Quercus has signed novelist and film-maker Duncan Jepson in a two-book deal.

Jon Riley signed world English plus translation rights from the Asia-based Peony Literary Agency.

The first title in a detective series, Emperors Once More follows Alex Soong as he uncovers a conspiracy dating back to the Boxer Rebellion.

Jepson said: “I’m very happy indeed for the stories to have found a home at Quercus Publishing.”

Riley said: “Duncan Jepson is an outstanding voice in international crime fiction . . . Emperors Once More is the start of something exciting for him and Quercus.”

Quercus UK will publish in 2014 as a lead spring title. Jepson’s first novel, All the Flowers of Shanghai, was published by HarperCollins US.