Magpie Murders

by Anthony Horowitz

In Magpie Murders, Anthony Horowitz has crafted a cleverly constructed classic whodunit full of red herrings, puzzles and, of course, murder!

Susan Ryeland is an editor for Cloverleaf Books. This small publishing house is surviving because of their # 1 writer, Alan Conway.  Conway writes a series of mystery novels featuring the super crime solving sleuth Atticus Pünd  They are wildly popular. Unfortunately, Alan no longer wants to write his Atticus Pünd novels, but instead wants to write literary fiction. The problem is that he isn’t very good at writing literary fiction. When he turns in his last manuscript, Susan is looking forward to reading it. She doesn’t particularly like Alan but she wants to keep her job so she must keep him happy, as well. His latest book, Magpie Murders, has to do with a murder at Pye Hall, a British manor house in a sleepy English village. Soon there is another murder and it seems that almost everyone in the village has a motive for these murders. When Susan gets to the end of the manuscript, she discovers that the last chapter is missing. What happened to it, and why would Alan turn in his manuscript with the last chapter missing?  When Alan is found dead, and his death is ruled a suicide, Susan begins to investigate. The editor becomes the sleuth and things are not as they seem.

The story goes back and forth between the story in Alan’s book, Magpie Murders, and what is going on with Susan’s life as she investigates his death. She soon begins to realize that this murder, within a murder, is more complicated than anyone could guess. There are lots of suspects in this little village and just as Alan Conway is writing the last book in his series, his main character is also dealing with his swan song.

I really dislike book reviews that give away the whole plot, so I’m not going to do that. There is so much going on in this book that it is difficult to review it without spoilers. All I can say is that, if you love a great twisty mystery that has been compared to Agatha Christie, you will love Magpie Murders. I had my suspicions about what was going on but ultimately I didn’t figure out the ending. Another good one from Anthony Horowitz.

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