♪ ♪ He's finished it.
Number one in time for Christmas.
♪ ♪ SUSAN: You never did like Alan, did you?
ANDREAS: He's an unpleasant man.
You can't do this to me, Alan.
I have rights, you know?
You have nothing.
CONWAY: The sister-- unmarried, unloved, and desperate for cash.
MAN: Who was that?
FREDDY: My dad.
I wish he'd drop dead.
Look at this.
It's his suicide note.
Alan didn't give us the whole novel?
A whodunit without the solution?
JOY: I'm very much in love with Robert Blakiston.
They think he killed his mother.
Come to Saxby.
Tell them the truth.
My cousin Yannis has been offered a hotel in Crete.
You want me to go with you?
DR. BENSON: Mr. Pünd, the tumor is very advanced.
How much time do I have?
SUSAN: I'm gonna go to Suffolk and look for the missing pages.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ (thunder claps) (whimpers) (click) ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ (dramatic music playing) CONWAY (voiceover): Sir Magnus Pye was murdered two days after he returned to his home at Pye Hall.
(music slows) Oh, no, that's crap.
"There is nowhere more dangerous than an English village."
"And, in Saxby-On-Avon, everybody had a reason to wish Sir Magnus dead."
But which one of them was it?
Who struck the fatal blow?
Brent, the gardener?
"You're worse than useless.
I've had enough of you," Sir Magnus said.
"What are you suggesting?
That I didn't want to be fired so I cut his head off?"
"But could there be another reason for the killing?
"What about the tragedy "at the lake 12 years ago?
"Could it be that Sir Magnus was responsible?
(German accent): "You never blamed him?"
Pünd, very German accent.
(Scottish accent): "If I say I did Mr. Pünd, would you accuse me of his murder?"
Yes, I like that.
"And then there was the untimely death of Mary Blakiston.
Did her ex-husband want revenge?"
(German accent): "You were no friend of Sir Magnus."
"He took my wife and my family.
He took everything I ever loved."
"There was no love lost between him and his sister Clarissa."
(female voice): "Pye Hall and all the land should've been mine."
And as for his marriage... (loud smack) ...it was worse than mine.
(female voice): "One day I swear I'll put a knife in you and I won't care if I hang for it."
Get all the suspects lined up and then... "That night, Sir Magnus was alone.
"Darkness had fallen on Saxby-On-Avon.
"At Pye Hall, all was still.
"But in the grounds, a soft breeze rippled across the lake.
"The water was as cold and as black as death itself.
(keys clacking, dramatic music playing) "And that night indeed the house was to be witness to murder."
(dramatic music playing) "I think you ought to leave."
(sinister music playing) (swishing through the air, dramatic gasp) (loud slice, multiple thuds) (chuckles softly) ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ (door opens) Here we are.
Thank you, James.
Did you see this?
Poor Lady Mount-batten.
Her car was stolen.
It says it was in the middle of Hyde Park.
No, no, no.
That's not the story I meant.
"Police were called to the village of Saxby-on-Avon "following the death of Sir Magnus Pye, a wealthy local landowner and the owner of Pye Hall."
Sir Magnus Pye... We don't know him, do we?
No, but Saxby-on-Avon is the village the young lady came from.
(tuts) You introduced her to me recently.
And Mary Blakiston, the mother of her fiancé, also died at Pye Hall.
She worked for Sir Magnus.
Eh... quite a coincidence.
You think so?
I told Miss Sanderling that I could not help.
There was nothing I could do.
But what she asked me was rumor, innuendo, a suspicion that Robert Blakiston might have played a part in his mother's death.
And does this make any difference?
This is murder.
And murder can be solved.
♪ ♪ FRASER: So you think they're connected?
Mary Blakiston and Sir Magnus Pye?
She was his housekeeper, so the answer is self-evident.
(sighs) It's my belief there is no such thing as a coincidence.
Everything in life is part of a pattern and coincidence is simply the moment when that pattern becomes briefly visible.
As such, it must be of great value to the detective.
It's something that I've written about.
Mm, your book.
"The Landscape of Criminal Investigation."
I can't wait to read it.
The way things are going, you may end up having to write it.
(car roars past) (soft chuckle) ("Stop This Flame" by Celeste playing) ♪ You'll never stop this flame ♪ ♪ I will never let you go ♪ ♪ Well who am I to say?
♪ ♪ Maybe by now you should know ♪ ♪ You got your somebody calling ♪ ♪ You think you're somebody, don't you?
