ZDF Enterprises has partnered with production companies, December Films and Factual Fiction, to develop a new mystery drama, The Puzzle Lady, based on American author Parnell Hall’s best-selling series of books.

The production partners have acquired the television rights to all 20 books in the Puzzle Lady series featuring the eccentric Cora Felton, a crossword puzzle columnist who can’t resist poking into unsettling events and solving crimes. Series development will start immediately as new Canadian production company, December Films, joins forces with North Yorkshire’s recently established Factual Fiction, producer of two TV films, The Curse of Ishtar and the forthcoming Agatha and the Midnight Murders.

The series‘ development deal is for six episodes with execs Todd Berger, Julie Di Cresce Patrick Irwin and Emily Dalton and screenwriter, Dominique Moloney, at the helm. Moloney has worked on the award-winning Land Girls, Father Brown and Shakespeare & Hathaway amongst many others. She is also the series creator of WPC 56, an original drama for BBC One that ran for three seasons.

Robert Franke, Vice President ZDFE.drama at ZDF Enterprises, said: “Parnell Hall has created, in The Puzzle Lady, a delightful character that has been described as ‘Miss Marple on steroids’, a strong hint that this will not be your typical mystery series. Developing these stories for television is an exciting project for all three partners and we are extremely proud to have such a skilled and talented writer as Dominique Moloney join the team.”

Jon Creamer

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