Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
Release Date: 6 June 2017
My Rating: 4/5
Alan Conway is a bestselling murder mystery writer. He sends Susan, his editor, the manuscript that will complete his lauded and successful Detective Atticus Pünd series. Susan presents the manuscript without comment to the reader, and we are caught up in Pünd’s investigation of murder in a small, English town, just after the Second World War. The mystery, “Magpie Murders”, is reaching its climax when the reader is torn away and launched back into Susan’s story. Tragedy has struck and Alan Conway’s manuscript may be the key to finding out the truth. Susan is the only person who can see the connection and her job, and life, are on the line.
A fabulous book-within-a-book, I fell hard for the conceit. I love a Dorothy Sayers/Agatha Christie/classic British crime novel. Conway’s fiction is an excellent homage to the greats. Is it as good as a Christie? Perhaps not, but that is designed deliberately by our actual author, Mr. Horowitz. My only complaint, and it seems a little unfair, is that Horowitz’s writing style and Conway’s writing style are, frankly, the same (what with them being the same person and all). He writes Susan’s story in first person and Atticus’ in third but it’s not enough to definitively differentiate them. Still, excellent good fun. Horowitz goes all the way with some delightful book design choices, including a fake section of praise for Conway’s series and an author’s bio. In addition to a love for classic mystery novels, if you like the British TV programs “Midsomer Murders” and “Foyle’s War”, you’ll love this; Horowitz happens to be the creator behind both. Roll call, all classic mystery fans: get your hands on this stat!
~Thanks B&N for the slightly early read~