> Skip to content

News  •  1 April 2019

 

Penguin writes crime thriller

Announcing the first book written by an actual Penguin. To be published 2020. 

Penguin Random House may be known as a trusted global publishing house, but in a world’s first an actual Emperor Penguin named A.L. Pengally has published a bestselling crime novel, Snow Slide.

Set in an Antarctic outpost, the story follows the fortunes of one-winged (technically ‘flappered’) penguin detective Pesky McWebfoot as she closes in on the culprit in a spate of egg robberies. Exploring themes of isolation, feathered friendships and global warming, the story waddles across the breathtaking landscapes of the southern continent, as McWebfoot leaves no stone unturned in her unyielding quest for the truth (and eggs).

In preparation for the novel’s creation, Pengally learned a complex system of keyboard shortcuts to convert her native tongue (beak?) of Aptenodytes forsteri-ian into English. Here’s what she has to say, ‘Errrrrrrrrewp, arp-arp-arp-arp. Errrrrrrrrewp arp-arp-arp. Honk-honk-honk-honk-hoooooonk. Honk-honk-hoooooonk.’

Penguin Random House Publishing Director Kerning Corrigendum said in a statement that the animising of literature is a trend to watch out for in the not-too-distant future. ‘Many narratives of the animal kingdom speak to the same emotional triggers as those of humanity,’ she said. ‘McWebfoot’s story is not only a classic whodunit, but one penguin’s voyage of loss, overcoming obstacles, redemption and, ultimately, self-discovery.’

It took a team of occupational therapists, IT professionals and linguists several years (and penguins*) to overcome the physical and language barriers to achieve this monumental task. But now it’s been proven that genetic makeup need not stand in the way of superb storytelling, the sky – and sea, forest, desert or icefield – is literature’s limit.

Snow Slide will be released as a Penguin Classic on Penguin Awareness Day, 20 January 2020.

*No penguins were harmed in the creation of this novel.

More features

See all
Book clubs
The Chase book club notes

Track down your reading group to discuss Candice Fox's latest thriller.

Book clubs
The Silent Listener book club notes

Take your reading group into the dark, gothic heart of rural Australia.

Book clubs
Thursday Murder Club book club notes

A classic whodunit for the most perceptive reading groups.

Q&A
Lee Child and Andrew Child Q&A

Lee Child and younger brother Andrew have collaborated for the first time on The Sentinel and Jack Reacher fans are in for a treat.

Article
Rising stars of crime fiction

Three rising stars of crime fiction are teaming up for a series of virtual events in 2020.

Q&A
Benjamin Stevenson crime and thriller Q&A

The Either Side of Midnight author on comedy vs crime, writing advice and pointy things near eyeballs.

Q&A
Lisa Jewell Q&A

The bestselling author on thrilling reads and the things that scare her.

Book clubs
The Night Swim book club notes

An electrifying and propulsive pick for your next book club meeting.

Q&A
Megan Goldin crime and thriller Q&A

The Night Swim author shares her thoughts on heroes, villains and toilet paper (?!).

Q&A
Kyle Perry Q&A

The Bluffs author takes us deep into the Tasmanian wilderness.

Book clubs
Conviction book club notes

Treat your reading group to a suspenseful thrill ride like no other.

Q&A
Katherine Firkin Q&A

Sticks and Stones author and journalist Katherine Firkin on the true crime that’s helped shape her thrilling fiction debut.

Looking for more news?

See all news