We are thrilled to announce that Jenni Jennings‘ gorgeously gothic debut middle grade series has been pre-empted by Scholastic. Yasmin Morrissey bought three books from Chloe Seager, within days of the sought after manuscript going on submission.

The Addams Family for the Billie Eilish generation, Malice in Underland is packed with eccentric, feisty, funny characters and spooky adventure.

Malice Morbid Malign is from Underland, land of sorcery, spooks and skullduggery. But, she and her family live in Topside and mischief is their business . . . And the business of mischief is a very serious matter!

From Malignant House, Ma and Pa run the Malign Haunting Agency, tormenting Topside families and their homes. The problem is, Malice is the exact opposite of her unpleasant, smelly, mischievous family, and when grandad ghosts mysteriously start disappearing, including her own beloved grandad, Malice feels compelled to help. She partners up with her Uncle Vexatious, Private Investigator of Underland and outcast of the Malign family. Together, can they solve case of the missing grandad-ghosts?

Morrissey said: ‘I fell in love with Malice from page one, and was instantly enchanted by the shadowy world of Underland. With mischief and mystery at every turn, Jenni has created a truly gothic setting; full of charming characters, funny writing, and thrilling adventure. Malice in Underland is packed with child appeal and mayhem. I cannot wait for the world to meet this weird and wonderful family!

Jennings said: ‘Malice is a cross between Alice in Wonderland and Wednesday Addams, with a pinch of Pippi Longstocking . . . strong girls with lashings of sass and sensibility. When Chloe – my wonderful agent – called me to say Scholastic wanted to publish Malice in Underland I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wish for a better home for Malice and I’m beyond excited to have Yasmin as my editor, her enthusiasm for Malice is boundless. I cannot wait to see Malice come to life beneath Hannah Peck’s expert hands. I feel incredibly lucky to be working with such talented people.’

Seager said: ‘I was utterly charmed by Jenni’s debut the moment I began reading, and am thrilled that she and Malice have found the ideal home for top mischief-making with Scholastic. I can’t wait for children to discover this rare combination of voice, heart and humour in a gorgeously gothic world.’

Jenni Jennings lives in a small seaside town in the UK with her husband; their children having left home for big adventures.

She went to university aged 39 to study part-time for a degree in Creative and Professional Writing, and for the last 7 years, Jenni has been baking cakes for a coffee shop where she lives. Jenni likes long walks, baking days and is obsessed with stationary. She doesn’t believe in saving things for best and shamelessly wears party dresses to the supermarket.

Malice in Underland is Jenni’s debut middle grade series. Jenni also writes adult fiction under the name Jenny Bayliss.

The first book in the series will launch in October, in time for Halloween, and is set to feature stunning artwork by star illustrator Hannah Peck.

Huge congratulations, Jenni! We can’t wait to see Malice hit the shelves.