Lesley Manville to Star in Magpie Murders Adaptation


Eleventh Hour Films is adapting Anthony Horowitz’s acclaimed crime novel Magpie Murders for PBS Masterpiece and BritBox UK, with Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread, Let Him Go, Mum) attached to star.

Manville will star as 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. Magpie Murders is the first book in the Susan Ryeland mystery series; the sequel, Moonflower Murders, was released in 2020.

BAFTA Award-nominated Peter Cattaneo (The Full Monty, Military Wives, The A Word) is attached as director.

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

Cattaneo said, “Anthony has adapted his novel into wonderfully witty and richly layered scripts. Two cleverly intertwined stories and a host of fascinating characters led by Lesley Manville make this an irresistible opportunity for a director.”

Jill Green, chief executive of Eleventh Hour Films, said, “Lesley is one of our finest acting talents and it is wonderful to have an actress at the top of her game to bring Susan Ryeland to life. Peter is a brilliant and experienced director who will capture the extraordinary and distinctive tone of the mystery.”

Horowitz, author and screenwriter of Magpie Murders, said, “I’m thrilled by the casting of Lesley Manville as my unorthodox editor/investigator, Susan Ryeland. Magpie Murders is a detective drama like no other and I hope it will delight and beguile audiences in equal measure.”

Susanne Simpson, executive producer for Masterpiece, commented, “Anthony’s Magpie Murders is a brilliant ‘mystery within a mystery,’ and we’re so excited that Lesley and Peter will bring their exceptional talents to this series.”

Will Harrison, managing director of BritBox UK, commented, “Lesley Manville and Peter Cattaneo are heavyweights of the British film and television industry, and we couldn’t be more delighted to announce their involvement.”