- About the Book
From the New York Times bestselling author of Moriarty and Trigger Mortis, this fiendishly brilliant, riveting thriller weaves a classic whodunit worthy of Agatha Christie into a chilling, ingeniously original modern-day mystery.When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway s latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the bestselling crime writer for years, she s intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pund, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan s traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job.Conway s latest tale has Atticus Pund investigating a murder at Pye Hall, a local manor house. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but the more Susan reads, the more she s convinced that there is another story hidden in the pages of the manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder.Masterful, clever, and relentlessly suspenseful, Magpie Murders is a deviously dark take on vintage English crime fiction in which the reader becomes the detective."
Horowitz, author of the best-seller Moriarty (and relevant to our interests here the British TV series Midsomer Murders), has a ball with all of this, and so will you. Read it not just to find out whodunit, but for Horowitz's wicked portrait of the book industry (I love the fictional blurbs for Conway's novel), and his cinematic way of painting a character with just a few words.
This is like getting two books in one, for there's an entire mystery in the Atticus Pünd part, and a nearly parallel --- but contemporary --- universe in the other part, the one with the editor solving the murder. It ingeniously twists the reader's mind in ways other mysteries don't even begin to explore. Anthony Horowitz has presented an entirely new and challenging experience for lovers of the thriller genre. He has taken readers down a path we never even knew was there. Bravo!
...a clever meditation on the whodunit genre by one of its leading experts.... Self-referential even by crime fiction standards...it's a sharp novel about literature and publishing in the form of not one, but two entertaining by-the-numbers potboilers.... [T]he book could be shorter and more incisive... But it is, ultimately, a smart, enjoyable read, with two satisfying mysteries for the price of one.
...[a] very clever and greatly enjoyable new mystery.... As parody, pastiche or a whole new sort of puzzle, Magpie Murders holds one's attention from first to last. Its echoes and allusions continue to tease the brain even after the book is closed.
—Wall Street Journal
—Wall Street Journal
Magpie Murders, the British author Anthony Horowitz's sleek, fun, cunning new novel, is a complex reckoning with [Agatha] Christie's immense popularity, and what it says about us as readers.... Horowitz captures Christie's uncanny ability to glide at lark's height over a village's inhabitants, exposing their little weaknesses, dreams, secrets; everyone, even if it's not murder, is guilty of something.... 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.