This has looked intriguing for several months so after pruning my Audible wish list (which still has 188 books on it) I went back to it. Settling in it felt like just what my inner librarian ordered. A good juicy English mystery. – HA – it’s a LOT more than that.
This book will make my Best of Year List for sure – maybe not overall, but in the Crime Section anyway.
by Anthony Horowitz
2017 / 501 pages
read by Samantha Bond & Allan Corduner / 15h 47m
Rating – 8.5 /A++ literary crime
An editor in the current day is reading the proofs of the latest installment of the Atticus Punt series by Alan Conway. She’s safe and comfy, alone in her old Victorian house. Magpie Murders is the name of the novel she’s reading and she warns the reader that the book changed her life. The book-within-a-book begins:
Part 1 – Sorrow
July 23, 1955
A funeral and a grave in the fictional village of Saxby-on-Avon – somewhere near Bath. It was the economy package and there were only a few actual mourners for Mary Elizabeth Blakiston – April 5 1887 – to July 15, 1955.
Rev Robin Osborne in the vicarage considering Mary Blakiston’s death – everyone knew Mrs Blakiston. Henrietta Osborne, the vicar’s wife. Mary was “a part of the village.” She lived and worked as a housekeeper at Pye Hall, making goodies and arranging flowers. She was actually somewhat of a busy-body. Osborne remembers.
(For more of this type of summary see: ( https://beckylindroos.wordpress.com/102017-2/magpie-murders-by-anthony-horowitz/ ) As you can see the book opens with an editor in contemporary London reading a manuscript and Chapter 1 is a part of the manuscript itself so there are two main threads.
But I really can’t go on with this review without what would be, for me, a major spoiler. I will say that the characters and plot twists are, for the most part, quite well done – the manuscript drawing me in more than the frame story. And the writing and language are nice enough for good reading although mainly straightforward and unadorned so as to keep firmly within the crime genre. The literary part is probably the structure and the general subject-matter of a book within a book type of thing.
All that said, Magpie Murders will likely be making my Best of Year in Crime Fiction unless I really strike it rich with rare wonders. lol
Happy Reading –
I’m glad you enjoyed this! I read it last year and loved it. I remember wishing that all the Atticus Pund novels mentioned in the book really existed. 🙂