Eleventh Hour Films has announced that Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread, Let Him Go, Mum), is set to star in their adaptation of Anthony Horowitz’s crime novel Magpie Murders for PBS MASTERPIECE and BritBox UK, with Academy and BAFTA Award nominated Peter Cattaneo (The Full Monty, Military Wives, The A Word) attached as director.

In Magpie Murders, 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.

Lesley Manville CBE, says, “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!”

Peter Cattaneo says, “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, Eleventh Hour Films, says “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”

Magpie Murders was first published in 2016 and topped multiple best-seller lists including The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, as well as appearing on year-end Best Books lists of USA Today, NPR, and others. International awards include the prestigious Macavity Award for Best Novel. It is the first book in the Susan Ryeland mystery series, and Horowitz’s sequel Moonflower Murders was released in 2020 and is currently in the New York Times bestseller list.

Anthony Horowitz, author and screenwriter of Magpie Murders, says “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, MASTERPIECE, says, “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, 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.

Jon Creamer