♪ ♪ I think you're scared of keeping somebody close ♪ ♪ You'll never stop this flame ♪ ♪ I will never let you go.
♪ (music stops abruptly, indistinct chatter) (car horn honking) Excuse me.
Uh, what's happening here?
Ye-- (slightly scoffs) yeah.
I, I sort of got that.
Um, it's just that I've been sitting here quite a while.
Do they ever go green?
They're green now.
(car horn honking) Nobody's moving though.
Yeah, I've noticed.
(honks horn) Come on!
(brakes squeal, pulls brake) (honks twice, turns off engine) (distant dog barking, closes car door) (both laughing) Hello, you!
This is a surprise.
I told you I was coming!
I know, but you actually turned up.
(laughs) Come on, come on in.
(Susan sighs) I'll put the kettle on.
♪ ♪ (places keys down) (exhales) (chuckling): Hey.
Uh, how's the room?
(chuckles) Sure you don't mind me staying?
Oh, no, no.
I'm happy to see you.
It's just going to be us though, I'm afraid.
Oh, where's Gordon?
Uh, New York.
And you didn't want to go?
Oh, I couldn't get that much time off.
What, from the garden center?
They've made me manager.
Thank you-- well, it's horticultural manager.
So it's one under general manager.
But you enjoy it.
Yeah, it keeps me busy.
Jack's in Amsterdam getting up to God knows what and Daisy's with friends, so it really is just me and you against the world.
Like we always were.
(pouring coffee) What'd you mean?
Oh, when we were children.
I saw the photo.
In the bedroom.
Oh, that's just there because that's where it is.
I didn't put it there.
Oh, I know.
It's funny though, looking at it though, isn't it?
We were inseparable.
Until we separated.
(places creamer down) I'm not sure that we did, did we?
Well, you in London, me here.
Yeah, I'm sorry.
I haven't really been in touch very much lately.
It's just that I've been so busy with the company and now this business with Alan.
Oh, I was sorry to hear that.
Look, I know you hate it, but do you mind if I smoke?
You never liked him, did you?
Oh, he was a complete pain in the arse.
I mean, I know a lot of authors are protective of their work, but with Alan it was like I was trying to rewrite the Bible.
He took against me at our very first meeting so from then on we only ever communicated by email.
So are you here for the funeral?
That's next weekend.
I know it's going to sound crazy but I'm here to look for the last chapter of his new book, "Magpie Murders."
Is it missing?
Well, we don't even know if he wrote it, but he certainly never sent it.
Now he's dead, and we really need it.
I mean we could go out of business if we don't find it.
When did you last see him?
Oh, about two years ago, I think.
I used to bump into him in Woodbridge.
He must have shown the book to someone.
Or maybe even gave someone a copy.
So where are you going to start?
Alan lived outside a village.
I'll start there.
(nearby bells tolling) KHAN (voiceover): I was a great fan of his books.
I have to say it was a terrible shock.
You found him.
On Sunday morning, yes.
It was horrible.
I'll never get that image out of my head.
How well did you know him?
Well, I'd been his solicitor for many years.
I acted for him when he bought Abbey Grange, and of course, in the matter of his divorce from his wife, Melissa.
Did you know that he was ill?
No, he never mentioned it to me.
So you had no idea he was intending to kill himself?
Well, of course not.
Well, he had decided to make a new will.
That was the reason I was there at the house.
Oh, so it wasn't social?
No, no, no.
We didn't have that sort of relationship.
And the will?
Well, obviously I can't disclose any of the contents.
No, no, no, no.
I mean, I wouldn't dream of asking, but...
I was a great admirer of his work.
I've always loved a good murder story and Alan, well, (chuckling): he always kept you guessing right till the end.
You've read all his books?
(quietly): He told me he was going to base a character on me... Ah!
...in the new book.
I'm very much looking forward to that.
(chuckles) And he would always sign a first edition for me and my wife.
That's the two of us there.
Ah... At a charity dinner.
I don't supposed he ever showed you the manuscripts before they were finished?
I'd have been honored.
But, uh, no, he never really talked about his work.
And he didn't give you a copy or anything like that for safekeeping?
(exhales) Mr. Khan...
I need to get into Abbey Grange to find something.
Don't suppose you could help me?
I'm afraid I don't have a key.
And even if I did I couldn't possibly let you in.
Although I understand his partner, James Taylor, is in residence.
