Written in Blood

A True Story of Murder and a Deadly 16-year-old Secret that Tore a Family Apart

Rights purchased for the HBO Max series The Staircase starring Colin Firth & Toni Collette.

This is the UK release of Written in Blood by Diane Fanning.

For the original book published in the US, visit this page

Ebury (Random House UK) is publishing an inside look at the case of Michael Peterson, which became the subject of the hit true-crime documentary “The Staircase”, shown on Netflix and heralded “the new ‘Making a Murderer'”.

Michael Peterson is a crime novelist who was accused of killing his wife Kathleen after she was found dead at the bottom of the stairs in their home in Durham, North Carolina.

Authored by American crime writer Diane Fanning, Written in Blood explores the 2001 case that sparked a 16-year court battle. The book originally published in the US with St Martin’s Press in 2005 and was an Edgar Award finalist in 2006. According to Ebury, while the book “takes readers on a whole other journey away from the Netflix series”, a short author note has been added to this edition about Peterson’s current situation.

UK and commonwealth rights were acquired from Rachel Clements at Abner Stein on behalf of Lauren Abramo at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret.

Ebury editorial director Sara Cywinski said: “I inhaled the documentary series, but I had so many questions by the end and the show simply didn’t and couldn’t answer them. I’m thrilled to be publishing Diane’s book, which was an Edgar Award Finalist when it published in the US. It’s a totally different perspective and she has certainly made me question everything I’ve seen and read before.”


Family members involved speak about Written in Blood:

“The Staircase is an emotionally riveting drama but it is no where near the whole truth, if anybody wants to know the whole story, read Fanning’s Book.” Ann Christensen, Michael Peterson’s sister

“I stayed up until 2am the first night reading… You did a very good job.  You put it all together very nicely.”

“In this web of players you managed to identify everyone with human qualitites–all different but the same humanity.  The good, the bad, the ugly.  When I read about our childhood days, I would have sworn you were right there with us.  You were clear in your thinking and your research was impeccable.  You treated all with respect where they deserved it and showed how the true gift of precious LIFE is to be treasured because it also can be so fragile and gone in an instant.  Thank you Diane, for telling the true story and for giving all named in your book a beating heart.”

“I read your book in one night.  The book is the best.  You did an excellent job with setting the stage for all your characters.  I didn’t know how you were going to pull it all together because it is very confusing, but you did and it is so terrific.  Thank you.”

From Written in Honor by Vance Holmes:

Durham County court reporters are still trying to finish a final transcript of the Michael Peterson saga, but as far as I’m concerned — with the publication of Diane Fanning’s book, WRITTEN IN BLOOD, the official record is now complete.
Fanning provides a full account of the epic Peterson murder mystery. Her writing is superb. Most importantly, Diane Fanning has written a true-crime book focused more on the truth than on the crime, and in that sense, her work honors the spirit of the victim, Kathleen Hunt Atwater. [Read More]

Available August 23, 2018