Lord Alexander Hawke, the beloved hero of Ted Bell’s New York Times bestselling series, will soon set sail again in a brand new book titled Monarch, which is scheduled for publication in early 2025, with a follow-up slated for sometime in 2026.
In order to continue the series, following the sudden passing of Ted Bell earlier this year, The Real Book Spy founder and author of the Matthew Redd thriller series, Ryan Steck (whose works have been endorsed by #1 New York Times bestselling authors Jack Carr, C.J. Box, Mark Greaney, Kyle Mills, James Rollins, Nelson DeMille, and others), in partnership with Byrdie Bell (who leads the Ted Bell estate), has signed a two-book deal with Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
Bell, the famed, award-winning adman who conquered the world of advertising before retiring in his 50s and launching a career as a novelist, published Hawke, the first of twelve globe-trotting adventures starring MI6 super agent Alex Hawke, back in 2003. An instant New York Times bestseller, Hawke—who was described as “a secret agent who takes you into the danger zone with a ballsy wit” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Vince Flynn and as “the new James Bond” by mega-author James Patterson—quickly became one of the genre’s most recognizable names, read by millions around the world. Bell’s final novel, Sea Hawke, was released in 2021.
Ryan Steck, who founded The Real Book Spy in 2014 before launching his own career as a novelist with last year’s Fields of Fire and this year’s Lethal Range, was close friends with Bell and even worked with him behind the scenes for nearly a decade in various roles. He will now step into Bell’s universe, continuing Hawke’s legacy, with at least two more books on the way. Up next for Steck (whose holiday-themed action novella Redd Christmas came out today) is his third Matthew Redd novel, Out for Blood, scheduled for publication next June. After that, beginning in 2025, when Steck’s first Hawke thriller, Monarch, is set to come out, he’ll move to releasing two books each year, one starring Alex Hawke, while also continuing his own Matthew Redd series.
“Ten years ago, I met Ted Bell through mutual acquaintances,” Steck wrote in a statement for today’s announcement, “and we became fast friends. He was a mentor to me over the years and someone I worked with in various roles for nearly a decade. Like the rest of his fans, I was devastated when he passed away. The thought of never being able to hang out with Alex Hawke again was another painful blow. And while I’d give anything to have Ted back, it’s the honor of a lifetime for me to step in and continue his legacy by writing MONARCH. Deep down, I think that every writer hopes to create a character who resonates with and is so beloved by readers that they might one day transcend them. I’m confident that Ted would be absolutely thrilled to know that his fans, whom he adored and worked so hard to entertain, will have more adventures with Lord Alexander Hawke.
“A longtime fan of the series, I’ve been privileged to regularly peek behind the curtain and see Ted’s process, and some of my most treasured memories are of him calling to read me freshly written pages over the phone. Although I desperately miss his friendship and the many laughs we shared together, channeling Hawke has helped fill that void, and in typical Ted Bell fashion, I plan to go big with these two books in hopes of delivering the kind of over-the-top, fun, action-packed adventures that Ted’s fans have loved and devoured since Hawke first set sail in 2003.”
You can read the rest of Steck’s statement below.
“Working with Ted was one of the highlights of my career,” said Tom Colgan, Vice President and Editorial Director at Berkley. “He was Alex Hawke…sans the mayhem and the epic world-saving. He was also always very vocal to me about his admiration of Ryan Steck. I have no doubt that Ted would be pleased to know that Hawke’s further adventures are in Ryan’s capable hands.”
“The passing of my father has been the single hardest life event that I have ever had to face,” said Byrdie Bell, speaking exclusively to The Real Book Spy. “He was my best friend, my mentor, my inspiration, and my champion. He was most definitely the real Alex Hawke. Life with Dad was truly an adventure, and I will always treasure my memories of travel and research for his books. His gift for storytelling has filled my life with tremendous joy. I am so grateful to Ryan Steck for stepping in to keep these beloved characters and the universe that Dad called Hawke World alive. I am also grateful to our agent, John Talbot, and to Tom Colgan at Penguin for putting this team together. I know this is exactly what my father would have wanted for the series, and in my grief, that is a tremendous comfort. I am so excited for myself and countless fans that we will continue the adventure together!”
Also providing a statement for today’s news is literary agent John Talbot of the Talbot and Fortune Agency, who said, “Ted Bell was a master storyteller who approached the craft of writing with flair and a sense of adventure. Having represented both Ted and his close friend of ten years, suspense author and Real Book Spy founder Ryan Steck, continuing with Ted’s legendary editor at Berkley, Tom Colgan, and, most importantly, having Ted’s amazing daughter Byrdie Bell lead our team, it is exciting and truly an honor to bring new Alex Hawke novels to Ted’s legions of fans around the world.”
More from Ryan Steck:
“This announcement is only possible because of Byrdie Bell, Ted’s lovely daughter, and I am so thankful to her for putting her trust in me and allowing me this incredible privilege to step into her dad’s universe and continue the series. Byrdie and I have become good friends, and I’m excited for Ted’s readers to get to know her too, and to see how much Alex Hawke means to her. I’m also thrilled to be working with Tom Colgan at Berkley, a brilliant editor whose accomplishments in the thriller world are second to none. Finally, of course, I thank my agent, John Talbot, for helping to make this dream a reality.
“While I don’t want to give too much of the story away just yet, I am already hard at work on MONARCH, a high-flying tale that pulls Hawke—who has only recently started to settle down and try his hand at being a family man—back into the life of action, while also testing him in ways he never could have imagined. The plot, which I constructed from many past conversations with Ted, is something I believe he would have loved and probably written himself. ‘A good story needs the three Bs,’ Ted would often tell me, ‘bullets, babes, and bad guys,’ and his readers can rest assured that they’ll find plenty of all three in MONARCH when it hits store shelves in 2025.”
To learn more about Ted Bell, you can visit his official website here. Additionally, to make sure you stay in the know on everything happening in Hawke World, sign up for the free newsletter. You can also follow Ted Bell Fans on Facebook and Goodreads. For more information on Ryan Steck, visit his Amazon page and follow him on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.