Detective drama Magpie Murders is adapted from Anthony Horowitz’s crime novels and stars Timothy McMullan and Lesley Manville in the lead roles.

Here’s everything we know so far about the plot, cast, and release date of Magpie Murders.

What is the Magpie Murders plot?

The detective series has been adapted for TV from Anthony Horowitz’s novels.

Described as a mystery with a solution that will astonish and grip viewers, we’re expecting plenty of jawdropping plot twists from this one.

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In the novel, editor Susan Ryeland is working on the latest manuscript from the mystery writer Alan Conway - bestselling creator of the detective Atticus Pünd - when she discovers that the final chapters are missing.

When she goes to Conway's house to retrieve the missing pages, she stumbles across a mystery that can only be solved by reading back through the manuscript itself.

Horowitz 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.” 

The author is also known for his Alex Rider series which was adapted for film starring Alex Pettyfer, and for creating hit drama series Foyle’s War.

Who is in the Magpie Murders cast?

Lesley Manville in Magpie Murders Eleventh Hour Films

In March 2021, it was announced that Timothy Spall - known for Mr Turner, Harry Potter and Auf Wiedersehen, Pet - had taken on the lead role of Pund.

However, he had to pull out because of scheduling conflicts and was replaced by The Crown's Timothy McMullan.

Lesley Manville co-stars as Susan Ryeland and is best known to viewers for her roles in Mum, The Crown, and Harlots.

Daniel Mays in Magpie Murders Eleventh Hour Films

Writer Conway is portrayed by Conleth Hill.

Further cast members include Daniel Mays (Line of Duty, Des), Alexandros Logothetis (42°C, The Island), Claire Rushbrook (Whitechapel, My Mad Fat Diary), Matthew Beard (Dracula, And When Did You Last See Your Father?), Pippa Haywood (Bodyguard, Green Wing, Bridgerton) and Michael Maloney (The Crown, The Trial Of Christine Keeler).

The series is directed by Peter Cattaneo (The Full Monty, Military Wives, The A Word).

Matthew Beard, Tim McMullan, Peter Cattaneo and Lesley Manville on the set of Magpie Murders. Eleventh Hour Films

When is the Magpie Murders release date?

Magpie Murders will start on BBC One and iPlayer from Saturday 1 April at 9.15pm.

It was released on BritBox in February 2022.

Production finished in London, Suffolk and Ireland in August 2021.

Will there be a Magpie Murders sequel?

Yes, the BBC will air the follow up to Magpie Murders, titled Moonflower Murders, in 2024.

Moonflower Murders will film later this year, and will see Manville and McMullan reprise the roles they originated in Magpie Murders.

Further information about the series will be announced in due course.