Robert Thorogood

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Robert Thorogood
Thorogood at the CWA Awards, 2017
Born1972 (age 51–52)
Colchester, Essex, England
Alma materDowning College, Cambridge
Occupation(s)Author, screenwriter
Known forDeath in Paradise

Robert Thorogood (born 1972)[citation needed] is an English screenwriter and novelist. He is the creator of the BBC One murder mystery series Death in Paradise.[1] He won France Film's "En Route to France" award in 2012.[2]

Early life[edit]

Thorogood was educated at Uppingham School in Rutland where he met his future wife, Classic FM presenter Katie Breathwick. He read History at Downing College, Cambridge, where he toured with the university's student comedy troupe Footlights in 1993 and was elected president in 1994.[3] Soon after leaving Cambridge Thorogood set up a theatre company that toured small theatres and schools, the highlight of which was a production of Molière's The Miser that he directed and acted in alongside Robert Webb, David Mitchell and Olivia Colman.[4]

Writing career[edit]

Thorogood wrote for many years – offering scripts to the BBC, ITV and independent film companies[5] – but before 2011 the only script of his that was actually produced was a Radio 4 afternoon drama play called From Abstraction, about the life of mathematician Paul Wolfskehl.

In 2008, Thorogood entered the inaugural Red Planet Prize and was a chosen finalist, where he was able to pitch his 'Copper in the Caribbean' idea to Tony Jordan.[6] In 2011, the show was finally broadcast.[7][8]

Death in Paradise[edit]

Thorogood wrote five episodes of the first series of Death in Paradise. The first episode aired in November 2011 to an overnight audience of nearly 6 million.[9] The first episode of the second series aired in 2013 to an overnight audience of nearly 7 million.[10] Thorogood also wrote two episodes on the second series, three of the third series, two of the sixth series, and one episode in each of the other series, except for the tenth series. In February 2019 it was announced by the BBC that the show had been commissioned for series nine and ten.[11] Subsequently the series was re-commissioned for three further series (each of which was a further eight episodes, but was for each season preceded by an other 'special' episode).

Spin-off novels[edit]

In January 2014, it was announced that Thorogood had signed a deal with MIRA / Harlequin to write three Richard Poole Murder Mystery novels. The first of the three – A Meditation on Murder – was published in hardback in January 2015 and in paperback in May 2015.[12] The second – The Killing of Polly Carter – was published in hardback in December 2015 and in paperback in early 2016. The third – Death Knocks Twice – was published in hardback in July 2017 and in paperback in October 2017. Murder in the Caribbean, the fourth mystery, was published in December 2018.


In 2018, it was announced that Thorogood was showrunning Trackers, a major new TV series set in South Africa,[13] and an adaptation of the novel Trackers by Deon Meyer. Just as Death in Paradise pioneered the first co-production between the BBC and France Televisions,[1] Trackers was the first co-production between M-Net in South Africa, ZDF in Germany and HBO's sister station Cinemax in America.

Just before the last episode aired in South Africa, it was already M-Net's best-performing show of the year.[14]

The Marlow Murder Club[edit]

In 2020 it was announced that Thorogood was writing a new murder mystery novel, The Marlow Murder Club. It focuses on a group of older women who form a club to investigate a series of killings in Marlow. It was published in January 2021 to overwhelmingly positive reviews[15] and was chosen as the Booksellers' Association's Book of the Month.[16] The second book in the series, Death Comes to Marlow, was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best Cosy Crime novel published in the USA in 2022.[17] The third book in the series, "The Queen of Poisons", went straight into the Sunday Times Bestseller charts at number 7.[18]

PBS and UKTV greenlit a television adaptation of The Marlow Murder Club, written by Thorogood and starring Samantha Bond, in June 2023.[19] In March 2024 the series premiered in the UK on the Drama channel. There were two episodes each of two hours. Samantha Bond played Judith Potts with the other two members of the Club, Suzie Harris and Becks Starling being played by Jo Martin and Cara Horgan respectively.


Thorogood was a guest speaker at the 2012 London Screenwriters Festival.[20] Since then, he has spoken about creating international co-productions for the European TV Drama Series Lab in Berlin[21] and at the Totally Serialised TV Festival in London in 2014.[22] He has also been an after-dinner speaker at the Dagger Awards for the Crime Writers Association in 2017[23] and Bristol Crimefest in both 2018 and 2019.[24]


Death in Paradise

  • A Meditation on Murder (2015)
  • The Killing of Polly Carter (2015)
  • Death Knocks Twice (2017)
  • Murder in the Caribbean (2018)

The Marlow Murder Club

  • The Marlow Murder Club (2021)
  • Death Comes to Marlow (2022)
  • The Queen of Poisons (2024)


  1. ^ a b "BBC FT Create Death in Paradise". Variety. 9 December 2010. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  2. ^ "ROBERT THOROGOOD RÉCOMPENSÉ". Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  3. ^ "Cambridge Footlights". Cambridge Footlights website. Archived from the original on 2 November 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  4. ^ Mitchell, David (2012). Back Story. Harper Collins. ISBN 978-0007351725.
  5. ^ Thorogood, Robert. "Knight Hall Agency | Robert Thorogood". Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  6. ^ "The series creator and lead writer shares his inspiration for new BBC One drama Death in Paradise". BBC Media Centre.
  7. ^ "Write the next Death in Paradise yourself". Radio Times. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  8. ^ "Rob Thorogood on Breaking in to TV in the UK". Chris Jones / London Screenwriters Festival. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
  9. ^ "Death in Paradise launches with nearly 6 million viewers". ATV Today. 26 October 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  10. ^ Plunkett, John (9 January 2013). "Death in Paradise returns with nearly 7 million viewers". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  11. ^ "BBC – Death In Paradise recommissioned for two series – Media Centre". Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  12. ^ "Harlequin Mira Signs 'Death in Paradise' Creator And Writer, Robert Thorogood, For Three-book Deal". Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  13. ^ Clarke, Stewart (4 December 2018). "TV Adaptation of Deon Meyer's 'Trackers' Set as Africa-Germany Co-Production". Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  14. ^ "Trailblazing Trackers is M-Net's top-performing show for 2019". 20 November 2019. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  15. ^ "Robert Thorogood". Bookshop UK.
  16. ^ "BA picks Thorogood mystery for Fiction Book of the Month | The Bookseller".
  17. ^ "2023 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominations | Edgar® Awards Info & Database".
  18. ^ "The Sunday Times Bestsellers List — the UK's definitive book chart". 22 February 2024. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 22 February 2024.
  19. ^ Goldbart, Max (5 June 2023). "'The Marlow Murder Club': PBS Masterpiece & UKTV Greenlight TV Adaptation From 'Death In Paradise' Creator". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 5 June 2023.
  20. ^ "Speakers | Robert Thorogood". Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  21. ^ "Experts". Erich Pommer Institute. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  22. ^ "Industry Event". Institut Français. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  23. ^ "CWA Daggers 2017 Awarded to The Dry, Spook Street and Tall Oaks — The Crime Writers' Association". Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  24. ^ "CrimeFest". Retrieved 6 March 2019.

External links[edit]