‘Magpie Murders’ trailer: ‘Foyle’s War’ writer returns with new 1950s crime drama

BritBox has released the first trailer for Anthony Horowitz’s new “crime drama with a unique twist.”

The Foyle’s War creator has adapted his acclaimed 2016 novel Magpie Murders for PBS and BritBox.

Magpie Murders is described as “a murder mystery within a murder mystery, spanning two time periods (1950s and contemporary Britain) with cast portraying multiple characters in different literary dimensions.”

Lesley Manville leads the show 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.

The 64-year-old English actress is best known for her roles in World on Fire, Mum, and Harlots.

When the project was first announced in 2020, Manville commented: “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!”

Magpie Murders will premiere in the UK on Thursday 10th February exclusively on BritBox.

The cast also includes Matthew Beard (Vienna Blood), Tim McMullan (Foyle’s War), Daniel Mays (Ashes to Ashes), Pippa Haywood (Bridgerton), Michael Maloney (The Crown), Alexandros Logothetis (The Island), and Claire Rushbrook (Whitechapel).

They’ll be joined by Game Of Thrones actor Conleth Hill as Alan Conway, author of the fictitious Atticus Pünd novels.

Daniel Mays commented: “I’m beyond thrilled to be joining the hugely talented cast of Magpie Murders, not least to finally share the screen with the incredible Lesley Manville. Anthony Horowitz’ scripts are ingenious.”

He added: “Murder, intrigue with plenty of laughs and tears along the way. I couldn’t put them down. With two timeframes to play in and the actors portraying not one but two roles it presented a wonderful opportunity to create a special piece of television.”

Watch the trailer:


Magpie Murders will air in the US later this year on Sunday nights on PBS Masterpiece.

Producer Jill Green previously said: “This is an extraordinary and distinctive drama. I don’t think there’s ever been a crime show like it with a strong female lead treading the line between reality and fiction as she fights to uncover the truth.”

Lesley Manville has a busy year ahead of her, playing the new Princess Margaret in The Crown, then hopefully filming the long-awaited second season of World on Fire.

Foyle’s War is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.