Our Mystery Book Club selection for January 2018 is Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz.
About: "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 Pünd, 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.
Conway’s latest tale has Atticus Pünd 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."
Anthony Horowitz has written Foyle's War and episodes of Midsomer Murders - my favorite tv series. He has also written episoses or Poirot, which was another favorite of mine.
Magpie Murders is a very clever book that I was not prepared for. It is really two books in one. Susan, the editor reads Magpie Murders, by one of their clients. We read Magpie Murders. The last chapters are missing. We don't know how it ends. Then we follow the story of Susan trying to find the last chapters and takes on the role of detective. Pretty clever.
Interesting things about the book: Atticus Pund reminds me of Poirot, writing styles of famous authors were described such as Agatha Christie, both stories are good. What I had trouble with was that first we read almost the entire book that Susan is reading. Then we read her story about the book she was reading. Both stories have similarities. By the time we get back to the book Susan is reading, I kind of forgot what was going on and confused the characters. I typically like books that go back and forth between characters or even time with each chapter. But I had trouble reading one almost entire book, then another and then going back to the first. But I read the whole thing didn't I.
If I could get better at reading like that, maybe I could read two books at the same time. That would be great. :)
If you like complex plots that make you think, lots of characters and great writing, I bet you would like Magpie Murders.