Published in 2020, Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz is the incredibly successful follow-up to Magpie Murders.

The sequel follows former editor Susan Ryeland and picks up pretty much where the first book ended.

Susan is now living in Crete and running a small hotel with her fiancé. Out of the blue she is approached by a couple, Lawrence and Pauline Treherne.

Their daughter, Cecily, has upped and vanished and they’ve come to Crete to get Susan’s help in finding her.

Everything revolves around the hotel they own back in England. Years earlier a guest was murdered there and the late author Alan Conway then visited before writing a novel they believe is based on that crime.

Cecily, while reading the book Atticus Pund Takes the Case, discovered a clue that pointed to the killer but before she could tell anybody she vanished.

So is her disappearance, the original murder and the book connected? The Treherne’s believe it is and they need Susan to prove it.

Reluctantly, and because they are offering her £10K, she agrees to return to England to investigate.

Susan’s investigation leads her to revisit the scene of the original crime, where she interviews various suspects and witnesses.

As she digs deeper, she realises that the key to solving Cecily’s disappearance lies within the pages of Conway’s novel.

TV Adaptation

Like Magpie Murders, Moonflower Murders is a book within a book. And of course, that inner book features the Private Detective Atticus Pund.

Despite it being a different story some characters are staples of the series so expect to see Lesley Manville back as Susan Ryeland and Tim McMullan as Pund.

Conleth Hill returns as the author Alan Conway and, as with the previous adaptation, almost all of the supporting actors take on roles both in the ‘real world’ as well as the re-telling of Conway’s book which is set in 1954.

Moonflower Murders is a testament to Horowitz’s skill in crafting intricate plots and engaging readers with clever storytelling techniques.

Thankfully, this also carries through to the TV series though this is a little bit of a double edged sword.

So, it’s fantastic if you haven’t read the book but sticks so closely to the original material that, if you have read the book, you’ll already know whodunnit!

That said, I’m definitely going to be tuning in when it airs on PBS when the first of six episodes drops on September 15th 2024.

After that, weekly episodes will air on Sunday’s – the perfect way to round off the weekend!

Cast

As mentioned above, Manville, McMullan and Hill are all back as the core trio involved in the book the series is based on.

Joining them from Magpie Murders are Alexandros Logothetis as Andreas, Daniel Mays as Locke/Chubb, Claire Rushbrook as Kate, Matthew Beard as James, and Sanjeev Kohli as Sajid Khan.

New cast members include Mark Gatiss, Rosalie Craig, Pippa Bennett-Warner, and Adrian Rawlins.

Will There Be Another Series?

The simple answer as to whether or not there will be a third TV series is that nobody knows.

Horowitz has only written two of the ‘Murders’ books so if a third one was to be filmed, it would have to be a brand new script with no original source material.

Of course it’s quite handy that Anthony Horowitz is more than capable of conjuring up another brilliant mystery and we know that from Magpie Murders, there are nine Atticus Pund books in the Alan Conway series.

That means there is plenty of opportunities to continue the TV show and given how successful it was for the BBC – 6.4 million viewers tuned in – it should be a no-brainer.

But there are only so many hours in the day and Horowitz is also working on the next Daniel Hawthorne novel so whether he has the time is anybody’s guess.

If Moonflower Murders proves to be another hit on both sides of the pond, I’m sure he can be convinced!

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