Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz; release date June 6, 2017; published by HarperCollins Canada; ISBN 978-0-06-264522-7
I always find murder mysteries difficult to summarize because much of the enjoyment of reading them comes from the reader experiencing the story development firsthand, with no prior knowledge of the potential plot twists. One of the main reasons why I loved Magpie Murders so much was in fact the ingeniously unique structure of the plot itself and uncovering the delectable intricacies of Magpie Murders on my own. So I apologize in advance for the vagueness. You’ll just have to read it to find out what it’s all about!
Susan Ryeland, is a forty-something editor at Cloverleaf Books, a small independent publisher, and her plan is to spend the weekend with snacks, a bottle of wine and the manuscript of Magpie Murders, the latest instalment in the Atticus Pünd series, from bestselling author Alan Conway. Like Susan, the reader is soon transported to the sleepy English countryside of the 1950’s, where German detective Atticus Pünd is investigating two mysterious deaths at Pye Hall, a stately home in the village of Saxby-on-Avon. Replete with a long list of suspects, all with secrets to hide, Atticus Pünd must work through numerous clues and red herrings to solve the crimes. But just as the murderer is about to be revealed, Susan discovers something very disturbing about the manuscript; something so unnerving as to change the course of her life.
Written as a novel within a novel, in Magpie Murders, Anthony Horowitz masterfully and seamlessly bridges the classic British murder mystery of yesteryear with the more modern detective crime story of today. Each mystery is intriguing and developed in such a way as to stand strongly on its own, yet the fact that there are similarities and parallels between the two make it even more appealing. I absolutely loved the whole idea of Magpie Murders, from the picturesque English country setting, the eccentric foreign detective, the suspicious and secretive (yet likable) characters, to the old-school mystery.
What a brilliantly and cleverly written tribute to the queen of crime Agatha Christie. Magpie Murders was so entertaining and engrossing that I was sad to see it end. My only complaint is that the Atticus Pünd mysteries referred to in Magpie Murders don’t actually exist in the real world. They would be so awesome to read!
Thank you to HarperCollins Canada and the HCC First Look program for providing a advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.