Friday, November 24, 2017

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

World-renowned mystery writer Alan Conway has finished his latest mystery.  That's the news that awakes book editor Susan Ryeland when she returns from a business trip.  She takes the manuscript home for the weekend and is soon thoroughly engrossed as she is a big fan of the series, although not necessarily the author himself.  She didn't hit it off to him so her partner has always handled him.  She gets to the end of the manuscript and realizes that the ending chapters are missing and there is no solution.  Ah well, some mistake must have happened and she'll get it straight on Monday.

Monday comes but there is no solution.  Instead, there is the shocking news that Conway has died in a fall at his home.  Susan's partner, Charles, gets a letter from Alan which is basically a suicide note and the police are ready to mark it down as one. 

But when Susan goes to Alan's house to look for the missing chapters, she starts to wonder if Alan has really killed himself or if someone else has done it.  The more she looks into his life, the more she realizes what a totally unpleasant person Alan is.  There are tons of suspects if its a murder; the boyfriend who was about to be pushed aside, the former wife and son who were shocked when Alan wanted a divorce to come out as gay, the neighbor who was involved in a dispute with Alan, the vicar who remembered him as a bully and the former student who claimed Alan stole his book idea.  With all the suspects, can it really be anything but murder?

Anthony Horowitz has written a stunningly good mystery novel.  The concept of writing a book within a book is unique and draws the reader in.  As Susan's investigation deepens, it soon appears that anyone who knew Alan had a reason to wish him gone.  The reader will turn the last pages satisfied to have resolved both the novel murder and the real-life one.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

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