The Pale Horse will be the next Agatha Christie novel to be adapted for the BBC.

The drama, penned by Sarah Phelps from the 1961 novel, will begin when a mysterious list of names is found in the shoe of a dead woman.

One of those named, Mark Easterbrook, begins an investigation into how and why his name came to be there and is drawn to The Pale Horse, the home of a trio of rumoured witches in the tiny village of Much Deeping.

Rumours swirl that the witches can get rid of wealthy relatives using the dark arts alone, but as the bodies mount up, Mark is certain there has to be a rational explanation.

The cast for the two-part drama is yet to be announced but it will be be directed by Leonora Lonsdale and produced by Ado Yoshizaki Cassuto.

James Prichard, executive producer and CEO of Agatha Christie Limited, said: “The Pale Horse was one of the later novels penned by my great grandmother, written as it was in the 1960s.

“This new drama allows writer Sarah Phelps to continue her exploration of the 20th century through Christie’s stories, with the book’s fantastic, foreboding atmosphere completely suited to Sarah’s unique style of adaptation.”

Phelps has previously adapted Christie works including And Then There Were None, The Witness For The Prosecution and Ordeal By Innocence.

The drama will once again reunite her with production company Mammoth Screen.

She said: “Written in 1961, against the backdrop of the Eichmann Trial, the escalation of the Cold War and Vietnam, The Pale Horse is a shivery, paranoid story about superstition, love gone wrong, guilt and grief.

“It’s about what we’re capable of when we’re desperate and what we believe when all the lights go out and we’re alone in the dark.”