I love it when I experience a really clever piece of writing. That is why I am such a fan of Georgette Heyer’s THE MASQUERADERS, John Grisham’s THE RUNAWAY JURY and Agatha Christie’s THE MURDER OF ROGER ACKROYD.
And here (courtesy of my sister) I recently experienced another book that I absolutely loved for its cleverness. For MAGPIE MURDERS is not your ordinary detective murder mystery set in Britain in the 1950s (a nod to Agatha Christie), but it is also a meta-analysis of such detective fiction set in the frame of present-day London.
The frame (naturally) opens the novel. Susan Ryeland, an editor at Clover Books, has to spend her weekend reading the manuscript of a new whodunnit by star author Alan Conway. There is nothing to tell her that this manuscript will change her life. After meeting Susan and her surroundings, the novel plunges into Conway’s manuscript so convincingly that I actually forgot that it was a manuscript!
The manuscript was enjoyable enough, but the real cleverness comes when we are pulled back into the frame, about half-way through the book, and taken into a whole new set of issues that begin with the news that Alan Conway has suddenly died.
I will not say more, so as not to spoil it for people who have yet to read this gem. But I cannot say enough good things about it. Five stars. #anthonyhorowitz #magpiemurders