So I believe.
Abbey Grange is a splendid house.
A remarkable place.
It will be hard to imagine it without Alan there.
♪ ♪ (closes car door) Herr Pünd!
My dear Detective Inspector Chubb.
It's a great pleasure to see you again.
(chuckling): Mr. Fraser.
Oh, it still baffles me how you did it last time.
A dead body in a locked room, the key in the butter dish.
It made no sense to me at all.
I was aware of that.
(chuckles) I can't imagine what brings you to this neck of the woods a second time.
Did you know Sir Magnus?
No, we had never met, but there was a housekeeper who also died in this place.
Very unfortunate accident.
Well, it has been suggested to me there might be more to her death than meets the eye.
Let me put your mind at rest, Herr Pünd.
I looked into it myself and it was absolutely straightforward.
She was vacuuming at the top of the stairs, she tripped, and she fell.
And what of last night?
(exhales) Come in.
♪ ♪ (raking leaves) CHUBB (voiceover): The murder took place about 9:00 last night.
Sir Magnus was decapitated.
So I see.
Now the sword was taken from that suit of armor.
A single blow.
A lot of blood.
PÜND: If you will forgive me, Detective Inspector, could we perhaps begin at the beginning?
Let us go back to the first death.
What, you're still on about that housekeeper?
Was Sir Magnus at home at the time when Mrs. Blakiston died?
No, he was away on holiday with his wife, Lady Pye.
They got home two days after the funeral.
(voiceover): An unpleasant surprise was awaiting them.
I need a drink.
CHUBB (voiceover): Sir Magnus had a collection of Roman antiquities, but only two nights before, it turns out they'd been burgled.
I don't believe it!
It's all gone!
How did they get in?
I have no idea.
(sighs) Mary Blakiston should have been here.
How irritating of her to die.
Oh, for God's sake!
I told you!
We should have come back.
Oh, I wouldn't go to a housekeeper's funeral.
Anyway, what difference would it have made?
We would have been here when this happened!
Well, where was Brent, hm?
That's the question you should be asking.
Dithering about in the garden.
Where was he?
PÜND (voiceover): And what had been taken?
A collection of Roman silver.
Coins and jewelry.
It was part of a treasure trove that was actually found in the grounds.
It had been in the family for generations.
Sir Magnus did not attend the funeral of his housekeeper, hmm?
I don't suppose they were close.
You, you... actually, you'd be wrong there.
By all accounts, Mary Blakiston was devoted to Sir Magnus.
She thought the world of him.
And he was always very supportive of her and her two sons.
In fact, he, he... ♪ ♪ What's he doing?
What he does.
Ah... Sir Magnus knew his killer.
How'd you work that one out?
From the position of both the door and the armor, Detective Inspector.
It is evident that Sir Magnus was showing someone out of the house and they were behind him when the blow was struck.
Well, it's funny you should say that.
Uh, follow me.
Sir Magnus's office is through here.
Now from what we can work out, Sir Magnus met someone in here last night.
The ashes were still warm and a second chair had been brought over to the desk.
Uh, that was open when the body was discovered.
PÜND: Who discovered the body?
CHUBB: It was Lady Frances Pye.
She got home quarter of 11:00.
It was a nasty shock.
PÜND: There's money in there.
And also bonds and certificates.
It's interesting, isn't it?
It looks as if nothing's been taken.
Why the fire?
FRASER: Why not?
It was not cold last night.
Let me see... Oh!
Here we are.
(blows on object) You see this, Detective Inspector?
No, there's no writing, but this stain may be of interest.
Or perhaps blood.
I suppose the question is whose blood?
That is also what I would like to know.
I'll look into it.
(clears throat) But if you're looking for really incriminating evidence, take a look at this.
(murmuring) "You won't get away with it.
"The village was here before you "and it'll be here after you've gone.
"Think again if you want to live here.
Think again if you want to live."
The envelope is hand-written and yet the letter is typed.
♪ ♪ Where's Lady Pye?
Upstairs in her room.
Her son's with her back from school.
You want to talk to her?
Aye, if, if that is possible.
(chuckles) She's not exactly the grieving widow, Mr. Pünd.
Take care on the stairs.
This is where Mary Blakiston...
Yes, fell down and broke her neck.
Unless she was pushed.
♪ ♪ FREDERICK: Mother, when will I have to go back to school?
After the funeral, darling.
I don't like funerals.
(knock on door) Yes?
