Book Review: Magpie Murders, by Anthony Horowitz

When I’ve read and enjoyed an author’s work, I don’t usually hesitate to go for their new books. Anthony Horowitz has written two Sherlock Holmes based novels that I’ve loved and rank among my favorite reads. I read this title and the blurb, and I knew this would be one that I’d find interesting. I got this as a gift for my birthday too.

Magpie Murders is the title of a book written by Alan Conway, one of the characters in this novel. Alan is a celebrated crime fiction author whose books are published by Cloverleaf Books. Susan Ryeland, his editor, has received the manuscript of Magpie Murders for looking through. Alan Conway’s mansucript takes us to a sleepy village in England. A death has happened there, and gossip turns to rumor that the woman, Mary Blakiston has been murdered by her son. Joy Sanderson, engaged to the son, approaches Atticus Pünd, a well known detective to set the record straight, but instead, Pünd gets involved only after a second murder at the village. Turning the clock back, finding suspects and hoping no further murders happen, the detective goes about his work. Back in our novel, Susan Ryeland gets engrossed in the manuscript only to find that the whodunnit ends without the final three chapters. She calls Charles Cloverleaf, the CEO, and asks about it, but later that very day, she hears something that brings about another dead body and another mystery. Can Susan turn detective and solve it?

It was intriguing to read a book inside the book. I loved that idea. Alan Conway’s manuscript makes for compelling crime fiction, and it was a very engaging mystery. I was so engrossed that the pages kept turning quickly and I was trying to piece together the clues and timelines. And then, the mystery suddenly ended without the last three chapters. I was as disappointed as Susan Ryeland was. The next part of the book, when Ryeland goes on her quest to find the missing chapters, felt a bit tedious to be honest. It brings the reasons for many of the characters in Conway’s manuscript, but in doing so, the similarity between names in the two parts also adds a bit of confusion. I liked the character of Ryeland though, how she turns detective and figures out the solution to the second mystery. I also loved the ending of both mysteries. I couldn’t figure out either ending. The book could have done with tighter editing. I saw a few instances at least where names were misspelled.

So far, the year has been good when it comes to reading crime fiction. This book is another gem to add to my collection. Loved the cover, loved the plot, and is definitely one I’d re-read.


A Score Of 8 Out Of 10
Book Details
Title: Magpie Murders
Author(s): Anthony Horowitz Genre: Crime Fiction
ISBN/ASIN: 9781409158370 Publisher: Orion/Hachette India

No payment was taken for this review. The views expressed here are mine, and they remain uninfluenced and unbiased.


(© Vinay Leo R. @ A Bookworm’s Musing
18th January 2018)

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: Magpie Murders, by Anthony Horowitz

  1. This is one book that’s been on my list forever!
    I had picked it up from the library when Amma was here and she enjoyed the book very much…
    But, because of classes, I had to return it before I could read it… Will put it on hold again!

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