Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

I’m on a roll this summer for reading!

A playful and introspective whodunnit by Anthony Horowitz – creator (and writer) of Foyle’s War and Midsomer Murders.  The first half of the book is a well written, engaging, murder mystery which ends suddenly with the penultimate chapter – just as the solution is about to be presented  – talk about a cliff hanger!  Then the author shifts gears because suddenly and without warning, the page numbers begin anew and the editor for the manuscript we’ve just been reading is venting her frustration at not having the last chapter! She is unable to reach the author because it turns out that he is very dead – an apparent suicide.  Thus begins the second mystery which is delightfully intertwined with the mystery he wrote and that we have been reading.

Horowitz, whose previous books include The House of Silk (a Sherlock Holmes story) and Trigger Mortis (a James Bond novel) excels at writing in different styles – his Holmes book feels a Doyle original.  In Magpie Murders he obviously allows himself the pleasure as writing in multiple styles – in the two mysteries as well as in manuscript excerpts our editor peruses. He throws in a lot of insider jokes about writers and writer processes such as naming, influences, plagiarism, you name it. Great characters, fun mysteries, insightful prose. The hit of the summer for me.

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