top of the World: Surviving the Manchester Arena Bombing to Scale Kilimanjaro in a Wheelchair by Martin Hibbert with Fiona Duffy is published in April 2024 by Ad Lib.  Ringing endorsements by Ben Fogle, Chris Hemsworth, Richard Madeley and Richard Branson are just some of those paying tribute to Martin’s indefatigable spirit.  He and his young daughter Eve both suffered the most severe life-changing injuries from the terrorist’s bomb in 2017.  As Dan Walker writes in his Foreword: “In this book he carefully walks you through that darkness, but he is always moving towards the light.”

 

Reckless: Sex, Lies and JFK by Mike Rothmiller and Douglas Thompson is an astonishing investigation into the politically reckless, promiscuous and often lawless lives of the Kennedy clan, chiefly father, Joe and his sons, Jack and Bobby leading up to their assassinations.  Written by a former New York detective and a veteran investigator, it is published in April 2024 by Ad Lib.

 

How to Catch A Killer by Angela Gallop and Chris Gregg, due for publication by Bonnier in July 2024, 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.  The authors use their own cases to show forensic investigations in action.

 

Something Wicked: The Lives, Crimes and Deaths of the Pendle Witches by Carol Ann Lee is a fascinating departure from her distinguished list of books on some of the major crimes of the 20th century.  This time she goes back to the shocking early 17th century witch hunts in Pendle, Lancashire.  Breaking new ground, Carol’s deep research reveals the real lives and characters of the accused women, ending in their notorious trials by public hangings in 1612.  Bonnier publish the book in October 2024.

 

The Search For My Mother’s Murderer by Neil Berriman with Glen Campbell is to be published by Sphere in early November 2024.  Not until February 2007 did Neil discover that his birth mother was Sandra Rivett, murdered by Lord Lucan 50 years ago on 7th November 1974.  He vowed to find his mother’s killer.  This is his extraordinary story of how he found him, still alive.  This book is the definitive account of how Lucan managed to vanish for five decades, and is based on Neil’s seventeen year investigation and interviews with many contemporary witnesses speaking for the first time.

 

Traitor by Roberta Kray is her 20th crime thriller, published by Little, Brown.  The hardback will be available in November 2024, with the paperback following in May 2025.  One reviewer has written: “I was so caught up in each narrative strand – every one felt so compelling and distinct, I couldn’t bear to put it down until I’d solved what had happened.  But the ending – god – it absolutely broke me”.

 

TV Series Screened in 2024

 

Dead in the Water.  A three-part TV documentary produced by Raw TV for Amazon Prime, based on Penny Farmer’s book of the same title, and launched in February 2024.  The spectacular and gripping documentary is largely narrated by Penny, Audrey, her 99-year-old mother, and Vince Boston, the son of her brother’s murderer, who was only eleven, when he witnessed the murders of the Penny’s brother and his girlfriend.

 

High: Surviving a Dubai Drugs Bust.  A five-part docudrama series based on Killing Time by Karl Williams with Justin Penrose, is screened in February 2024 on BBC 3 and iPlayer.  It’s the story of how Karl was wrongly incarcerated in Dubai’s famously horrendous Central Prison, his physical safety and life in daily jeopardy.

 

Until I Kill You.  A four-part drama on ITV 1 based on Living With a Serial Killer by Delia Balmer.  Anna Maxwell Martin stars as Delia, with Shaun Evans as John Sweeney, the psychopath who tortured and attempted to murder her.  The filming of the series is completed and is due to be screened in autumn 2024.

 

Lucan.  Three-part TV documentary series based on Neil Berriman’s seventeen year, ultimately successful, search to find Lord Lucan, the murderer of his mother, Sandra Rivett.  Scheduled for transmission by a major broadcaster in October 2024 marking the 50th anniversary of the murder and Lucan’s disappearance.

 

A Cruel Love: The Ruth Ellis Story is based on A Fine Day For a Hanging by Carol Ann Lee and stars Lucy Boynton as Ruth Ellis, who, in a terrible miscarriage of justice, was found guilty of murdering her feckless boyfriend, and in 1955 at age 28 became the last woman in the UK to be hanged.  Carol is the consultant on the drama, which began filming in late 2023.

 

Date: February 2024