Saffron Cherry Productions, creator of the international hit show The Madame Blanc Mysteries, has secured the TV rights for Julia Chapman’s The Dales Detective series, published by Pan Macmillan.

The mystery series follows former Met detective and black sheep Samson O’Brien as he returns to his hometown of Bruncliffe, in the picturesque Yorkshire Dales, to set up a detective agency. Once there he joins forces with Delilah Metcalfe, owner of the Dales Dating Agency, to solve a series of local crimes, ably supported by an eccentric cast of characters who live in Bruncliffe and Delilah’s Weimaraner, Tolpuddle.

Described by the publisher as a “combination of beguiling charm and witty ingenuity” the first seven titles in the series have sold in excess of 200,000 copies throughout the world in the English language and have also been translated into French, German, Italian, Dutch, Danish, Swedish and Estonian. The eighth novel, Date with Evil, will be published by Pan Macmillan in April. Author Julia Chapman is in the top 1% of UK Library authors borrowed.

Last year the series was also made into a ratings winner, primetime TV show in France, where the books regularly hit the bestseller charts.

The rights were acquired from Conrad Williams at Blake Friedmann on behalf of Oli Munson at AM Heath.

The Dales Detective series will be developed by Saffron Cherry’s Caroline Roberts-Cherry and Head of Scripted Jane Langford (Hollyoaks, Metastasis, Jordskott S2, Origin). Saffron Cherry’s Creative Director, actress and writer Sally Lindsay, will also serve as executive producer. The adaptation is being written by Stewart Harcourt (Agatha Raisin, Poirot, Maigret).

Sally Lindsay, creative director, Saffron Cherry Productions, said: “We are thrilled that Julia has trusted us with her novels and are excited by the adaptation of A Date with Death that Stuart Harcourt has delivered.”

Caroline Roberts-Cherry, MD, Saffron Cherry Productions, said: “We are incredibly excited to be developing The Dales Detective for television. Following the huge success of The Madame Blanc Mysteries, we feel incredibly well placed to hit all the right notes with this much-loved book series, and create a long running show loved by fans new and old.”

Julia Chapman said: “The passion which Caroline, Sally and the team at Saffron Cherry have brought to this project so far has been amazing and I’m over the moon that Stewart Harcourt is on board for the screenplay. I know Samson, Delilah and the good folk of Bruncliffe have found the best of all possible homes.”

To date, Saffron Cherry has created and produced The Madame Blanc Mysteries for Channel 5 and Acorn TV (a co-production with Clapperboard), the double award winning The World According to Grandpa for Channel 5’s Milkshake! and The Wonton Warrior, for CBBC which received three international nominations for The Rockies, Kidscreen Awards and Content Innovation Awards.

Image: Saffron Cherry MD Caroline Roberts-Cherry and Creative Director Sally Lindsay

Pippa Considine

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