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'Magpie Murders' — release date, cast, plot, trailer and more!

'Magpie Murders' star Timothy Spall.
'Magpie Murders' star Timothy Spall. (Image credit: Getty)

Anthony Horowitz’s best-selling murder mystery Magpie Murders is being turned into a six-part series, starring Timothy Spall and Lesley Manville, with further casting to be announced. 

The author has even adapted his own work for the small screen, while The Full Monty and The A Word director Peter Cattaneo takes the helm, as filming gets underway in Ireland and Suffolk. Here’s what we know so far about the twisty-turny crime thriller, which will be on BritBox in the UK and PBS Masterpiece in the US.

Magpie Murders release date...

No release date for Magpie Murders has yet been announced by BritBox, so watch this space, although we think it likely later this year or early 2022. The drama will arrive in the US on PBS Masterpiece in 2022. 

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Magpie Murders — what’s the plot about?

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. 

Meanwhile, Timothy Spall 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!

"I’m delighted to be part of this adaptation of Magpie Murders, and to be working once again with the immensely talented Lesley Manville," says Timothy Spall. "I have huge respect for Anthony Horowitz and think the audience will really enjoy his brilliant adaptation of his wonderful and ingenious novel. I’m really looking forward to getting to grips with bringing the intriguing Atticus Pünd to life."

Where is Magpie Murders filming?

Magpie Murders is about to start filming in Suffolk and Ireland, so no pictures from set have yet been released. We'll be sure to post them when they come in.

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 recently been turned into an Amazon Prime series starring Vicky McClure, Ace Bhatti and Stephen Dillane. He’s also written for television, contributing scripts to ITV’s Poirot and Midsomer Murders, and he even created Foyle’s War — and he’s pretty chuffed Timothy Spall is playing Atticus Pünd…

"I was overjoyed when I heard that Timothy Spall had accepted the part," says Anthony. "I’m a lifelong fan and there isn’t another actor in the world I'd have chosen for this pivotal role."

Magpie Murders cast — Timothy Spall...

One of Britain's best known actors with a career spanning film and TV, 63-year-old Timothy made his name as Brummie builder Barry Taylor in the 1980s ITV comedy-drama Auf Wiedersehen, Pet which can currently be seen on BritBox. He’s probably most famous worldwide for starring as Peter Pettigrew in five of the Harry Potter films and for his roles in the acclaimed movies Mr Turner and The King’s Speech. He played a paranormal investigator in Sky drama The Enfield Haunting, and his most recent venture was playing Terry Perkins in Hatton Garden on ITV which can also be seen on BritBox. Timothy's son is the actor Rafe Spall.

Mr Turner stars Lesley Manville and Timothy Spall

Magpie Murders stars Lesley Manville and Timothy Spall were both in the movie Mr Turner. (Image credit: Alamy)

Magpie Murders cast — Lesley Manville...

Lesley Manville

'Magpie Murders' star Lesley Manville.  (Image credit: Getty)

Lesley has had an extensive film career with leading roles in Secrets & Lies, Vera Drake and more recently Phantom Thread, which won her an Oscar nomination. She’s also worked with Timothy Spall before in Mr Turner. On the small screen, fans will know her as Cathy in the warm-hearted sitcom Mum and as brothel keeper Lydia Quigley in Harlots. Lesley is about to start filming Season 5 of The Crown playing Princess Margaret.

Is there a trailer?

Not yet, watch this space!