- About the Book
From the Globe and Mail-bestselling author of Moriarty, this "spectacularly impressive" (Washington Post) and riveting thriller weaves a classic whodunit worthy of Agatha Christie into a chilling, ingeniously original modern-day mystery.Editor Susan Ryeland has worked with bestselling crime writer Alan Conway for years, so she has no reason to think his latest novel will be much different from his others. Readers love his detective, Atticus Pnd, a celebrated solver of crimes in the sleepy English villages of the 1950s.But Conway's latest tale of murder at Pye Hall is not quite what it seems. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but hidden in the pages of the manuscript lies another story: a tale written between the very words on the page, telling of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition and murder.Masterful, clever and relentlessly suspenseful, Magpie Murders is a "doubly devilish" (People) 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.