With Downton Abbey reviving interest in the period between the two world wars, the publishing arm of the British Library has been releasing new editions of forgotten classics published in Britain’s golden age of mystery (considered to span most of the 1920s and ’30s) since 2012. Sales of the first three titles were strong enough that by 2014 the British Library decided to create two series from the material, striking a deal with the University of Chicago Press to distribute the titles in the U.S. Now in a bid to expand sales to the trade market, the British Library has signed a new deal with Poisoned Pen Press, in Scottsdale, Ariz. Under the agreement, Poisoned Pen will serve as the U.S. publisher for two series from the British Library: British Library Crime Classics and British Library Spy Classics. Both will feature titles from recognized and lesser-known writers.

This May, Poisoned Pen will release its first two titles in the Crime Classics series, Murder in Piccadilly, by Charles Kingston, and The Sussex Downs Murder, by John Bude. Piccadilly is the story of a young Englishman, Bobbie Cheldon, who falls in love with a dancer more enamored of Cheldon’s family fortune than his personality. In Sussex, trouble brews between two brothers, coming to a head when one of them disappears under suspicious circumstances. Bude, the pseudonym of Ernest Elmore, was the cofounder of the Crime Writers’ Association in the U.K. Poisoned Pen will publish 12 additional British Library titles in 2015, including two from the Spy Classics series: Victor Bridges’s Trouble on the Thames and Sidney Horler’s The Traitor. By 2016, Poisoned Pen will be in sync with the British Library’s publishing schedule, with one title slated for release per month.

Robert Rosenwald, president and publisher at Poisoned Pen, cited the press’s long-term publishing relationship with British author Martin Edwards (The Frozen Shroud, 2013, and others) as the impetus for Poisoned Pen’s decision to publish the two British Library series. “Edwards has been the longtime archivist for the Crime Writers’ Association and has also been the archivist for the Detection Club since 2011,” explained Rosenwald. “He began working with the British Library as their consultant on classic British crime and spy novels [and] suggested they talk to us. We began the discussion at [London Book Fair] last year.” Rosenwald is particularly excited about the new collaboration because both series “are outstanding collections of books written at a time when there was no such thing as genre fiction.” As a mystery book publisher with more than 700 mysteries in print, Rosenwald believes Poisoned Pen is well positioned to fill the role of U.S. publisher for the series’ titles, many of which have been unavailable to the public for years.

Poisoned Pen will publish both series in trade paperback and e-book formats. In keeping with the golden age theme, each reissue will have a cover featuring period-specific designs selected by the British Library. Well-known experts in the genre, including Martin Edwards, will provide introductions for the new editions as well.