Um, I wonder if we might have another word?
Really, Detective Inspector?
We have been through all this.
This is Atticus Pünd.
He's a well-known investigator.
(downstairs telephone ringing) Will you take that, darling?
Whoever it is, tell them I'm not well.
The telephones don't work upstairs.
Nothing works in this house.
It's just one thing after another.
(telephone continues ringing) Oh, it must have been a great shock for you, Lady Pye.
To come home and find your husband's been decapitated?
You could say that, yes.
What can you tell us about last night?
Not very much.
I was in London.
You were also away when your housekeeper died.
Well, she wasn't murdered.
She fell down the stairs.
What could you possibly want to know about her?
Two violent deaths in the same house in such a short space of time.
You do not consider there may have been a connection?
I can't say it had occurred to me.
What was the relationship between your husband and Mrs. Blakiston?
She was the housekeeper.
There wasn't one!
(car pulling up outside) Oh, are you, are you expecting a visitor, Lady Pye?
Not unless it's a delivery.
I'll go down, if you'd like.
Oh, thank you, James.
If you want the truth, Mary Blakiston was a little obsessed with my husband.
She'd worked for him for 20 years.
She thought him a pillar of wisdom, a mentor, someone who'd look after her.
Well, of course he wasn't.
I'm Susan Ryeland.
I worked with Alan Conway.
I wondered if I could come in.
You sure you don't want anything?
SUSAN: No, I'm okay.
Can't believe I'm finally getting to meet you.
Alan often used to talk about you.
(chuckles) Not that he ever had anything nice to say.
(chuckles) You were the, uh, tricky editor.
The one who stood between him and his genius.
He never mentioned you.
Why doesn't that surprise me?
Alan was very private about that side of things.
He didn't even admit he was gay until we'd been together a couple of years.
How did you meet?
There's a website he used.
I charged 300 quid an hour.
I hope that doesn't shock you.
Not at all.
He was still married at the time.
I was just a commodity, and then, you know, one thing led to another and... And now you get everything.
Did Khan tell you that?
He mentioned that Alan was thinking of changing his will.
(exhales) That's outrageous.
Whatever happened to client confidentiality?
He didn't say anything else.
Well, why should I deny it?
I get everything.
Do you think that's why I pushed Alan off the tower?
To stop him signing the new will?
I suppose I could have done that.
I'll show you if you like.
♪ ♪ TAYLOR: They say on a clear day you can see as far as Norfolk.
There's nothing of interest the entire way.
You don't like living here?
Darling, I'm selling the moment I get probate.
I can't wait to get out.
Who lives there?
TAYLOR: Jack White.
He's a property developer.
Alan hated him.
He needed a reason?
I don't know.
Alan just took against him.
(faux serious voice): Access.
They used to fight for right of way on the drive.
This is where he was found.
He often came up here.
He liked the view.
It is a very low wall.
(gasps) There you are, you see.
Easy to lose your balance.
You're lucky I'm here.
♪ ♪ TAYLOR: I'm sorry to disappoint you but I couldn't have pushed Alan off the tower.
I wasn't on the premises.
Where were you?
I was going out of my mind stuck here.
We were spending more and more time apart until we decided-- he decided-- it was better not to be together at all.
Alan put you in his books.
Nice of you to notice.
Yes, I'm James Fraser, the thick assistant.
He did that to everyone and not in a nice way.
He liked to play with people.
Actually, that's how it was for him, writing.
It was all a game.
Have you read "Magpie Murders"?
Mm-mm, no, he never let me read anything until he'd finished.
Had he finished?
I saw a finished manuscript.
It's missing the last chapter.
The last chapter of a whodunit?
(makes popping sound) I can see why that might be a problem.
That's why I'm here.
Well, if it was anywhere, this is where it'll be.
Do you know the password to his computer?
It's an anagram of Atticus Pünd.
(laughs) Alan loved anagrams.
(chuckles, clicking mouse) (clears throat) (sinister music playing) (keys clacking) That's funny.
This is where he kept his notebooks, but they don't seem to be here.
Has anyone else been in the room?
Only the police.
You know he only wrote his first drafts by hand.
He liked expensive pens.
No, the notes.
Yeah, there's nothing on here either.
Maybe you should talk to Claire.
She used to help him with the manuscripts.
Not sure she did anything on "Magpie" though.
They had a falling out.
Was there anyone Alan didn't argue with?
