Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

magpie murders


This was a fun mystery and cleverly involves a murder within a murder. Susan Ryeland, an editor for Cloverleaf Books, is reading the manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest crime fiction featuring Detective Atticus Pund who solves mysteries set in sleepy English villages.  The reader is reading the story along with Ryeland as Atticus who is dying takes on his last case.  A nosy busy-body, Mary Blakiston, is murdered, and the girlfriend of the primary suspect has asked him to help with the investigation.  Then, Sir Magnus of Pye Hall, who is hated by many and planning a development that is unwanted by many, is found beheaded at Pye Hall.  Atticus finds there are many secrets among the town folks, and, of course, there are lots of suspects.  Right at the point when Atticus is about to reveal the murderer, the manuscript suddenly ends because the last chapters are missing.  As Ryeland plans to talk with the author, it is discovered that he is dead of an apparent suicide.  Ryeland is suspicious of his death and becomes an amateur detective to investigate his death only to learn of similarities between the book and Conway’s life.  She soon becomes convinced that Alan has been murdered and the clues that will lead to the murderer are in the missing chapters.  This is a nice homage to the classic British mystery by authors like Agatha Christie.  The well-written mystery within a mystery added a fun element, and both stories provide an engaging story line.  This book was the number 1 pick by librarians for June’s Library Reads.   Fans of the classic British mysteries will love this one.


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