Alex Kingston will publish her debut novel, The Ruby’s Curse on the 20th May 2021, from BBC Books. The book sees Kingston’s onscreen alter-ego River Song teaming up with her own fictional alter-ego, the irrepressible private investigator Melody Malone.
She’s got ice in her heart and kiss on her lips…
1939, New York. Private Eye, Melody Malone, is hired to find a stolen ruby, the Eye of Horus. The ruby might hold the secret to the location of Cleopatra’s tomb – but everyone who comes into contact with it dies. Can Melody escape the ruby’s curse?
1939, New York. River Song, author of the Melody Malone Mysteries, is forced to find a reality altering weapon, the Eye of Horus. River doesn’t believe in curses – but is she wrong?
From the top-security confines of Stormcage to the barbarism of first-century Egypt, River battles to find the Eye of Horus before its powers are used to transform the universe. To succeed, she must team up with a most unlikely ally – her own fictional alter ego, Melody. And together they must solve another mystery: Is fiction changing into fact – or is fact changing into fiction?The Ruby’s Curse, Synopsis
The multi-award winning actor, best known for her role as Dr. Elizabeth Corday in ER, made her first appearance in Doctor Who for 2008’s Silence in the Library and has continued to play River Song on TV and audio to this day.
“Having absolutely no idea of the journey I would be taking with River Song when I first uttered those words, ‘Hello Sweetie’, I cannot begin to express how excited I am to be able to continue not only River, but Melody’s adventures on the written page. A sassy private detective and a time travelling archaeologist joining forces to solve a mystery? What’s not to love!?”Alex Kingston
This is, of course, far from the first time an actor has been empowered to write an original novel about the role they’ve played in Doctor Who. Back in 2019, Tom Baker wrote Scratchman – based on an idea he had developed with his late co-star Ian Marter. And only last year, Sophie Aldred teamed Ace with the incumbent Doctor for At Childhood’s End. Both were resounding successes and so it makes sense to give Kingston double the fun by having her write River and Melody together..
“Working with Alex on this highly original new story has been such a delight, and we couldn’t be happier to be publishing her first Doctor Who novel. River Song is such an iconic character, and I think Alex’s many fans will be thrilled and amazed with what she’s come up with.”Albert DePetrillo, Publishing Director at Ebury Publishing & BBC Books
It’s also not the first time River and Melody have appeared in books, with River headlining her own anthology book – The Legends of River Song – in 2016. To tie into the Doctor Who episode The Angels Take Manhattan, BBC Books released an ebook of The Angel’s Kiss – the book featured in the episode where the titular Melody Malone (actually River in disguise) helps the Doctor, Amy and Rory defeat the Weeping Angels.
The Ruby’s Curse hits the shelves on the 20th May 2021 and I’ll be posting my thoughts about it on release. In the meantime, what’s been your favourite River Song outing on TV, audio or books? Let me know in the comments.