HarperCollins Children’s Books has partnered with Snapchat to bring Suzy Cox’s 2012 teen novel, The Dead Girls Detective Agency, to the smallest of screens: phones. The 15-episode series launched today under social media platform Snapchat’s Snap Originals banner.
Pitched as Veronica Mars meets The Lying Game, the story follows Charlotte Feldman, a teenage girl who must solve the mystery of how and why she was murdered, if she wants to escape purgatory. The series—which consists of roughly five-minute episodes—is produced by Indigo Development and Entertainment Arts, Insurrection Media, and Keshet Digital Studios.
Jordanna Fraiberg, head of development at Insurrection, said in a statement, “We’re excited to be bringing this wonderful show to Snap’s audiences and energized to continue our rewarding collaboration with HarperCollins as we adapt more of their world class properties into shows.”
Jean McGinley, v-p and associate publisher at HarperCollins Children’s Books, told PW that the partnership with Insurrection is a little more than two years old. “We were attracted to Insurrection,” she said, “because they’re a small, very nimble group of people. They have a really great approach to getting things developed.” McGinley added, “Insurrection is dedicated to finding new and emerging platforms for this type of content, which led them to Snapchat.”
McGinley said of the decision to launch with The Dead Girls Detective Agency, “For years at Harper, we have been trying to get this book made into a TV series! The Insurrection team was really intrigued by the concept, and they were [excited about] the ability to roll it into an episodic series. We’re interested to see how teens are going to come to this type of content.” HarperCollins’s Epic Reads team is also collaborating with Snapchat on content for the publisher’s digital community.
McGinley said that plans are in the works to adapt “several of our properties” for Snapchat, though the details for additional projects have yet to be announced.