Author Walter Mosley Leaves Little, Brown, Signs Three-Book Deal With Riverhead

Prolific crime novelist Walter Mosley, author of the bestselling Easy Rawlins mystery series, has left his longtime publisher, Little, Brown, and signed a three-book contract with Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Group, it was announced today.

According to a press release, Mr. Mosley’s first book for Riverhead, where he will be edited by Sean McDonald, will be a mystery novel that centers around an African-American private investigator named Leonid McGill living in present day New York. The book, scheduled for 2009, will be the first installment of Mr. Mosley’s new series, the second installment of which will also be published by Riverhead. Mr. Mosley’s third Riverhead book will be a “literary novel,” says the release.

Riverhead publisher Geoffrey Kloske declined to comment on the amount Mr. Mosley would receive for the three books.

UPDATE: Asked to comment on Mr. Mosley’s move to Riverhead, Little, Brown publisher Mitchael Pietsch said in an e-mail, “Walter Mosley is one of America’s greatest writers and I wish him success in everything he does.”

UPDATE: The literary novel referenced in this morning’s press release will be the second book Mr. Mosley will write for Riverhead, according to Mr. McDonald. Mr. McDonald said the tentative title for the novel is The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey.