The Fellowship of Puzzlemakers

The Fellowship of Puzzlemakers by Samuel Burr is a witty and gloriously uplifting debut, reminiscent of The Thursday Murder Club, with an ensemble cast of eccentric puzzlemakers and a young protagonist who inhabits their spirit. We think there are some truly fantastic casting opportunities here. It wassnapped up by Orion in the UK in a major two-book deal after an 8-way auction, and in a major two book deal in US with Anchor Books/Random House – with pre-emptive deals in several countries.

Clayton Stumper is an enigma. He’s twenty-four years old, but he dresses like your grandad and drinks sherry like your aunt. Abandoned at birth on the front steps of the Fellowship of Puzzlemakers, he was raised by a group of enigmatologists and finds himself among the last survivors of a fading institution. When Clayton’s best friend – the esteemed crossword compiler Pippa Allsbrook – passes away, she bestows her final puzzle to him. It promises to reveal the mystery of his parentage and prepare him for life beyond the walls of the commune.

But as Clay begins to unpick the clues, he uncovers something even the Fellowship have never been able to solve. It’s a secret that will reshape his future for good…

Samuel studied at Westminster Film School and now works as a freelance TV producer, developing and creating popular-factual shows including the BAFTA-nominated Secret Life of 4-Year-Olds. A documentary he shot inside a retirement village when he was eighteen-years-old launched his career in television and inspired this novel. Samuel’s writing was shortlisted for Penguin’s WriteNow scheme and in 2021 he graduated from the Faber Academy. In his spare time he volunteers for elderly charities Age UK and Re-Engage. He lives in London with his partner Tom and their cat Muriel. THE FELLOWSHIP OF PUZZLEMAKERS is his debut novel. He has always been old at heart.

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