Author of Alex Rider, Foyle's War, Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, TV and film writer, occasional journalist.


Murder mystery masterclass - Magpie Murders Review by Sarah Vine

Mon, May 01, 2023



I write this slightly bleary-eyed, having just binge-watched all six episodes of this brilliant series. Honestly, I couldn’t stop myself. I just had to get to the end.

Based on the 2016 book by Anthony Horowitz and adapted here by him, it is in every respect a perfect piece of television. Horowitz of course co-wrote Midsomer Murders, and this has more than a feel of that much-loved series, that sense of an outward gentility concealing a festering darkness.

It’s clever, witty, intriguing, beautifully cast, classily produced and elegantly scripted. It’s also a joyful and unashamed celebration of that most beloved and enduring of genres, the murder-mystery.

There are elements of all the great detectives here - Marple, Poirot, Holmes - and nods to the many sidekicks, clichés and plot twists that have, over the decades, kept us all guessing. It’s a masterclass in how to write the perfect detective story, written by one of the masters. Every character, every clue, every tiny detail, woven together into a flawless narrative. I savoured every scene.

Read the full review on MailPlus