Magpie Murders — US release date, cast, plot, trailer and all you need to know

In Magpie Murders Lesley Manville stars as book editor Susan Ryeland.
Magpie Murders stars Lesley Manville as book editor Susan Ryeland and Tim McMullan as Atticus Pünd. (Image credit: ITV)

Anthony Horowitz’s best-selling murder mystery Magpie Murders has been turned into a six-part series by BritBox, starring Tim McMullan, Lesley Manville, Daniel Mays, Pippa Haywood, Michael Maloney and Conleth Hill. 

Timothy Spall had been signed on to the project but pulled out of Magpie Murders earlier this year before filming for personal reasons.

The author Anthony Horowitz has adapted his Magpie Murders novel (opens in new tab) for the small screen, while The Full Monty and The A Word director Peter Cattaneo takes the helm, filming in Ireland and Suffolk. Here’s what we know so far about the twisty-turny crime thriller, which is available now on BritBox in the UK and heading to PBS Masterpiece in the US in October 2022.

Magpie Murders US release date

The six-part drama will arrive this autumn in the US on PBS Masterpiece (opens in new tab) as part of PBS's Masterpiece Mystery season. Episodes will run on PBS at 9/8c on Sunday nights from October 16, 2022, until November 20, 2022. Magpie Murders was released on BritBox in the UK on Thursday, February 10, 2022.

BritBox is the No. 1 way to watch all your favorite British shows from the BBC and ITV. And you can watch it easily via Amazon Prime Video Channels. All your subscription and billing is handled through your Amazon account, allowing you to watch as much as you want for a single price. (opens in new tab)
On Amazon Prime Vi...

BritBox is the No. 1 way to watch all your favorite British shows from the BBC and ITV. And you can watch it easily via Amazon Prime Video Channels. All your subscription and billing is handled through your Amazon account, allowing you to watch as much as you want for a single price.

Magpie Murders — the plot

The plot of Magpie Murders revolves around editor Susan Ryeland (Lesley Manville) who’s given a tattered, unfinished manuscript by best-selling crime author Alan Conway. She's aghast that it seems to be missing the last chapter! "A Whoddunit without an ending? It won't even be worth the paper it's not printed on!" she explains. There's no sign of the author himself either, and some believe he's dead, possibly through murder! So Susan is set on a path that will change her life forever. 

Meanwhile, Tim McMullan stars as the clever and complex 1950s detective Atticus Pünd, who’s renowned for solving crimes in Conway’s fictional novels. 

But Alan Conway’s latest murder mystery isn’t quite what it seems and hidden between the pages there lies another story that will end up changing Susan’s life. Look out for the fiendish modern twist!

Is there a trailer for Magpie Murders?

Yes, a trailer for Magpie Murders has been released by BritBox which starts with an intriguing opening: "There are many who believe Atticus Pund to be the world's greatest detective" Lesley Manville's Susan Ryeland is excited by the latest mystery book but exasperated that it's missing its last chapter! Take a look at the trailer below.

Magpie Murders writer — Anthony Horowitz

The most famous works of British writer Anthony Horowitz include the Alex Rider series, about an ordinary teen recruited to MI6, which has been turned into a Prime Video series starring Vicky McClure, Ace Bhatti and Stephen Dillane. He’s also written for television, contributing scripts to Poirot and Midsomer Murders and he created Foyle’s War.

Who's in the Magpie Murders cast?

Tim McMullan plays detective Atticus Pünd
McMullan is an English actor who's starred in the hit films Shakespeare In Love with Dame Judi Dench and The Queen alongside Helen Mirren. He recently starred as Douglas Cartwright in the crime drama The Serpent (currently on Netflix). Fans of The Crown on Netflix may have spotted him in season 3, in the astronauts' episode called "Moondust". Going back further, Tim starred as Arthur Valentine in the TV series Foyles War.

Tim McMullan as Atticus Pünd on the case.

Magpie Murders first look: Tim McMullan as Atticus Pünd on the case. (Image credit: ITV)

Lesley Manville plays book editor Susan Ryeland.
Lesley told us: "She’s an independent, spirited woman who lives by her own rules. She’s fabulous! ‘I really like her as a person, as she's not done what most people would have expected her to.

"When Alan sends Susan the manuscript of his latest book, it's missing the last chapter. Then he dies and, from that point on, the story flips between the circumstances surrounding Conway's death, and how it parallels with the deaths of characters in the book he has written. Susan stops being an editor and gets more interested in solving the murder – if it is murder…"

Lesley has had an extensive film career with leading roles in Secrets & Lies, Vera Drake and more recently Mrs Harris Goes to Paris. She worked with Timothy Spall before in Mr. Turner. On the television screen, fans will know her as Cathy in the warm-hearted sitcom Mum and as brothel keeper Lydia Quigley in Harlots. Lesley recently starred in Channel 4 drama I Am Maria, and she's in The Crown season 5 playing Princess Margaret.

Lesley Manville in Magpie Murders.

Lesley Manville Susan Ryeland in Magpie Murders. (Image credit: ITV)

Other members of the Magpie Murders cast include Daniel Mays (Code 404, Franklin), Pippa Haywood (Bodyguard), Michael Maloney (The Crown), and Game Of Thrones star Conleth Hill, Alexandros Logothetis (42°C, The Island), Claire Rushbrook (Whitechapel, My Mad Fat Diary) and Matthew Beard (Dracula, And When Did You Last See Your Father?).

Daniel Mays in Magpie Murders.

Daniel Mays in Magpie Murders. (Image credit: ITV)
Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.