Teenager Pip Fitz-Amobi investigates the disappearance of Andie Bell

​Thursday: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder (BBC1, 9.15pm & 10.40pm)
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

The plot takes place during the summer holidays, but teenager Pip Fitz-Amobi is focused on an unusual school research project.

In the village of Little Kilton, five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell went missing.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Her boyfriend Sal sent a text confessing to the murder before being found dead, seemingly taking his own life. Andie’s body was never found.

​Holly Jackson’s debut novel, A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, was a smash hit YA mystery thriller​Holly Jackson’s debut novel, A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, was a smash hit YA mystery thriller
​Holly Jackson’s debut novel, A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, was a smash hit YA mystery thriller

Case closed.

However, Pip isn’t so sure – and is determined to prove Sal’s innocence…

The novel’s success was further bolstered by TikTok’s reading community, dubbed BookTok, and it will now find another new audience as it’s adapted by the BBC into this six-part crime series.

However, the book – like its sequels, Good Girl, Bad Blood and As Good as Dead – is so beloved by its legion of mainly young fans, making it into a TV series must be a daunting task.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Many an adaptation has fallen foul of the fact that crucial changes have had to be made to better suit a serialised TV narrative. Even beneficial changes can make existing fans feel alienated – and, after all, these are the people you really want to please the most.

Screenwriter and exec producer Poppy Cogan explains: “The novel was such a hit and had such an emotional connection to its fans that it felt like a huge responsibility to do it justice.

“So that was the first challenge and then there were some more executional challenges that we had to think about.”

Among those must be the challenge that, when reading, one gets a picture in one’s mind. Whatever is shown on screen must aim to match that.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Poppy agrees, and thinks she had an advantage in that regard: “Part of the charm of the book is that it is written in quite a graphic style. It has interview transcripts, typed up notes, handwritten post-its, which give the book a fun visual feel.

“Of course, we needed to find a different way to get the information across on the screen, everything needed to come to life.

“Another big challenge was working out what we should leave out. We’ve only got six 45-minute episodes, and there’s a lot of material in the book so it was about honing that, figuring out what was okay to leave out and what we needed to keep. It was a challenge, but Holly was really helpful with this.”

Holly confirms this, stating: “What has always been most important to me throughout this adaptation process is to stay loyal to the source material and make sure it adheres to the spirit of the book, as I know that that’s what readers truly want to see”.

So whether you’re familiar with Holly’s novel or not, you should be in for a treat.