Banville’s literary thriller gets a US home

And I’m really, really curious to know who the other players in this auction were (and if I find out, I’ll more likely report on it here) but the winner is:

Man Booker Prize Winner John Banville writing as Benjamin Black’s

QUIRKE, which features a pathologist who uncovers a murderous plot at

the heart of the Catholic establishment of Dublin and Boston, for

publication in winter 2007; and a second book in the series to be

published in winter 2008, to Jennifer Barth and John Sterling at Holt

(and Picador for paperback), at auction, by Ed Victor (NA).

This strikes me as being interesting on several levels. First, Holt doesn’t do a lot of crime (and based on the way some of their authors end up, it kind of shows) but when they do they concentrate mostly on books that can cross over more readily to literary circles (think Joseph Kanon’s thrillers and Jacqueline Winspear’s historical mysteries) with some nod to more commercial fare (like Alafair Burke’s Samantha Kincaid series.) And so Banville’s a good enough fit — but he’s been at Knopf/Vintage so long that they couldn’t have given him up so readily, could they?