Orion's non-fiction imprint Seven Dials is partnering with the National Railway Museum to publish The Big British Railway Puzzle Book, celebrating the history of the nation's railways.
Senior commissioning editor Katie Brown, who usually commissions for Trapeze Fiction, acquired world rights to The Big British Railway Puzzle Book in partnership with the National Railway Museum, part of the Science Museum Group. The deal was brokered by Emily Thomas on behalf of the Science Museum Group and will publish on to Seven Dials in autumn 2020.
The Big British Railway Puzzle Book is pitched as "a must-buy gift book for puzzle book fanatics, train and travel enthusiasts, history buffs, and the people up and down the country who love their heritage and their regional identity". It will feature a compendium of puzzles about railways and locomotives, using maps, old routes and tracks, and engineering designs. The book will also include more general puzzles, such as mind-boggling brainteasers, navigational tests, word games, code-crackers, anagrams, crosswords, mathematical conundrums, and a murder mystery.
In total are 100 puzzles, complemented by historical facts and figures, trivia, and introductions to each section authored by Dr Thomas Spain, a research associate at the National Railway Museum, about the history of the British Railways.
Brown said: "Is there anything more iconic or nostalgic than our British railways? Partnering with the National Railway Museum to bring a puzzle book with a difference to readers, and which celebrates the history of our railways, is so exciting. The revival of disused stations and old routes have brought new life to regional towns and villages all over the country – including my hometown of Rawtenstall – and I am looking forward to engaging with such a passionate community of people, and I can’t wait to announce our plans for launch."
Alistair Otto, associate commerical director for the Science Museum, added: "Our unrivalled collection of railway history provides fantastic inspiration for The Big British Railway Puzzle Book, and we are delighted to be partnering with Orion, who we know will produce an outstanding publication. There are so many ways in which we can challenge readers through the fundamental principles of our railway, its heritage and engineering, which has changed the way we all travel. We can’t wait to share this book with puzzle fans and railway enthusiasts alike."
The partnership follows Orion imprint Trapeze's successful partnership with OS books that saw The Ordnance Survey Puzzle Book emerge as a Christmas hit in 2018, and a follow-up, The Ordnance Survey Puzzle Tour of Britain, publish last month.