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Magpie Murders: A Novel by [Anthony Horowitz]
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Magpie Murders: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 7,462 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of June 2017: When editor Susan Ryeland begins to read the latest manuscript by curmudgeonly, bestselling author Alan Conway, she has no idea that by the time she gets to the end, the author will be dead from a mysterious fall, and that the last chapter of his last novel will be MIA. Sounds simple enough, but Horowitz uses this set-up to construct a clever novel-within-a-novel framework. One novel is set in 1950s Saxby-on-Avon, the English village where Conway’s Poirot-like fictional detective Atticus Pund arrives to investigate a murder, the other in modern-day London where Susan’s reading of the manuscript leads her to suspect that Conway’s death may not have been accidental. Two novels for the price of one means double the fun for readers: two mysteries, two detectives, and possibly two murderers. Paying homage to the vintage British manor house mysteries, Magpie Murders is a masterfully dark, twisty thriller with only one down side: reading it will make you wish there really was a series of Atticus Pund thrillers. --Vannessa Cronin, The Amazon Book Review --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

About the Author

Anthony Horowitz is the author of the New York Times bestseller Moriarty and the internationally bestselling The House of Silk, as well as the New York Times bestselling Alex Rider series for young adults. As a television screenwriter, he created Midsomer Murders and the BAFTA-winning Foyle’s War, both of which were featured on PBS’s Masterpiece Mystery. He regularly contributes to a wide variety of national newspapers and magazines, and in January 2014 was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his services to literature. He lives in London.



Allan Corduner starred as Sir Arthur Sullivan in Mike Leigh's Topsy Turvy. Other films include Moonlight Mile, The Green Zone, and Yentl. He has extensive theater credits on Broadway and in London's West End.

--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B01M1G8JQE
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harper; Unabridged edition (June 6, 2017)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ June 6, 2017
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 3004 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 501 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 7,462 ratings

About the author

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Welcome to my Amazon author page. It's strange to think that when I wrote my first book, there was no Amazon - in fact there was no internet, no computers. That doesn't make me particularly old. It just shows how quickly times have moved.

In fact I wrote my first book when I was ten, stuck in a miserable, north London boarding school where reading and telling stories were my only lifeline. Every time I write a new book, I have the same sense of urgency that I had then. I knew without any doubt that I would be an author. Perhaps it helped that I wasn't much good at anything else.

Cut forward to the present and now I have over forty-five published novels to my name. The game changer for me was Stormbreaker, the first Alex Rider adventure, published in 2000. There were eleven more books in the series - the latest, Never Say Die, was published in 2017 - and they are now being developed for TV. I have plenty of other children's books out there - I was delighted to discover my Power of Five series (Raven's Gate, Evil Star etc) on sale in a tiny bookshop in Elounda, Crete only a few days ago.

But as I grew older (and my original audience entered their twenties) I felt a need to move into adult writing. This began with two Sherlock Holmes continuation novels, The House of Silk and Moriarty, followed by my entry into the world of James Bond with Trigger Mortis. A second Bond novel is on the way. An original thriller, Magpie Murders was published last year and got some of the best reviews I've had. One of the joys of Twitter, incidentally, is that it allows readers to contact me directly and these 140-character exchanges are as valuable to me as what the professional critics have to say.

I also write for TV. After cutting my teeth on the hugely popular show, Robin of Sherwood, I moved on to work with David Suchet and his brilliant portrayal of Hercule Poirot, writing about nine or ten episodes of Agatha Christie's Poirot. I was the first writer on Midsomer Murders and then went on to create Foyle's War which I worked on for the next sixteen years. Somewhere along the way, I also created a five-part series for ITV called Injustice which very much influenced the book I'm publishing now.

The Word is Murder is hopefully the start of a long-running series. It introduces a detective by the name of Daniel Hawthorne - a rather dark and dangerous man whom I actually met on the set of Injustice. At least, that's my version of events and that's what counts here because, very unusually, I actually appear in the book as his not entirely successful sidekick; the Watson to his Holmes.

The whole point of being an author is that you're in control. But here I am, writing a book in which I have no idea what's going on, following in the footsteps of a character who refuses to tell me anything. What I'm trying to do is to give the traditional whodunit a metaphysical twist. I hope, if you read it, you'll enjoy all the clues, the red herrings, the bizarre range of suspects and the occasionally violent twists. With a bit of luck you won't guess the ending (nobody has so far). But at the same time, The Word is Murder offers something more. It's a book about words as much as murder, about writing crime as well as solving it.

Do let me know what you think. I really hope you like the book. If you do, you can tweet me your thoughts at @AnthonyHorowitz. I hope to hear from you!

Anthony Horowitz

Crete 2017

Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
7,462 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on October 4, 2018
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87 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on July 27, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on June 25, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on October 14, 2017
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wicked Good Games
By Matt Mansfield on October 14, 2017
It is almost impossible to discuss this ingenious combination of puzzles without creating spoilers. Out of necessity, therefore, this review will be brief.

Anthony Horowitz’s 2017 book, “Magpie Murders,” is really like an onion: you peel back one layer to discover another. And there are some other games dropped like golden apples to amuse and distract along the way.

The introduction sets up a tale within a tale format: a Cloverleaf Publishing House editor, Susan Ryeland, lets us know she is reviewing a manuscript for a mystery with the eponymous title. And that the book has changed her life… significantly by hinting she is no longer employed at Cloverleaf.

At that point we are plunged into a mid-1950’s setting for a traditional English murder mystery, replete with multiple characters and motives, a private detective with his own eccentricities and assistant and lovely detailing of a Cotswold village and environs.

All seems to be progressing along familiar lines until Ms. Ryeland comes back into the narrative with the jarring detail that the last chapter telling “who done it” has gone missing. This revelation sets off an entirely different sequence of events further complicated by the fact that the mystery author has died under curious circumstances. Hmmm…

Stop the presses! We now have two mysteries. It seems that the second one will interfere with resolving the first, especially as there were a lot of reasons for the author to be done dirty. An added tidbit is the author’s penchant for puzzles and thin disguises borrowing from those around him for characters, locations and maybe motives used in his works.

And the fun gets romping as various clues and enigmas are exposed. They are entertaining; some may even cause you to laugh out loud. Shocking!

The author’s writing is rich in detail and description making the read engaging and comfortable. Horowitz offers some entertaining asides about popular British detective personas such as Morse and the Midsommer Murders folks but strictly as references since the framework of the book is set in today’s publishing world.

You may or may not want to match wits with the plotting. I, for one, was quite happy to go along for the ride. Such a pleasure to discover a writer well grounded in the tradition of his genre!
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Top reviews from other countries

Dr. George Sik
5.0 out of 5 stars The whodunnit to end all whodunnits?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 6, 2017
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92 people found this helpful
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Read and Reviewed
4.0 out of 5 stars A novel within a novel - an absorbing tale and an excellent homage to golden age crime fiction. Clever, witty & v readable!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 17, 2018
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28 people found this helpful
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lee
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost the perfect meta exploration of the crime novel
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 18, 2019
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6 people found this helpful
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Alyssia Cooke
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written and clever but slow paced
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 21, 2021
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3 people found this helpful
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Ruth B.
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad read, but not my best choice of book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 22, 2020
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5 people found this helpful
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