And if someone really did push him off that tower, well, put it this way, there'd have been plenty of volunteers.
♪ ♪ (chuckles) Bye, James.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ (birds chirping, animal chittering) ♪ ♪ (chittering) (chittering) ♪ ♪ (exhales) FRANCES: Mary Blakiston had it all wrong.
My husband wasn't a saint.
In fact, his behavior towards the servants was actually quite scandalous.
In what way?
Well, let's just say he had no sense of decorum.
CHUBB: Would you say the two of you were happily married, Lady Pye?
I've always thought marriage and happiness to be mutually exclusive, Detective Inspector.
But that's just my opinion.
PÜND: Lady Pye, could you explain why the safe in your late husband's study should have been open?
He must have opened it.
Did anyone else know the combination?
No, it was just him.
There was also a letter that we found on his desk.
It would seem to be of a threatening nature.
(paper rustling) CHUBB: Here.
(takes letter) "You won't get away with it.
The village was here before you."
This is about Dingle Dell.
It's part of the estate.
A wild meadow.
Magnus had no use for it so he was planning to build houses.
A lot of new houses.
Of course the village were up in arms.
He got quite a lot of these.
You have no idea who wrote them?
They didn't sign their name.
PÜND: There was no one person in the village that was vocal in their opposition to this scheme?
Actually there was.
You should talk to his twin sister, Clarissa Pye.
PÜND: Miss Pye?
(chuckles) My name is, um, Atticus Pünd.
I wonder if we might have a word?
Well, you better come in.
CLARISSA: Dingle Dell is a much loved part of the village, Mr. Pünd.
A precious resource.
To build houses on it would be an act of vandalism and I told Magnus that in no uncertain terms.
Did you write to him, Miss Pye?
I had no need to write.
I told him to his face.
It must been strange being on opposing sides, as it were, brother and sister.
Twin brother and sister.
Had I been born just five minutes earlier, there would be no argument.
Why is that?
Because Pye Hall, and all the land, including Dingle Dell, would have been mine.
(picks up plate) Cake?
(birds twittering) ♪ ♪ Hello.
Could you tell me something?
Does this meadow have a name?
It's not called Dingle Dell?
I don't think it's called anything.
It's a lovely place, don't you think?
Yes, it is.
(birds twittering) ♪ ♪ (rings doorbell) Yes?
Are you Claire Jenkins?
My name's Susan Ryeland.
I wonder if I might have a word?
I can't help you, I'm afraid.
I helped Alan with all eight of the Atticus Pünd novels.
I, I typed them for him.
I did the proofreading, the binding, and the copying.
But then he decided he didn't need me anymore.
Why was that?
I prefer not to talk about.
So you never saw "Magpie Murders"?
Did you know that he based a character on you?
What character would that be?
Um, the sister of Sir Magnus Pye.
The man who gets murdered.
Doesn't surprise me at all, really.
He could be quite cruel.
What makes you think that the portrait wasn't a flattering one?
Have you read it?
Well, uh... (polite chuckle) Well it, it's... it's humorous.
I suppose that depends on your sense of humor.
(Claire takes a sip) I'm sure he didn't mean anything by it, Claire.
Although it does make me wonder how close the two of you were.
You know, the fact that he didn't show it to you.
We were close... once.
Uh, after Alan became famous as a, as a writer, it was as if I didn't really know him anymore.
I thought success would make him happy.
It was what he'd always wanted.
Do you know why he killed himself?
Do you know why he jumped off that tower?
It wasn't because he was sick.
It was Atticus Pünd.
What do you mean?
Atticus Pünd was never the book he wanted to write.
All that money, all that success.
The simple truth is that it drove him mad.
(engine stops) Miss Ryeland!
Detective Superintendent Locke.
You can call me Susan.
Can I ask what you're doing here?
Can I ask if I need to tell you?
I've asked you a simple question, Susan, and I've asked it nicely.
And if I feel you're obstructing an officer in the performance of his duty, we can do this down at the station.
So you're investigating Alan's death?
I didn't say that.
I'm trying to track down some missing pages from his last book because without them I can't publish.
And if that happens, my entire company, the staff I employ, and 15 years hard work will all go down the drain.
That's why I'm here.
You were visiting Claire Jenkins.
Yes, because she used to be his secretary.
She did all his typing for him.
I thought she might have a copy.
How about you?
If you're so sure Alan committed suicide, why are you still investigating?
