Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
Published by Orion
Expected publication 6 October 2016
I was given an ARC of this book by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
WHAT’S IT’S ABOUT
When Editor Susan Ryeland is given the tattered manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has little idea it will change her life. She’s worked with the revered crime writer for years and his detective, Atticus Pund, is renowned for solving crimes in the sleepy English villages of the 1950s. As Susan knows only too well, vintage crime sells handsomely. It’s just a shame that it means dealing with an author like Alan Conway…
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 there lies another story: a tale written between the very words on the page, telling of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition and murder.
From Sunday Times bestseller Anthony Horowitz comes Magpie Murders, his deliciously dark take on the vintage crime novel, brought bang- up-to-date with a fiendish modern twist.
There was going to be a funeral.
WHAT I THOUGHT
I really enjoyed Magpie Murders. Horowitz uses a novel-within-a-novel structure which works really well. The main story is the complete manuscript of the ninth Atticus Pund novel written by the late, great Alan Conway, a brilliant writer and a horrible human being. Wrapped around this is an investigation into Alan’s murder led by his publisher who’s on a quest to find the missing chapters of his last book and prove he was murdered and did not commit suicide. I enjoyed the sections of the novel that were from Alan’s last book a lot more than the investigation into his death. Atticus investigates the seemingly unconnected accidental death of a housekeeper and the brutal murder of a wealthy lord and uncovers a web of lies and deceit expected from the golden age of classic crime fiction. I did enjoy the section of the novel investigating Alan’s death and the quest to find the final chapters of his last novel though I was keen for this to end and return to Pund’s last adventure. Magpie Murders has a complex, multi-layered narrative full of twists and turns and wonderfully flawed characters. I’d highly recommend Magpie Murders.