|All aboard! The Crofts train is coming to the station.|
From the article:
Set in 1930s Ireland, Scotland and England, Inspector French is a dogged world class detective banished from Scotland Yard to post-partition Northern Ireland where he battles to introduce modern policing techniques to a reluctant force....
[Freeman Wills] Crofts was a Belfast railway engineer who became a bestselling crime author...Critics describe him as "the father of the police procedural." TS Eliot was a fan, and Raymond Chandler described him as "the soundest builder of them all," said (writer Brendan] Foley.
"The backdrop to Inspector French's investigations are the great houses and factories of the new industrialists as well as the mean streets of Belfast and the country estates of the fading aristocracy," said Foley....
"The series is crammed with interesting characters, none more so than Inspector French himself ,who hides secrets of his own as he cracks cases."
Would you ever have expected this ten years ago? I've been talking on and off with Brendan Foley about this project for some time now, and now it appears that he has brilliantly brought it off. Much credit to Brendan, whom I plan to post my interview with this weekend.
I have read the script of what is to be the first episode, based on a Crofts novel which I write about extensively in my 2012 book about Crofts, John Street and JJ Connington, and I am excited about the whole thing. Crofts readers will be able to tell just from this article that there are changes being made for the adaptation, changes which will be forthrightly aired here, but I think fans of the book will be pleased, as well as mystery fans more generally.
I do hope the series will do well, because think of all the locked doors it could send flying open to additional mysteries series adaptations of Golden Age detective novels, as the Deadline article hints concerning possible filming of additional Harper/Collins Crime Club reprints. Incidentally, I contributed an introduction to the last of the series: Carolyn Wells' Murder in the Bookshop. Anyone up for "The Fleming Stone Mysteries"?
Or, heck, how about my cherished John Rhode? Phlip Macdonald? JJ Connington? Brian Flynn? John Bude? ECR Lorac? Moray Dalton? Who knows, folks? These are golden days to dream, mystery dreamers, so dare to dream big!
The adaptation would be as if "Peaky Blinders invaded Downton Abbey," says Brendan Foley. There will be more said here about that in that in the coming days, believe me! Personally I think it fits with a point I made in my book and in this prior blog post about Crofts, in which I compared him in some ways (and contrasted him in others) with modern crime writer Ian Rankin. Read the post and see what you think of my reasoning.