I'm here because Miss Jenkins used to work at Ipswich Constabulary.
She was a police officer?
She was married to a police officer.
She used to work in HR.
Did you ever meet Alan Conway?
You never mentioned that in London.
(gasps) Locke and Chubb.
That's you, isn't it?
In three of the books.
(chuckling): He based a character on you.
The dim detective.
That's why you're so angry.
Now you listen to me, Miss Ryeland.
I'm here because Claire's on her own, and she just lost her brother in the worst circumstances, all right?
Did you tell her of your suspicions?
That Conway didn't write that letter or that someone forced him to write it?
No... Yeah, well, I'm glad to hear it.
Because this is the real world and I don't need some fancy... editor from London poncing around pretending to be some sort of private detective!
Now you find your chapter, if that's really what you're here for, but once you've done that... you stay out of my way.
♪ ♪ (rings doorbell) (inhales vape pen) He was just so aggressive.
ANDREAS (on phone): Why did you let him get to you?
SUSAN (on phone): Well, because he did.
Do you want me to come up?
No, no... You can't.
ANDREAS: I'll tell them I'm sick.
I'm not going to be staying much longer.
There's nothing for me to do.
You didn't find the chapter.
I'm missing you.
You've only been gone a day.
(chuckles) Locke hates me because I published Alan.
(person clears throat) (mouths words) Alan turned him into a character or a caricature.
And you know what's odd?
He seems to have hated being a successful writer.
He treated it like some kind of unpleasant joke.
It made him rich.
It didn't make him happy.
That's Katie so, um, I better go in.
ANDREAS: How is she?
(clicks teeth, chuckling): Mm... same as ever.
(chuckles) SUSAN: I'll see you tomorrow.
Give her my love.
SUSAN: I will.
KHAN: She doesn't know.
You should tell her.
You will forgive me for saying, Mr. Patakis, that Alan Conway's death could not have been more timely, where you were concerned.
I was lucky.
Here you go.
Check's in there.
(distant bells ringing, indistinct chatter) Got time for quick one, vicar?
No, thank you.
Must get back to my sermon.
♪ ♪ Here you are.
Mm, thank you, James.
(quietly): Go on.
So... how long do you think we'll be staying here for?
Your room is not to your liking?
Well, uh, the bed's a bit lumpy and as for the plumbing... You have no hot water?
Oh, I have some hot water, just not enough.
I suppose I shouldn't complain.
It's nice to be out of London.
I'm surprised you haven't let Miss Sanderling know you're here.
Ah, yes, Miss Sanderling, who first drew my attention to Saxby-on-Avon.
I have to ask myself, James, if I had agreed to her request, might it have been possible to prevent the death of Sir Magnus Pye?
So you do think the two are connected?
On the face of it, three crimes may have taken place at Pye Hall, one after the other.
First, Mary Blakiston is threatened by her son, Robert.
But next day she's found dead at the bottom of a flight of stairs.
Do you think someone gave her a push?
Inspector Chubb is of the opinion it was an accident.
But she may have been killed by Robert Blakiston.
That is what the village believes.
And then, almost immediately after she's laid to rest, there's a burglary.
Collection of ancient Roman silver is taken.
Quite a coincidence.
You know my views on coincidence.
And then, having returned home and discovered that he's been burgled, Sir Magnus Pye is decapitated.
Well, he doesn't seem to have been short of enemies.
There's that Dingle Dell business and, uh, his wife didn't seem too keen on him.
(inhales) Is it not strange how evil can find its roots so easily in an English village?
A place of beauty and tranquility... ...and yet here it is.
(dramatic music playing) I see it, as it were, converging from all sides and then at the end, when it can no longer be contained... violence and death.
(music ends abruptly) How did you get on?
I went to Abbey Grange.
Did you ever see it?
No, he never invited me to his home.
All those royalties.
He certainly put them to good use.
That's a Sherlock Holmes short story.
Yeah, he renamed it.
I think he wanted to be more like Conan Doyle.
This morning you said he was miserable.
That didn't stop him having a high opinion of himself though.
Well, anyway, you knew him before me.
What was he like?
Well, as a teacher, I never used to see him that much.
The kids didn't like him.
Well, he was strict.
Yeah, Andreas didn't like him much either.
You haven't said anything about Andreas.
How is he?
Was that it?
How long have you two been together now?
Ick... We're not together.
Th... well, not exactly.
I mean we're, we're, we're... loosely connected.
You know that's not true.
