In its first major literary option, Bryncoed Productions has secured the TV drama rights to Ian Sansom’s The County Guides To Murder. Screenwriter and playwright Steve Thompson, whose credits include Sherlock, Jericho, Deep State and Doctor Who, is set to adapt the books into a multi-part TV series.

The County Guides are currently made up of four books, on pace for a projected 44 novels. Leading the action is the idiosyncratic Swanton Morley, aka the People’s Professor, who is compiling a series of guides of the counties of England. But mysterious murders keep getting in the way of his academic endeavors. The storylines weave together old-fashioned murder with a secret history of 1930s Britain and a cast of quirky, original characters.

Foz Allan (Riviera, Jekyll & Hyde) is founder and CEO of Canterbury-based Bryncoed Productions. He calls The County Guides “a topographical study of the folklore, crafts and traditions of 1930s England” and “immensely clever murder mysteries, inspired by the Golden Age of British detective fiction.”

Says Thompson, “The County Guides reflect a growing appetite for a world that’s fading and dying. Much has already gone: the last veteran of the First World War, the last native Cornish speaker, the last hand-crafted piano-maker… Ian Sansom’s witty and inventive novels offer 21st century audiences who enjoy fetishizing the past — from restoring old houses to collecting vintage cars and antiques — a journey though the traditions and crafts of the early 20th century, with the occasional puzzle to solve involving a corpse.”