- Hardcover: 496 pages
- Publisher: Harper; 1st Edition edition (June 6, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062645226
- ISBN-13: 978-0062645227
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 236 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Magpie Murders: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, June 6, 2017
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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
“Each of the narratives in Magpie Murders is engaging and fluid, each with its own charm, though Horowitz’s joyful act of Christie ventriloquism is, in particular, spectacularly impressive.” (Washington Post)
“Anthony Horowitz’s Magpie Murders is catnip for classic mystery lovers… With its elegant yet playful plotting, Magpie Murders is the thinking mystery fan’s ideal summer thriller.” (Time Magazine)
“An ingenious funhouse mirror of a novel sets a vintage ‘cozy’ mystery inside a modern frame.” (Wall Street Journal)
“Brilliant. Really, really brilliant. I loved it.” (Sophie Hannah, author of The Monogram Murders)
“An extravagant circus of a novel, part high-wire act, part funhouse mirror. Intricate, bold, stone-cold clever— both comfortably old-fashioned and thrillingly new.” (A.J. Finn, author of The Woman in the Window)
“Doubly Devilish.” (People)
“Horowitz..has devised an ingenious whodunit within a whodunit, a metamystery with Agatha Christie roots.” (O, the Oprah Magazine)
“A treat for fans of golden age mysteries…. [A] tour de force …. Horowitz throws in several wicked twists…. Highly satisfying.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“Magpie Murders is an ingenious, twisting tribute to the sleepy English countryside murder and will thoroughly entertain readers of old fashioned detective thrillers.” (New York Journal of Books)
“Fans who still mourn the passing of Agatha Christie…will welcome this wildly inventive homage…as the most fiendishly clever puzzle—make that two puzzles—of the year.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred))
“A perfect summer read from the author of Moriarty.” (AARP Magazine)
“Magpie Murders [is] a fiendishly clever literary puzzle.” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
“There’s much to enjoy in Anthony Horowitz’s spry, sardonic Magpie Murders.” (Guardian)
“An ingenious novel-within-a-novel . . . part crime novel, part pastiche, this magnificent piece of crime fiction plays with the genre while also taking it seriously.” (Sunday Times)
“Superbly written, with great suspects, a perfect period feel, and a cracking reveal at the end.” (The Spectator)
“Anthony Horowitz has devised a fiendish mystery within a mystery that will have you hooked from page one. We loved this Agatha Christie-esque crime novel.” (Good Housekeeping (UK))
“A stylish, multi-layered thriller—playful, ingenious and wonderfully entertaining.” (Sunday Mirror)
“A compendium of dark delights. . . . A brilliant pastiche of the English village mystery and a hugely enjoyable tale of avarice and skullduggery in the world of publishing.” (Irish Times)
“This can only be described as incredibly clever—but what else would you expect from Horowitz?” (The Herald (Glasgow))
Top customer reviews
I am not surprised that it was a page turner. Anthony Horowitz has written some top drawer murder mysteries for television i.e. Foyle's War and a few Midsomer Murders. I recommend it highly.
I was really hoping to like this more than I did. Both mysteries are chock full of red herrings. After a while, all the suspicious details become a bit much and I began to fear that I would forget them. Just about every detail is presented as a potential clue thereby giving even the most inconsequential minutia equal weight.
There was too much detail given about the scenery, the characters, the character’s thoughts, etc. The plot suffers under such excessive verbosity. It plods along, weighed down by the thoughts and emotions of just about every character.
Magpie Murders, the book written by Alan Conway, is interrupted when Susan has to go on a search for the final chapter. By the time the final chapter is revealed, about two hundred pages later, I’d lost a considerable about of interest in the conclusion. And while I didn’t guess the murderer of this “fictional” part of the mystery, I wasn’t satisfied with the conclusion. I think it would be virtually impossible to have guessed the killer unless the reader considered everyone a suspect. The conclusion comes out of left field. The author sewed in enough clues that he could have picked name of any of the characters out of a hat and justified their guilt. Conversely, I correctly guessed the murderer of the other mystery right away though I felt the killer’s motive was weak. Strangely, I wasn’t satisfied with either of these outcomes.
3 - 3.5 STARS: This is the first book I’ve read by this author, but I have enjoyed episodes of Midsomer Murders in the past. I’d be willing to read more from him in the future.