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Magpie murders
2017
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Susan Ryeland (Female), Editor, Editor for Alan Conway's detective novels, with detective Atticus Pund
Alan Conway (Male), Mystery writer, Author of a mystery series featuring detective Atticus Pund
Genre
Fiction
Mystery
Suspense
Thriller
Topics
Editors
Mystery writers
Books and reading
Detectives
Jealousy
Greed
Ambition
Murder
Murder investigations
Setting
England - Europe
Time Period
-- 21st century
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Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

Horowitz's fourth adult novel (after Trigger Mortis) presents two mysteries for the price of one, crafting a classic whodunit within a modern mystery. Susan Ryeland is an editor for a small press whose success rests on the old-fashioned mystery novels of Alan Conway. Returning from escorting an author on a book tour, she finds -Alan's latest Atticus Pünd manuscript, Magpie Murders, on her desk. Upon reaching the novel's end, she finds that the last chapter is missing. When she informs her boss, Charles Clover, he tells her that Alan has committed suicide. Susan searches for the lost chapter, and in the process comes to believe that Alan's death was no suicide. Using clues buried in the manuscript, she investigates his death. While Susan and the fictional Atticus are very different characters, they use similar techniques to tease out the clues and hints to bring each mystery to resolution. VERDICT Both stories might stand alone, but combined, they result in a delightful puzzle. Fans of Agatha Christie and the BBC's Midsomer Murders and Foyle's War (both written by Horowitz) will relish this double mystery. [See Prepub Alert, 12/12/16; "Editors' Spring Picks," LJ 2/15/17.]-Terry Lucas, Shelter Island P.L., NY © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Bestseller Horowitz (The House of Silk) provides a treat for fans of golden age mysteries with this tour de force that both honors and pokes fun at the genre. In the prologue, an unnamed editor sets the tone by describing how reading the manuscript of Magpie Murders, the ninth novel in a bestselling mystery series by Alan Conway, cost her her job and many friendships. In the text of the manuscript itself (which is accompanied by a bio of Conway and blurbs from real-life authors Ian Rankin and Robert Harris), Poirot-like sleuth Atticus Pünd, a German concentration camp survivor who has settled in England, tackles an Agatha Christie-like puzzle in 1955 Saxby-on-Avon. The verdict of accidental death seems warranted in the case of housekeeper and unrepentant busybody Mary Blakiston, who took a fatal fall down a flight of stairs at Pye Hall, since no one else was in the locked manor house at the time. But rumors that her estranged son wished Mary dead lead his fiancée to seek Pünd's help. The identity of the person responsible for Mary's death is but one of the questions Pünd must answer, and Horowitz throws in several wicked twists as the narrative builds to a highly satisfying explanation of the prologue. Agent: Jonathan Lloyd, Curtis Brown (U.K.). (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
<p> " Magpie Murders is a double puzzle for puzzle fans, who don't often get the classicism they want from contemporary thrillers." --Janet Maslin , The New York Times </p><p>From the New York Times bestselling author of Moriarty and Trigger Mortis , this fiendishly brilliant, riveting thriller weaves a classic whodunit worthy of Agatha Christie into a chilling, ingeniously original modern-day mystery.</p><p>When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway's latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the bestselling crime writer for years, she's intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pund, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan's traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job.</p><p>Conway's latest tale has Atticus Pund investigating a murder at Pye Hall, a local manor house. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but the more Susan reads, the more she's convinced that there is another story hidden in the pages of the manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder.</p><p>Masterful, clever, and relentlessly suspenseful, Magpie Murders is a deviously dark take on vintage English crime fiction in which the listener becomes the detective.</p>
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