EXCLUSIVE: Endeavor Content has acquired A Gentleman’s Murder, an Inkshares debut novel by Christopher Huang and will develop it for television. The novel is set in 1924 London and follows the investigation of a murder at a prestigious soldiers-only club. The victim, whose murder sets the story in motion, is Albert Benson, the Britannia Club’s newest club member and first non-soldier. He’s found stabbed in the club’s vault, the seemingly random contents of his safety-deposit box the only clues to his murder. When the detective assigned by Scotland Yard appears to be intentionally subverting the investigation, Lieutenant Eric Peterkin, one of the club members and a half-Chinese son of a British colonel, undertakes his own search for the truth—one that quickly points to a disappearance from the war and each of his fellow club members as potential killers.
Said Huang of his whodunit: “You grow up on Agatha Christie and Conan Doyle and then one day you run out of those stories. You think to yourself, ‘Self, maybe I can write one of these.’ You work hard to create a compelling mystery in all the expected ways: the murder, the suspects, the clues. But I also wanted to focus on the fundamental drama: an England rushing to embrace the future but still carrying such deep wounds from the war. These are characters broken by war a long time before ‘PTSD’ had a name.”
“The first place you look as a writer is inside,” said Huang. “I grew up in Singapore, which over 160 years had British culture stamped across it. I wanted to put that tension—of looking Chinese but feeling British—into my detective. Eric is British, but he’s what they called ‘half-caste,’ and at a time when the Chinese were rather terrifically villainized. Christie and Conan Doyle wrote what they knew and that was the white experience; I wrote what I knew, which was being caught between these worlds.” Huang is a Montreal-based architect who served as a Signaller in the Singapore Armed Forces.
Inkshares CEO Adam Gomolin made the deal and will be exec producer, and Inkshares Head of Story Matt Harry will also be an e.p. on the series.
Huang is repped by Inkshares, which is publishing the novel in North America on July 31, 2018 and has already sold the rights into multiple foreign publishing territories. The novel was edited at Inkshares by Gomolin, Harry, and Barnaby Conrad III.