‘Mum’s’ Lesley Manville to head cast for Anthony Horowitz’s ‘Magpie Murders’

Lesley Manville in Mum. Photo: Courtesy BBC

While it was recently announced that Foyle’s War creator, Anthony Horowitz, would adapt his best-selling novel, Magpie Murders, as part of PBS’ Masterpiece series, there was really no movement other than that given the ongoing UK production coronavirus lockdown.

Things are looking up, however, as Magpie Murders seems to be one step closer to the start of production filming with the announcement that the brilliant Lesley Manville (Mum, Phantom Thread, World on Fire) will head the cast.  Manville will play Susan Ryeland, an editor who is given an unfinished manuscript of author Alan Conway’s latest mystery novel, with little idea it will change her life.

Lesley Manville CBE, says, “Fans of Anthony Horowitz’s highly acclaimed, thrilling novel will be utterly delighted that it is being made into a 6-part drama. I could not be happier to be playing Susan Ryeland – what a fabulous character for me to grapple with!

Lauded as “a magnificent piece of crime fiction” and “an ingenious novel within a novel” by the Sunday Times (London), Magpie Murders has topped multiple best-seller lists including the New York Times and Los Angeles Times and appeared on the year-end Best Books lists of NPR, USA Today and others. Its international awards include the prestigious Macavity Award for Best Novel.

Sounding equally as excited about their upcoming collaborative effort, Masterpiece EP Susanne Simpson said, “Anthony Horowitz is a master mystery writer, and Magpie Murders is a beautiful and complex work. Our Masterpiece audience will truly enjoy this intriguing story of a mystery within a mystery.

Horowitz who, besides creating Foyle’s War, has written for television including scripts for Agatha Christie’s Poirot and Midsomer Murders in addition to Murder Most Horrid and Robin of Sherwood, said: “Magpie Murders is my most successful novel and it wasn’t easy to adapt. But I think the result is a completely original drama that will delight and beguile audiences in equal measure.

Manville’s life is about to get pretty busy  and her CV a bit crowded as she will also star as Princess Margaret in the 5th and 6th seasons of Left Bank Pictures’ drama The Crown on Netflix. Unfortunately, with the UK just now coming out of their most recent production lockdown, there’s no telling when Magpie Murders will see the light of day. But, with casting for Magpie Murders beginning to be announced, let’s hope for a 2022 premiere on PBS’ Masterpiece.


In: Mystery