Friday, January 12, 2018

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

A friend recommended me this book and when I saw that it was a murder mystery by Anthony Horowitz, I had to pick it up. I really enjoyed the Alex Rider series and so I had really high hopes for this! (There aren’t any teenage spies in this though)

Magpie Murders is a murder mystery about a murder mystery. Susan Ryeland is the editor of Alan Conway, who writes the Atticus Pünd mysteries. She (and the reader) starts reading the book, but then she finds that the last chapter, the most important one where the murderer is revealed, is missing. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be a problem but Alan Conway dies. Everyone thinks it’s a suicide by Susan disagrees and starts investigating (supposedly to find the missing chapters but really for the murder)

The Alan Pünd mystery, which is also titled Magpie Murders, hearkens back to the golden age of detective fiction with a foreign detective (who is German, not Belgium) investigating a mystery in an English town not far from Bath. The mystery starts with the death of the housekeeper and then ramps it up with the death of the unpopular rich guy of the place.

What I loved about this book is how much it celebrated the mystery. It sounds weird for a mystery to talk about the genre, but the meta mystery-within-a-mystery thing gave the book the perfect vehicle to celebrate all that is good about the genre. There are tons of references to various classics, and Agatha Christie’s grandson even has a cameo in the book!

Personally, I preferred the Atticus Pünd mystery compared to the Alan Conway mystery, but that’s because I have a soft spot for Agatha Christie and her contemporaries. I also appreciate how the first third of the book was the Atticus Pünd mystery followed by the Alan Conway mystery rather than alternating between the two. By putting most of the chapters together, I was able to lose myself in the story within the story rather than see it as a plot device.

In short, if you’re a mystery fan (and especially if you’re a golden age of mystery fan), you need to read this. The double mystery and all the references make this to be a really fun book.


  1. I have had this one on my wish list for a while now. I think I would really enjoy it!

    1. Hope you get to read it soon! It's a really great read and I think you'd like it!


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