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review 2018-01-21 20:26
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
Magpie Murders: A Novel - Anthony Horowitz

This book reminds me very much of the 1939 Winston Churchill quote: “It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma…”.  Although Churchill was speaking of Russia at the time, this particular section of the quote is such an appropriate description of Anthony Horowitz’s book Magpie Murders that it is the first thing I thought of when trying to find the words to start this review.


An historical mystery set in the 1950’s pays homage to Agatha Christie.  What makes this book thoroughly enjoyable however is that the historical mystery is wrapped within a modern day “whodunit”.  That does not mean that the nods to Christie stop in the modern mystery - in fact, her real-life grandson, Mathew Pritchard, makes a cameo as a witness who overhears an important conversation that could be key to solving the entire puzzle.  For those familiar with Agatha Christie’s story, Mathew Pritchard is the son of Christie’s only child, Rosalind, and famously received the stage rights to The Mousetrap as a ninth birthday present from his grandmother.


It really is two books in one as we read along with editor Susan Ryeland who has received the manuscript for author Alan Conway’s latest novel featuring Atticus Pünd, a german-born detective who solves mysteries in sleepy English villages in the 1950’s.  I was engrossed enough in this first mystery that I was as equally horrified as Susan when we realized that the final chapter of the story was missing.  Can a mystery lover imagine anything worse?  This starts the modern day investigation as Susan sets out to locate the missing pages.


A must read for any mystery fan, this is a smart and cleverly twisted take on the “whodunit”.  Why are you still reading this?  Go out and get this book…….you won’t regret it!

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review 2017-12-30 16:37
Enjoyable read
The Word is Murder - Anthony Horowitz

For fans of Ruth Rendell and Agatha Christie "The Word is Murder" is a very clever detective story which places the author as one of the central characters. Hawthorne is a retired detective and wishes to use his sharp analytical mind to help solve the death of wealthy woman Diana Cowper who is murdered six hours after she arranges her own funeral. He enlists the help of a reluctant author and it is hoped that both will not only solve the crime but also create a bestselling novel.  What gives this story an almost comic edge is the relationship between "Tony" the author and the irascible detective Daniel Hawthorne.


The novel proceeds and the usual suspects are introduced and portrayed before the reader, the hope always being that the murderer can be identified from the clues presented. To me the real pleasure of reading this story was the comical and descriptive writing on display by an established and respected author;....."Again, I found myself wondering what it must be like to work there, sitting in a room with those miniature urns, a constant reminder that everything you were and everything you'd achieved would one day fit inside."......."For him, politeness was a surgical mask, something he slipped on before he took out his scalpel."...."There was a sense of something in the air that might have been damp but was actually just misery."...."wearing a suit that could have come out of a charity shop- or should have been on the way to one."...."You never realize how fragile everything is until it breaks."..."It was as if she had been locked up in a lunatic asylum for so long that she had forgotten she was actually mad."....


So with a cunning and clever plot, mysterious and intricate characters  all presented in an entertaining dialect "The Word is Murder" is a highly enjoyable and recommended read.

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review 2017-07-09 20:34
Magpie Murder
Magpie Murders - Anthony Horowitz

Honestly, this novel is a mess of a book.


Editor Samantha Ryeland reads a book by her most famous client, mystery writer Alan Convay. The first part of this novel consists of the mystery novel, which Alan Convay has written. But the last part of this fictitious mystery novel is missing and at this point we get thrown into Samanthas narrative, who is trying to find the missing chapters and who has to deal with a whole lot of other problems along the way.


Basically this book is two stories in one and let me be upfront, I didn´t enjoy both stories. Alan Convays novel is incredibly boring and when I finally got invested in the narrative of this story, the novel abruptly ends, because the final chapters are missing.

And then I had to endure Samantha´s narrative, an unsympathetic character who turns into an amateur sleuth for no reason at all. Samantha just rubbed me the wrong way with her pathetic whining about her relationsship and she is really full of herself. Towards the end of the novel she comes to the conclusion that only an editor could have solved the mystery that has been laid out in the present narrative. At that point I felt the need to punch her in the face.


Both stories get incredibly bogged down by incessant info-dumping. Whether it being the looks of a person, the interior of a house, the never-ending references to Agatha Christie, the author felt the need to provide the reader with too much information. This book could have been shorter and it could have needed a better editor.


I listened to the audiobook of Magpie Murders and both narrators, Samantha Bond and Allan Corduner, did a good job with the narration. They were the reason I didn´t DNF the book, but I´m still glad that I got it from my local library via Overdrive.







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text 2017-07-09 12:26
Reading progress update: I've listened 809 out of 947 minutes.
Magpie Murders - Anthony Horowitz

I listened to a solid 4 hours of this audiobook while cleaning my flat and I had to pause my activies as soon as I stumbled upon a scene, where the main character is eating with a guy, who shreds his food into small pieces with his fingers.


Well, that sounded familiar to me. It took me a solid 5 minutes until i remembered that one of Agatha Christie´s characters did that. Yes, number 4 is back. Dun, Dun, Duuuuunnnnn.


One of my main problems with this book is that Horowitz constantly references Agatha Christie. And I´m not even sure to which extent he does it, because so far I have only read about 10 of Christie´s work. But it´s already enough that I can recognize it for what it is and I´m massivly annoyed by it.

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text 2017-07-03 21:20
Reading progress update: I've listened 226 out of 947 minutes.
Magpie Murders - Anthony Horowitz

The plot thickens, sort of. It´s still incredibly boring, though.



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