A NEW crime-thriller mystery series filmed in Axbridge, Somerset, is set to air on BBC Three, with all episodes available on BBC iPlayer from Monday, July 1.

Teen mystery A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder stars Emma Myers and Anna Maxwell Martin join the novel’s author Holly Jackson to chat to Rachael Davis.

Since its release in 2019, Holly Jackson’s young adult mystery crime novel A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder has become a teen sensation. It gained traction on BookTok – the corner of social media app TikTok on which users dole out book reviews and recommendations – and has won a number of awards, including 2020’s British Book Awards Children’s Fiction Book Winner of the Year.

Now, the story is coming to the small screen with a BBC Three series starring Wednesday’s Emma Myers as protagonist Pip. As with the novel, the story follows Pip as she embarks on an unusual school research project.

Five years ago, in Pip’s small town of Little Kilton, schoolgirl Andie Bell went missing. Her boyfriend, Sal Singh, sent a text confessing to the murder before he was found dead, apparently having taken his own life, and Andie’s body was never found. The case was deemed closed but Pip isn’t so sure, so she uses her Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) to investigate the case and find out what really went on.

In doing so, Emma Myers, 22, says, Pip “digs up a lot of secrets and pokes her nose in places she shouldn’t”, drawn to the case because she felt so close to it.

“It happened in her small hometown, which is an ‘everybody knows everybody’ sort of town… it’s a very personal case for her,” says Myers, who plays Enid Sinclair in Wednesday.

“I think she’s the type of person who has this drive for justice and wants to do right by the world.”

Myers is joined by a brilliant cast of fresh talent, including Zain Iqbal as Ravi Singh, India Lillie Davies as Andie Bell, Rahul Pattni as Sal Singh and Asha Banks as Cara Ward, as well as familiar faces such as Mathew Baynton, Gary Beadle and Anna Maxwell Martin.

“I hadn’t read the book but my daughter had, so I was aware that lots of people were going crazy for it,” says Maxwell Martin, 47, known for Line Of Duty and Motherland.

“When something comes along that your children are going mad for, you do tend to have a little look and get involved in it. It’s quite nice that I’m in something they can watch, rather than things that are inappropriate or that make them cringe massively and hate watching me in it!”

“I play Leanne, who is Pip’s mum,” she continues.

“I think she’s pretty nice as a mum, she just cares about, and is a bit worried about, her. She can see Pip going down a precarious road.

“She’s pretty sensible, although I can imagine her feeling a bit full on, maybe a little bit pushy! She has high expectations of Pip which I think means she is pushy, she can’t bear to see her waste her life.”

Author Holly Jackson handed over the reins to screenwriter Poppy Cogan for this adaptation, and says she’s delighted with the way it has turned out.

“In TV world, you have to let go a little bit, because it takes a whole village to make every little thing – if I was there, being like: ‘Oh, I don’t like that lighting’, like, I’ve got a reputation for myself!” jokes Jackson, 31, who also penned A Good Girl’s Guide…’s sequels: Good Girl, Bad Blood and As Good As Dead, and prequel Kill Joy.

“You do have to let go at some point and I’m very happy with our final product,” she adds.

“I think, touch wood, that all the fans will be as well… I’m quite nervous for it to come out and see the reactions. So far, reactions to everything – our casting, our snippets, our teaser trailer – have all been good.”

Jackson says that she’s loved watching Myers bring Pip to life from the page, noting the inherent difficulties in portraying the inner monologue of a character as she tries to figure out a baffling mystery.

“There aren’t enough words in the English language to describe how good she is,” says the author.

“In a show like this, which is quite technically difficult – because we’re translating a book where we have access to her thoughts, so we can see that Pip’s thinking: ‘Oh, that’s a clue, now I think this guy’s suspicious’ – you can’t necessarily do that if you don’t have an appropriate character she could have a dialogue with. So it’s like, how do you communicate that?

“Emma Myers’ face. That’s all you need.

“She can do one little twitch of her eyeball, and you’re like, ‘Oh, she’s thinking this’. She’s just so watchable, so professional.”

On her days off from the intense murder mystery storyline, Myers – who hails from Florida – says she loved any chance to explore the “chocolate box villages, the nice, idyllic life” in the English countryside. While the series was filmed in Axbridge, Somerset, the star took the chance to see some of England’s famous stately homes – including a favourite from the 2005 film adaptation of Pride And Prejudice.

“I didn’t really get that much time to explore…” Myers laments.

“On one of my weekends off my dad was visiting and he rented a car, and we drove up to Mr Darcy’s Chatsworth House, which was incredible.

“I loved that drive up there, it’s so pretty, and the house itself is great.”

While there are plenty of crime dramas and mystery programmes out there, Myers says there’s much that sets A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder apart from the rest – not least its young adult audience and compelling teenage protagonist.

“The show is different from a lot of other crime shows, namely that the detective is a teenage girl and it’s a female-driven story,” she says.

“It’s really interesting, and the twists and turns that are in it are so well done and so well fleshed out.

“Holly really thought about every single thing up until the end, and you can totally tell when you read the book, and then the way it has been translated into the scripts – Poppy just did that phenomenally.

“It’s one of a kind.”

A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder comes to BBC iPlayer on Monday July 1.

Additional reporting by Rachael Davis, PA Entertainment Features Writer.