Carter's Donegal crime series adapted for TV

Carter's Donegal crime series adapted for TV

Andrea Carter’s crime series The Inishowen Mysteries (Little, Brown) will be adapted for television.

Irish production comapny, Zanzibar Films, and German film company Hold The Page bought international TV rights to the Inishowen Mysteries trilogy at the Galway Film Fleadh, the annual festival in the West of Ireland, with international distributor Kew Media. The new crime drama series is to be shot in Donegal.

Carter's series features solicitor-turned-investigator, Benedicta O’Keeffe (known as Ben). This agreement includes the novels Death at Whitewater Church, Treacherous Strand and The Well of Ice, ahead of the publication of Murder at Greysbridge in October 2018, which is the start of the second trilogy - all published by Little, Brown. Kerry Glencorse from Susanna Lea Associates negotiated the deal, which is not yet attached to a UK broadcaster, according to a spokesperson for the London-based agency.

Described as ‘modern day Agatha Christie”, The Inishowen Mysteries is aimed at fans of “Broadchurch”, “Grantchester” or “The Case Histories”. The 90-minute episodes are set on the rugged Inishowen Peninsula where the protagonist, Ben, runs the most northerly legal practice in the country and helps local police sergeant Tom Molloy solve mysteries that the remote community throws up.

Carter studied law at Trinity College Dublin before moving to the Inishowen peninsula in Donegal where she ran the most northerly solicitors’ practice in the country. After 10 years she moved to Dublin to work as a barrister before she began writing crime novels.

Glencorse said: “When I first read Whitewater Church on submission it felt destined for TV: the windswept landscapes, the eccentric locals, the surly love interest in Sergeant Tom Molloy and, of course Ben, our feisty and troubled heroine. I can’t wait to see the characters brought to the screen.”

Katrin Hensel-Ovenden has been secured to write the first screenplay. She said: “As a female writer I am very enthusiastic about accompanying this interesting female lead, who is simultaneously fragile and strong, is full of vitality and curiosity, laced with sadness. Her determination to do the right thing leads her into dangerously dramatic situations where she has little regard for her own safety.”

Zanzibar Films c.e.o. and executive producer, Edwina Forkin, said: “I was enthralled when I read Andrea Carter’s series of books... with such a great female lead character, Ben – and felt that it would make the perfect TV series. A huge appeal was to shoot the series in Donegal, where the books are set; the iconic beautiful landscape of Donegal is breathtaking and a perfect backdrop to the series.” 

Executive producer Ralph Christians: “After adapting all of Ken Bruen's “Jack Taylor” novels for television I love the challenge of bringing another Irish crime series to the global market.”

The producers are currently negotiating a co-production deal with the renowned German production company Neue Deutsche Filmgesellschaft (ndF) which will secure a German broadcast deal.

The announcement follows news of healthy sales of the Irish book market, which showed a 6% bump in volume and a 7% jump in value for the year to date, compared to the UK’s 0.8% increase in volume and 2.1% increase in value.