Horowitz's unusual stand-alone combines two books in one—the first, set in 1950s England, is a wonderfully written Agatha Christie–style whodunit complete with vicar, village, and vengeance. The second, set in modern times, stars an editor who must solve a mystery surrounding that whodunit, as her publishing house's fortunes rest upon its success. While the first story is more enjoyable than the second, which drags a little, this is overall a very entertaining set of tales, and readers will enjoy finding clues in the whodunit that will help solve the mystery in the latter tale. Perfect for readers of Christie and Sophie Hannah, for lovers of mysteries with a splash of metafiction, and, of course, for fans of Horowitz's other work in multiple genres, for both young people and adults. In addition to fiction, Horowitz is the acclaimed creator and writer of such popular TV crime series as Foyle's War and Midsomer Murders. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.Review by Library Journal Reviews
Horowitz's fourth adult novel (after Trigger Mortis) presents two mysteries for the price of one, crafting a classic whodunit within a modern mystery. Susan Ryeland is an editor for a small press whose success rests on the old-fashioned mystery novels of Alan Conway. Returning from escorting an author on a book tour, she finds Alan's latest Atticus Pünd manuscript, Magpie Murders, on her desk. Upon reaching the novel's end, she finds that the last chapter is missing. When she informs her boss, Charles Clover, he tells her that Alan has committed suicide. Susan searches for the lost chapter, and in the process comes to believe that Alan's death was no suicide. Using clues buried in the manuscript, she investigates his death. While Susan and the fictional Atticus are very different characters, they use similar techniques to tease out the clues and hints to bring each mystery to resolution. VERDICT Both stories might stand alone, but combined, they result in a delightful puzzle. Fans of Agatha Christie and the BBC's Midsomer Murders and Foyle's War (both written by Horowitz) will relish this double mystery. [See Prepub Alert, 12/12/16; "Editors' Spring Picks," LJ 2/15/17.]—Terry Lucas, Shelter Island P.L., NY Copyright 2017 Library Journal.Review by Library Journal Reviews
Making her way through a manuscript from cantankerous but hugely popular crime writer Alan Conway, put-upon editor Susan Ryeland senses an undercurrent suggesting a real-life case of murder. With a 150,000-copy first printing. Copyright 2017 Library Journal.Review by Library Journal Reviews
Agatha Christie fans will line up for this salute to Golden Age whodunits from Horowitz ("Alex Rider" series). When editor Susan Ryeland receives best-selling mystery author Alan Conway's new manuscript, she is annoyed to discover the final chapter is missing and that Conway has committed suicide. Susan begins to suspect that the irascible Conway's book hides murderous secrets related to his death. (LJ 4/1/17) Copyright 2017 Library Journal.Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews
Bestseller Horowitz (The House of Silk) provides a treat for fans of golden age mysteries with this tour de force that both honors and pokes fun at the genre. In the prologue, an unnamed editor sets the tone by describing how reading the manuscript of Magpie Murders, the ninth novel in a bestselling mystery series by Alan Conway, cost her her job and many friendships. In the text of the manuscript itself (which is accompanied by a bio of Conway and blurbs from real-life authors Ian Rankin and Robert Harris), Poirot-like sleuth Atticus Pünd, a German concentration camp survivor who has settled in England, tackles an Agatha Christie–like puzzle in 1955 Saxby-on-Avon. The verdict of accidental death seems warranted in the case of housekeeper and unrepentant busybody Mary Blakiston, who took a fatal fall down a flight of stairs at Pye Hall, since no one else was in the locked manor house at the time. But rumors that her estranged son wished Mary dead lead his fiancée to seek Pünd's help. The identity of the person responsible for Mary's death is but one of the questions Pünd must answer, and Horowitz throws in several wicked twists as the narrative builds to a highly satisfying explanation of the prologue. Agent: Jonathan Lloyd, Curtis Brown (U.K.). (June) Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.
"From New York Times bestselling author Anthony Horowitz comes Magpie Murders, a brilliant and strikingly original reimagining of the classic whodunit (a la Agatha Christie) with a contemporary mystery wrapped around it"--Review by Publisher Summary 2
When she realizes that the final chapter of mystery writer Alan Conway's latest manuscript is missing and Alan later turns up dead, editor Susan Ryeland follows clues buried in the text to investigate the author's suspicious death.Review by Publisher Summary 3
Soon to be a series on PBS MASTERPIECE!"A double puzzle for puzzle fans, who don’t often get the classicism they want from contemporary thrillers." —Janet Maslin, The New York TimesNew York Times bestseller | Winner of the Macavity Award for Best Novel | #1 Indie Next Pick | NPR best book of the Year | Washington Post best book of the Year | Esquire best book of the YearFrom the New York Times bestselling author of Moriarty and Trigger Mortis, this fiendishly brilliant, riveting thriller weaves a classic whodunit worthy of Agatha Christie into a chilling, ingeniously original modern-day mystery.When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the bestselling crime writer for years, she’s intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan’s traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job.Conway’s latest tale has Atticus Pünd investigating a murder at Pye Hall, a local manor house. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but the more Susan reads, the more she’s convinced that there is another story hidden in the pages of the manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder.Masterful, clever, and relentlessly suspenseful, Magpie Murders is a deviously dark take on vintage English crime fiction in which the reader becomes the detective.