We don't even live together!
Well, that's only 'cause you won't let him.
It's easier for him.
The school gives him accommodation.
And, anyway, I'm miles away, so.
I swear I've never understood you, Susan.
I don't know why you can't just commit yourself.
Why would I want to?
Because it might make you happier.
I am happy!
Andreas is thinking about going back to Crete.
He's fed up teaching.
He's thinking of buying a hotel with his cousin.
Well, you haven't mentioned this before.
He only told me the other day.
What about you?
He wants me to go with him.
(laughs) (laughing): Well, you might enjoy Crete.
(laughing): Don't be ridiculous, Katie!
What would I do in Crete?
I've got a job.
Actually, we've got new investors, and they want me to be C.E.O.
You told me.
In your last email.
You only ever talk about work, never about yourself.
That is about myself!
I saw Dad last week.
He was asking about you.
(smacks lips) That's nice.
He wants to see you.
Did he say that?
He's not well, Sue.
He's already had an aneurysm.
That could lead to a stroke.
I don't want to see him.
I'm sorry, but I don't.
Well, let's eat!
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ (startles) What do you want?
To speak to you.
You're not really here.
There are three possibilities, and only three possibilities, that you have to consider.
The first is that Alan Conway slipped and accidentally fell to his death.
But if that were the case, how to explain that his computer had been emptied and his notebooks were gone?
There was, to be sure, another party involved.
But alone and at night without first drinking alcohol and when he had sleeping pills at hand?
There was a letter.
You were told that it was a suicide letter and that is how you read it.
Perhaps you should read it again.
But if it wasn't an accident and it wasn't suicide...
He argued with his neighbor.
He was about to change his will.
He insulted his sister.
He left his wife for a young man.
Everyone who read Alan Conway loved him.
Everyone who met him did not.
Just three possibilities.
Consider the third.
♪ ♪ (birds twittering, distant dog barking) Well, don't change the sheets.
I'll be back... if you'll have me.
(chuckles) All right.
(chuckles) Bye, bye.
(car peels out loudly) ♪ ♪ PÜND (voiceover, echoing): There are three possibilities and only three possibilities.
♪ ♪ CHARLES (voiceover, echoing): It's a suicide note.
LOCKE (voiceover, echoing): Mr. Conway had terminal cancer.
CLAIRE (voiceover, echoing): It's Atticus Pünd.
He drove him mad.
TAYLOR (voiceover, echoing): If someone really did push him off that tower there would have been plenty of volunteers.
PÜND (voiceover, echoing): Everyone who read Alan Conway loved him.
Everyone who met him did not.
SUSAN (voiceover, echoing): There was a letter.
PÜND: You should read it again.
♪ ♪ (switches gear) ♪ ♪ (panting): Ah...
He was murdered.
Uh, Alan Conway.
I've reread the letter.
Susan, I, I-- No.
Look, look, look.
"By the time you read this, it will all be finished.
"I have achieved great success in a life that has gone on long enough."
Yes, he's telling me he's decided to kill himself.
No, no, no, no, no, no.
The book is finished.
It's his last book because he's dying.
He knows that, but he's accepted it.
That's all he's saying.
Well, that's one interpretation.
It's the only possibility.
No, what about this section here?
Look, "I have left you some notes "with regard to my condition and to the decision I have made."
He had cancer!
Maybe the decision was not to have treatment!
He didn't need to kill himself.
He was dead anyway.
So somebody killed him.
And don't you see?
It's his last novel and everyone he knew was in it.
And that's why the last chapter was taken.
Because it reveals the secret.
The answer's in the book.
♪ ♪ (click) ♪ ♪ JOY: Mary Blakiston was a horrible woman.
JAFFREY: So you're his editor.
SUSAN: That's right.
JAFFREY: Well then you're part of it.
I'm sorry, part of what?
I'm going home.
With or without me?
PÜND: I will advise you to be careful, Miss Ryeland.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ANNOUNCER: Go to our website, listen to our podcast, watch video, and more.
To order this program, visit ShopPBS.
"Masterpiece" is available with PBS Passport and on Amazon Prime Video.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ANTHONY HOROWITZ: Episode two notches everything up a gear.
Susan began simply with an interest in this missing chapter.
But now she is being drawn into a world that is completely alien to her: the world of murder.
And that, I think, is the argument of the whole show-- the difference between ordinary life and detective fiction.
This is the real world and I don't need some fancy... editor from London poncing around pretending to be some sort of private detective!
