Mick Finlay’s Sherlock-inspired novel Arrowood has been snapped up for a television adaptation by the makers of "Bad Education" with Kathy Burke joining as executive producer.
The psychology lecturer's crime thriller is set in the shady London backstreets of 1895 and will be published by HarperCollins’ imprint HQ on 23rd March. It is being adapted for television by Cave Bear, a division of Tiger Aspect, and Burke will be executive producer for the series. The deal was struck by Jane Villiers on behalf of Jo Unwin Literary Agency.
An HQ spokesman said: “With a killer stalking the streets, politicians embroiled in financial and sexual scandals and crime, drugs and prostitution rife, the rich turn to a celebrated private detective when they need help: Sherlock Holmes. But in densely-populated south London, where crimes are sleazier and Holmes rarely visits, people turn to Arrowood, a private investigator who despises Holmes, his wealthy clientele, and his showy forensic approach to crime. Arrowood understands people, not clues.”
Finlay said: “I’ve had great support from Jo Unwin, Sally Williamson and the team at HQ in bringing Arrowood to publication, and I’m delighted now to be working with Kathy, Pippa and Ben at Cave Bear on adapting it for television. I’ve been a fan of Kathy Burke for many years, and I couldn’t believe it when I found out she wanted to develop the book. From the very first chapter, I felt Arrowood was bursting to get off the page and onto the screen, and I know he’d be as chuffed as me to be working on this with such an excellent team.”
Ben Cavey at Cave Bear said: “From the moment I read the first few pages, I fell in love with Arrowood. He's an underdog private detective with a big heart, and a unique ability to understand people. I'm sure the novel will be loved by its readers, and we feel very lucky to be working on its screen adaptation.”
Sally Williamson, senior commissioning edditor at HQ, bought Brighton academic's series of Arrowood novels at last year's London Book Fair. She said: “Arrowood is an unforgettable character, and Mick is such a brilliant writer, that this book was crying out to be adapted for TV. I’m absolutely thrilled that Cave Bear and Kathy Burke have fallen for Arrowood too.”
Cave Bear Productions launched in 2015 and has produced "Bad Education" (BBC3) "Backchat" (BBC2), "Together" (BBC3), "Psychobitches" (Sky Arts) and the upcoming adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s "Decline and Fall" (BBC1).
Burke has worked as a director, actor and writer enjoying considerable success in each of the disciplines. She won Best Actress at Cannes (1997) for "Nil By Mouth" and her recent films includes "Absolutely Fabulous the Movie" and "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy".