In a deal begun at the London International Book Fair and consummated at Frankfurt earlier this month, 17-year-old Poisoned Pen Press in Scottsdale, Ariz., took North American rights to the British Library Crime Classics series and the British Library Spy Classics series.
The press will begin publishing the crime series in spring 2015, with the release of Charles Kingston’s Murder in Piccadilly and John Bude’s The Sussex Downs Murder in May. It will continue to release two series titles a month through August, and then one a month through the end of the year.
Publisher and president of Poisoned Press Robert Rosenwald said it was a "great honor" to have been selected as the American publisher of the series. Rosenwald, who plans to publish the series in paperback and e-book additions, added: “I just thought this was a great concept, a great series. Not everyone wants to read Swedish Noir.”
Rosenwald noted that many of the writers featured in the in the series, like Bude (the pen name for Ernest Elmore), laid the groundwork for popular crime fiction. Elmore, for example, co-founded the Crime Writers’ Association.
Going forward, Poisoned Pen will continue to keep pace with the British Library’s publishing schedule of 12 books a year, and has scheduled another dozen crime classics for 2016. The press will reissue earlier releases, which were distributed in North America by University of Chicago Press, as inventory dwindles.