New ‘Goldie Vance’ and ‘Fence’ novels announced by Little, Brown and Boom! Studios


Brand new “Goldie Vance” and “Fence” stories are on the way.

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers is teaming up with Boom! Studios for a new middle-grade novel series based on “Goldie Vance” and a young adult novel series based on “Fence.”

Written by Lilliam Rivera, “Goldie Vance: The Hotel Whodunit” will see the Crossed Palms Resort Hotel taken over by Hollywood types who are in town to shoot a new creature movie.

When a diamond-encrusted swimming cap goes missing from the set, the prime suspect is Goldie’s mother, Sylvia, who’s a professional mermaid. It’s up to the 16-year-old aspiring detective to solve the case and clear her mother.


“It’s my first middle-grade book, so I love that I’m able to debut with ‘Goldie Vance,’” Rivera told The Times in a phone interview. “It took me away from the teenage angst for the most part.”

The author, whose works include the young-adult novels “Dealing in Dreams” and “The Education of Margot Sanchez,” added: “With ‘Goldie Vance,’ I felt like I could really ramp up being funny and being sweet. The people around her love her all the time and want her to succeed, and I love that.”

The novel is based on the ongoing graphic novel series created by writer Hope Larson and artist Brittney Williams and will include characters the comics’ fans will recognize. In addition to Goldie — who has grown up at the Crossed Palms and dreams of being its in-house detective — the 1960s-set book will also feature Goldie’s best friend, Cheryl, the hotel’s current in-house detective and Goldie’s mentor, Walter, Goldie’s fellow hotel valet Rob and Goldie’s crush, Diane.

“Because it is the first one [of the series], I wanted to be able to sort of introduce the world to readers who may not have picked up the comic books,” said Rivera, who added that one of her goals was to lean into some of the innocence that made the era feel magical.

As preparation for her own mystery, Rivera revisited some of her favorite shows such as “Columbo” and “Law & Order.”


“One of the first things you want to do when you’re young is to be a kind of detective,” said Rivera. “Every kid goes through that phase of wanting to figure things out. So it really was about trying to click into this ‘whodunit’ formula and planting those clues for the readers to follow along.”

Boom! Studios’ president of publishing and marketing, Filip Sablik, said that one of the driving forces at the publisher is “a desire to find new comic book and graphic novel fans.”

“We love introducing folks to the wonder and power of comics as a storytelling medium,” Sablik wrote in an email. “So expanding some of our content for younger readers into other formats like illustrated novels is another opportunity to introduce kids to comics.”

He added: “‘Goldie Vance’ draws inspiration from classic ‘kid detective’ novel series like ‘Nancy Drew’ and ‘Encyclopedia Brown,’ so expanding Goldie’s world into prose fiction felt completely natural.”

“Goldie Vance: The Hotel Whodunit” will also feature a full-comic chapter within the book that will be crucial to solving the mystery. The book is slated for release on March 17, 2020.

Due out in fall 2020 is the first book from the young-adult novel series based on “Fence,” the ongoing graphic novel series created by C.S. Pacat and Johanna the Mad, which follows Nicholas Cox, Seiji Katayama and their boarding-school fencing team.

“[The series is] all about the world of fencing. The elegance, the danger, the high stakes of what’s essentially a combat sport,” Pacat previously told The Times. “It’s also very much about the characters and all the things that sports narratives can bring out in them, like intense rivalries, lifelong friendships. As well as romance between teammates.”

In addition to romance and athletic competition, the series addresses class and other issues teens deal with as they are growing up.

The “Fence” series will launch on Sept. 1, 2020, with its first book written by “Demon’s Lexicon” trilogy author Sarah Rees Brennan.

Twitter: @tracycbrown