Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Book Review: Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

Book: Magpie Murders

Author: Anthony Horowitz

Read: Paperback

Read in: Over 2 days (approx. 4-5 hours)

Publisher: Orion

Plot Summary: 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.

{You can read the first couple of chapters by clicking on 'Preview' in the widget above.} 

Things I Liked:
1. The premise of this book is very interesting- a murder mystery with another mystery embedded in it! What's not to love about it?! It is almost like you get to read two stories within one book. 

2. The fictitious murder mystery at Pye Hall (the fictitious book is also called Magpie Murders) is quite interesting and very gripping. It is a delicious murder mystery where two deaths take place two weeks apart in the same mansion- Pye Hall. The first death seems more like an accident and is the death of the housekeeper- a woman called Mary Blakiston. The second murder (very obviously a murder) is of the lord of the manor- Magnus Pye. 

3. We are introduced to a detective called Atticus Pund and he is, obviously, inspired by Poirot, except that he is a German Jew who survived the Holocaust and then moved to England to become a Private Investigator. Atticus Pund is sensitive and sharp and he has an interesting way of looking at crime and human behaviour. 

4. The little village created in the book is full of characters, each of whom has a secret and a very strong reason to want both Mary Blakiston and Magnus Pye dead. Anthony Horowitz pays tribute to Agatha Christie by including several elements that fans have enjoyed in her books- a simple, bucolic setting, people with secrets, grudges, hidden agendas, snoopy old ladies etc. A totally delicious read those portions of the book were! 

5. Red herrings were fairly subtle in this book, something which I truly appreciate! It was not like one couldn't at all guess who the killer is, but it is not obvious and is somewhat surprising. 

6. The big twist in the tale is that hidden in the locations, characters and story of the fictitious Magpie Murders are hints about what the obnoxious author- Alan Conway- wishes to do next. That's all I am saying about that right now because I don't want to spoil the book! But it is interesting how there are so many parallels between Alan Conway and Magnus Pye. 

Rating: 5/5
Highly, highly recommend this book! Go read it! 

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