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New Regency Regency has acquired the feature film rights to Stephen Giles’ novel “The Boy at the Keyhole.”

The novel was bought for publishing preemptively in the U.S. by HarperCollins’ Hanover Square Press in a six-figure two-book deal, and will be published as their lead title in October 2018. The book is also to be featured at this years London Book Festival. Australian rights were pre-empted by Penguin Australia.

New Regency’s Arnon Milchan will produce the project.

“I am over the moon that a production company with the pedigree of New Regency have shown such faith in ‘The Boy at the Keyhole,'” Giles said. “It’s a story that means a great deal to me, and I’m thrilled to think that it might have a life beyond the page.”

Plot centers on a British boy who, after his mother is abruptly called away to America, begins to suspect that perhaps she did not leave but was murdered — by the housekeeper who cares for him in the family’s isolated country estate.

Giles is the Australian author behind the lauded children’s series “Anyone But Ivy Pocket”, penned under the pen name Caleb Krisp. The series, published in the UK by Bloomsbury and in the US by HarperCollins and Greenwillow, appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List, has been translated into 25 different languages and was optioned by Paramount Pictures. “The Boy at the Keyhole” is Giles’ first work for adults.

Rights for the project were acquired from Hayley Steed at Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV & Film Agency.