Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Strangeways Gets Another Shot

Many years have passed now since I last read a novel by “Nicholas Blake,” aka British poet Cecil Day-Lewis. My recollection is that in my 20s, I pored through four of five of his books starring gentleman sleuth Nigel Strangeways, but haven’t picked up any more since. So I was intrigued to find this item in blogger B.V. Lawson’s latest wrap-up of crime-fiction projects for the large and small screens:
The BBC is developing a detective drama series based on the classic 1938 mystery novel The Beast Must Die by Nicholas Blake, the nom de plume of poet Cecil Day-Lewis, father of Daniel Day-Lewis. The adaptation is being written by Gaby Chiappe, who has written on a number of British crime dramas, including ITV’s Vera as well as BBC’s Shetland. Nathaniel Parker, the actor who played the lead role in The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, is an executive producer for the project, which is likely to be five or six episodes. Deadline added that the “series could turn into a long-running franchise for the BBC as Blake/Day Lewis wrote 15 books featuring the detective.”
Actually, I think there are 16 Strangeways novels. But regardless, just getting one adapted for television should be a treat. And as Sergio Angelini remarked several years ago in his excellent blog, Tipping My Fedora, The Beast Must Die “is regarded by many to be the author’s finest work and … certainly must rank as his most distinctive.”

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