Former Fenland man inks ‘out of the blue’ Penguin publishing deal for his debut crime novel

PUBLISHED: 15:57 03 September 2020 | UPDATED: 15:57 03 September 2020

Alex Primavesi, who grew up in Thorney, attended school in Wisbech for seven years and is now a full-time writer living in London, has had his debut crime novel 'Eight Detectives' published worldwide. Picture: SUPPLIED

Alex Primavesi, who grew up in Thorney, attended school in Wisbech for seven years and is now a full-time writer living in London, has had his debut crime novel 'Eight Detectives' published worldwide. Picture: SUPPLIED

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A man who grew up in Thorney and attended school in Wisbech for seven years has had his debut crime novel published worldwide.

Alex Primavesi, who grew up in Thorney, attended school in Wisbech for seven years and is now a full-time writer living in London, has had his debut crime novel 'Eight Detectives' published worldwide. Picture: SUPPLIEDAlex Primavesi, who grew up in Thorney, attended school in Wisbech for seven years and is now a full-time writer living in London, has had his debut crime novel 'Eight Detectives' published worldwide. Picture: SUPPLIED

Alex Primavesi, who is now a full-time writer living in London, had his crime novel ‘Eight Detectives’ released on August 20.

The 37-year-old, who writes under the name of Alex Pavesi, said he has always been a keen reader. And, although his studies centred around subjects like maths and physics, he became interested in writing when he was at secondary school and discovered writers like G K Chesterton and Borges.

The idea of a novel not just having a straightforward narrative, but having perhaps multiple endings or permutations really inspired him, even at an early age.

Another inspiration was the idea of a puzzle for the reader to solve.

“I don’t think the novel was inspired by Alex’s time in Thorney,” said the former Wisbech Grammar School pupil’s mother.

“Although he was always keen on maths and puzzles, even at primary school.

“One of his favourite television programmes was Jonathan Creek where a magician solved what appeared to be, an impossible murder.”

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After leaving school Alex went to York University to study maths and philosophy and later followed this up with a doctorate in pure maths at the University of East Anglia.

Since moving to London he has done various software-related jobs. His last before he started to write full-time was as a senior developer with Microsoft.

“The puzzle element of ‘Eight Detectives’ will be obvious to most observant readers. It is a story within a story, giving out inconsistencies and clues, so as well as following the narrative the reader also becomes involved in solving a hidden murder,” he said.

It has been described as “Agatha Christie with ooomph’ and an ‘original and exceptional reading experience.”

Alex’s publishing success came suddenly and out of the blue. Once completed, ‘Eight Detectives’ was sent out to four agents. One of them responded almost immediately.

After arriving home from Glastonbury Festival in 2019, he discovered he had a two-book deal with Michael Joseph, a division of Penguin books.

The novel was auctioned in America where it was published on August 4. It has also sold in Russia, Italy, Brazil, Japan and several countries in Eastern Europe.

Alex is now working on his second novel which will also come under the crime genre. It will be released next year.

Eight Detectives is available from Waterstones, Amazon and independent bookshops. It’s only available in hardback at the moment for £14.99 (£12.99 at Waterstones) and also as an ebook and in audio format where it is read by the actress Emilia Fox.


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