The bestselling author Ian Rankin has revealed the title and details of his new novel, Rather Be The Devil.

It will once again feature his most famous creation, John Rebus.

The title is inspired by a song by the late Scottish singer and songwriter John Martyn.

Orion Publishing Group publishes Rather Be The Devil on 3 November.

In the book, Rebus, now a couple of years into his retirement finds himself drawn into a cold case from the 1970s involving a female socialite, found dead in a bedroom in one of Edinburgh’s most luxurious hotels.

The publisher said: "It’s a crime over forty years old, but no one was ever found guilty. Now, Rebus has his own reasons to investigate . . . but it is going to set him against some very dangerous people."

Rankin said: "Rather Be The Devil is the title of a song by John Martyn, from one of my all-time favourite albums, 'Solid Air'. "There are demons aplenty in this new book, not all of them faced by Rebus.

"I've not finished writing it yet, but I'm sure fans will enjoy being back in the old devil's company."

Jon Wood, publisher at Orion, commented: "Like the finest of whiskies, Ian Rankin – and John Rebus – just keep getting better every year.

"There is no more entertaining or interesting partnership in crime fiction today. It’s an absolute joy to reveal that they will be both back in our bookshops this year."