A book within a book! Author Alan Conway sends his final manuscript to his publisher and editor. But the book is incomplete and Alan dies before they can ask about the ending. Editor Susan notices similarities between the book and real life: has a murder been committed?
Magpie Murders is a murder mystery within another. It has recently been made into a TV adaptation which I only watched after listening to this audiobook (the TV version was fab but the book was even better!)
Alan Conway’s Atticus Pund novels are hugely popular and his editor Susan is excited to read the final book in the series. Atticus is dying but takes on one final case. A woman dies in an apparent accident but her employer is then decapitated. The detective then interviews the suspects and is about to reach a conclusion when the manuscript abruptly finished. Susan is eager to find the missing final chapter but her visit to Alan’s home reveals he was using people and places he knew as his characters and settings. Does this mean he wrote about real murders?
I LOVED the way the two mysteries unfolded and was gripped by the narrative style and audio narration. Everthing just worked so well together and was so cleverly constructed. Readers are allowed to read along with Susan as she enjoys the final book in the Pund series and then act as an amateur sleuth alongside her as she investigates the death of the author.
There are clues and red herrings aplenty in both the manuscript and real life as the plot threads together. However, it is the characters of Susan and Atticus that really shine. Atticus is reminiscent of Poirot who I grew up adoring, whilst Susan is modern and intelligent. Both characters just leapt off the page, brought to life by the fantastic storytelling skills of the author.
Magpie Murders is a clever mystery within a mystery and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.
Magpie Murders book blurb (Susan Ryeland 1)
When editor Susan Ryeland is given the tattered manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has little idea it will change her life. She’s worked with the revered crime writer for years and his detective, Atticus Pund, is renowned for solving crimes in the sleepy English villages of the 1950s. As Susan knows only too well, vintage crime sells handsomely. It’s just a shame that it means dealing with an author like Alan Conway…
But Conway’s latest tale of murder at Pye Hall is not quite what it seems. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but hidden in the pages of the manuscript there lies another story: a tale written between the very words on the page, telling of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition and murder.
From Sunday Times bestseller Anthony Horowitz comes Magpie Murders, his deliciously dark take on the vintage crime novel, brought bang- up-to-date with a fiendish modern twist.