- Hardcover: 464 pages
- Publisher: Orion (6 Oct. 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1409158365
- ISBN-13: 978-1409158363
- Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 4.1 x 24.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 490 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 58,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Magpie Murders: the Sunday Times bestseller crime thriller with a fiendish twist Hardcover – 6 Oct 2016
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An ingenious novel-within-a-novel whodunit about the death of a crime writer . . . Part crime novel, part pastiche, this magnificent piece of crime fiction plays with the genre while also taking it seriously (Sunday Times)
A cunning re-invention of the thriller formula (Thriller of the Week Mail on Sunday)
Superbly written, with great suspects, a perfect period feel and a cracking reveal at the end (Spectator)
A stylish, multi-layered thriller - playful, ingenious and wonderfully entertaining (Sunday Mirror)
Brilliant. Really, really brilliant. I loved it. (Sophie Hannah, author of The Monogram Murders)
Putting two books in one with their plots running side by side makes Magpie Murders difficult to put down and Horowitz fans will thoroughly enjoy a cracking good read (Daily Express)
Although at first glance Horowitz's latest offering appears to be a classic whodunit novel, it will almost certainly prove to be unlike anything you've ever read before, and will have you mulling over its various intrigues in between sittings. (Scotsman)
Anthony Horowitz's new novel is at once a brilliant pastiche of the English village mystery and a hugely enjoyable tale of avarice and skulduggery in the world of publishing . . . a compendium of dark delights (Irish Times)
We loved this Agatha Christie-esque crime novel. A fiendish mystery within a mystery that will have you hooked from page one (Good Housekeeping)
A highly enjoyable twist on the classic whodunnit (Metro)
Author of MORIARTY and TRIGGER MORTIS, Anthony Horowitz offers up a whodunit like no other in this fiendishly clever new novel.See all Product description
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To tell you anything at all is probably giving away too much but I think it's fair to say that it's one mystery within another - the manuscript of a detective story that marks the final appearance of supersleuth Atticus Pund in a classic fifties plot is really just the beginning. The novel conceals another mystery completely.
The writing is perfect. Although this is the first anyone has heard of Atticus Pund, you don't have to be too far in before your mind is kidding itself that you've read all the (non existent) previous adventures of a detective as prolific as Miss Marple or Father Brown. He is a very sympathetic sleuth and - in one of many marvellous in-jokes and references to Agatha Christie, Midsomer Murders etc - lives in Charterhouse Square, which is where they film Poirot's 'Whitehaven Mansions' home in the TV series. As for his author and those who publish his novels...
No, I've said too much already. If you love this sort of thing, you'll be in Heaven from the moment you pick it up.
Entitled Magpie Murders and set in 1955 the novel that unfolds is essentially a pastiche of an idiosyncratic Poirot-like sleuth investigating the seemingly accidental death of devoted housekeeper, Mary Blakiston, in the Somerset village of Saxby-on-Avon and the violent murder of odious Sir Magnus Pye that swiftly follows and is surely no coincidence. As the whole atmosphere of the village takes a darker turn and suspicion abounds the renowned investigator comes to the aid of a dim witted Inspector Chubb as he delves into the secrets and web of deceit surrounding two deaths and a burglary at Pye Hall. Horowitz writing as Alan Conway delivers all the required characters, from the busybody housekeeper to the resentful sister of Magnus Pye, the unfaithful lady of the manor, the bitter son of Mary, the local doctor, vicar and newly resident ex-criminal. As the pages flick by a delightful take on Agatha Christie follows and engages the reader in a guessing game and truly engrossing tale. As the final reveal approaches and Susan draws breath she discovers that the last chapter of the manuscript is missing only to arrive back at her desk and hear that author Alan Conway has thrown himself to his death.
As Susan searches for the missing chapter and starts to think that Alan Conway was murdered she proves an engaging narrator and learns that the characters of his final novel have thinly veiled real-life counterparts in the authors own personal life. As Susan tries to get to the bottom of Alan’s supposed suicide when all the signs indicate that he was anything but maudlin she makes an objective commentator, having previously found Alan a difficult and rather arrogant man herself. As she starts to actively investigate she realises that before she can put in place and locate the final chapter of Magpie Murders she must work out just who would have wanted Alan Conway dead and why that was. In truth I enjoyed the mystery contained in the Atticus Pünd adventure more than the actual focus on the author’s demise, perhaps because it felt more coherent and avoided the repetitive discussion of Conway’s literary merits, his fruitless search for recognition as a writer and the slightly laboured focus on the tropes in crime fiction.
Horowitz does the lions share of his work with the gentle tale of cosy crime in Saxby-on-Avon, hooking the reader and thereby keeping them invested in the second half but in all honesty I cared less as to who actually killed Conway and more about the fiendish puzzler in Saxby-on-Avon! It is however hard to find fault with such a clever concept and how it nearly ties together and as always, Anthony Horowitz writes superbly and brings alive Conway’s personal life in a witty, highly readable style. Whilst not a thriller the nested tale and the ultimate two solutions make Magpie Murders a superior blend of crime fiction! Highly recommend, this is a story to lose yourself within!
Review written by Rachel Hall (@hallrachel)
I much preferred the novel within the main book, if there was a series of Atticus Pùnt mysteries I would definitely be a fan. My only criticism regards the mystery of the dead author and the adventures of his editor to find his killer, I found this slightly irritating and far too long winded, I persevered simply to find out the conclusion of the Atticus Pùnt mystery.
In conclusion, a very good read and definitely a change from the norm
I finished reading it this morning, and felt that I had to come on an review it. I'm not a particular fan of "Whodunnits" but I had enjoyed Anthony Horowitz's "James Bond" book and I heard him talking about this on Radio 2.
It is superbly constructed with a story within a story. The original crime novel has everything - a quaint village setting, suspects galore, hidden agendas and complicated pasts. When the detective solves the case and explains everything - it all made perfect sense.
I've now got his 2 Sherlock Holmes books and I can't wait to read them.
'Magpie Murders' is hugely enjoyable and a wonderful reminder of how much pleasure can be had from a well-written 'who-dunnit',
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A great read