HOROWITZ: In the first episode, she met Detective Inspector Locke, whose view of criminality is that it is brutish, and nasty, and very easy to solve.
That everything is fairly straightforward.
Modern policing, after all, solves most murders in the first 24 hours.
But Susan is now being drawn into a world of clues and has to try and make sense of them.
TAYLOR: If someone really did push him off that tower, well, there'd have been plenty of volunteers.
HOROWITZ: She doesn't realize that she is actually amassing clues for a murder until quite a long way down the line.
So her interviews with James, with Khan, with everybody who knew Alan Conway are building up a picture of a man surrounded by enemies, any one of whom could have wished to kill him, even though at this stage that is not her primary interest.
And I think that transition, the movement in that character, is what makes this episode so much fun.
On the face of it, three crimes may have taken place at Pye Hall, one after the other.
HOROWITZ: Pünd and Susan are complete opposites.
What makes Susan a good detective is her ability to empathize with people.
She somehow gets close to people and people trust her with their secrets.
What do you mean?
I don't suppose you could help me?
Well, he had decided to make a new will.
Because she's friendly with people, she is open to their secrets.
She can get under their skins.
PÜND: This is murder and murder can be solved.
Pünd, on the other hand, is completely alien from the people that he talks to.
He comes in as an outsider, he asks questions, and his questions are very focused on the what, the where, the when, and the why of the crime.
It's my belief there is no such thing as a coincidence.
HOROWITZ: Every single detail he somehow keeps in his head and he has the ability to put these pieces together like a jigsaw to come up with the final solution at the end of the show.
You might say that Susan is intuitive and Pünd is entirely psychological.
You should read it again.
HOROWITZ: "Magpie Murders" is, at the end of the day, a literary mystery.
It's in the writing that the solution will be found.
And it's already been mentioned that Alan Conway has a liking of anagrams, and acrostics, and lipograms, and tricks of language.
And, in fact, the language of the book is very much part of its solution.
And Susan is the perfect detective for a literary mystery because she's an editor.
It was, for me, a very happy marriage.
I couldn't think of anybody else who would be able to solve it.
SUSAN (voiceover): Somebody killed him.
The answer's in the book.
HOROWITZ: I was really thrilled and excited when I heard that Lesley Manville was going to play Susan Ryeland.
Not only because she is a very, very well-known and distinguished actress really at the top of her game, but because of all the qualities that she brings to the part; A playfulness, an energy, a humanity.
And I really cannot think of anybody else who could have done it quite so well.
♪ ♪ There might be more to her death than meets the eye.
HOROWITZ: As for Tim McMullan, I worked with him before.
He came into the last season of "Foyle's War" where he played a spy called Valentine.
And I think he is one of the warmest actors that I know.
He always brings this extraordinary sense of humanity and, and generosity to the characters that he plays.
Now, and what's important for this character is, that he has to inhabit two worlds.
I mean, he exists in the 1950s, very much as the classic Golden Age detective.
But then he crosses over almost into a new dimension and appears more and more in the world of Susan Ryeland and our world.
And when he's doing that, he isn't exactly a ghost, he isn't quite a figment of her imagination.
He is... he's real, but at the same time he has to be somehow unworldly and that's exactly what Tim brings to the part.
This is where Mary Blakiston...
Yes, fell down, and broke her neck.
Unless she was pushed.
HOROWITZ: You know, one character that one has to look at in this is James Fraser, who is Pünd's sidekick.
And the sidekick in detective fiction is enormously important and extremely useful to the writer like me.
(door closes) There you are.
HOROWITZ: There was "Sherlock Holmes" and Conan Doyle who first created the idea of the sidekick in Dr. Watson, of course, who is, you know, the great grandfather of all detective sidekicks, and, and the wonderfully unreliable narrator of the "Sherlock Holmes" stories.
Because the sidekick always gets everything wrong.
Why is that?
What exactly is it you're looking at?
Saxby-on-Avon is the village the young lady came from.
(clicks teeth) You introduced her to me recently.
HOROWITZ: A lot of detective fiction is about sleight of hand.
And in sleight of hand you're saying, "Look here at my hand, there's nothing here," when actually at the same time you're slipping the ace out with your other hand out of your pocket.
The sidekick says, "What is that over there?"
He asks a question, but he only asks it because I don't want you to look the other way at that particular moment.
And that to me is the most useful aspect of the character.