Magpie Murders

Magpie Murders

Book - 2017
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When Susan receives crime writer Alan Conway's latest manuscript the editor begins to suspect there is another story hidden in the pages that may involve a real murder.
Publisher: Toronto, Ontario :, HarperCollins Publishers,, 2017
Copyright Date: ♭2016
ISBN: 9781443452557
1443452556
Characteristics: 236 pages

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agolanka
Mar 20, 2019

Magpie Murders by Alan Horowitz is a successful homage to the Golden Age of Detective Fiction (i.e. British whodunits, Agatha Christie). Magpie Murders is a mystery within a mystery that concerns a manuscript with the last chapter missing. The protagonist, the book’s editor, is trying to find the last chapter to solve the ‘fictional’ mystery when she comes across a larger ‘real-life’ puzzle regarding the manuscript’s author. This may seem very convoluted, but the execution is better than my summary. I thought this was an ingenious take in a genre that’s been parodied and overdone. This is because Horowitz focuses in on the anatomy of a classic mystery while presenting a new mystery himself. Be warned though, Magpie Murders is long, with ~250 pages being devoted to each mystery (500 pages total), but its also full of clues, red herrings, and references to Agatha Christie on every page. The novel is also very British and parts are written in the 20th century’s distinct style of detective fiction, which I enjoyed as a break from the current types of contemporary mystery. Overall, if you miss that era of detective fiction, I recommend Magpie Murders.

s
srkmeyer
Feb 20, 2019

It seems that Agatha Christie type mysteries are not my cup of tea.

ArapahoeAnnaL Feb 08, 2019

Although the plot and setting are clever there is no heart in this spoof of the classic British mystery.

OPL_BethS Feb 07, 2019

It's a mystery within a mystery and is about an editor who receives a manuscript from her bestselling mystery author, but the book is missing its last chapters. The author then mysteriously dies, and the editor is left to piece together not only the unfinished book, but the author's murder investigation as well.

v
ValinOR14
Jan 29, 2019

Oh. My. Gosh. I loved this story within a story! The book starts with editor Susan Ryeland settling down to read the newest whodunit by her author, Alan Conway. Readers then jump into Conway's book entitled Magpie Murders. I really don't want to write more than that about the plot, as I don't want to ruin it for anyone who hasn't yet read the book. What I will write is that Magpie Murders is a smart, enjoyable read, with a few satisfying mysteries for the price of one - some set in the vintage-feel of Agatha Christie, and one set in the present - ALL of which are neatly wrapped up by the surprising conclusion.

p
pamstonge
Jan 03, 2019

2018 Nat. Post rec.

Chapel_Hill_MarthaW Dec 19, 2018

I don’t know about anyone else, but there is something about December that makes me want to curl up under a blanket with a good mystery – and if you feel the same way, and you somehow missed this one when it came out last year, this is absolutely the mystery you should choose. It. Is. So. Clever. It feels difficult to speak about without giving too much away, but it’s both an homage to golden age mystery novels and entirely its own genius thing, all at once, and I loved it. So much.

IndyPL_SteveB Nov 06, 2018

If you like British mystery novels, do not start this book until you have finished your appointments, paid your bills, sent away any visitors, and found a very comfortable place to sit. You won’t be doing anything else for a while – maybe not *noticing* anything else.

Best-selling crime writer Alan Conway has made millions with his Agatha Christie-inspired mystery series, featuring private detective and Holocaust survivor Atticus Pünd. He has just sent his publisher the typescript of the 9th book (“Magpie Murders”) in the series and the publisher has made a copy for Conway’s editor, Susan Ryeland. Susan settles down for the weekend to read it. So do we. Horowitz gives us the full text of Conway’s English village murder mystery and we become wrapped up in it. But after 90% of the plot, we suddenly – along with editor Susan – discover that the end of the book is missing. Then Susan and her boss discover that author Conway has either committed suicide or has been murdered himself. Now Susan becomes the detective in order to solve TWO mysteries, while author Horowitz keeps us readers completely off balance.

This is one impressive and entertaining mystery.

j
jimg2000
Oct 22, 2018

A long and winding death investigation between Jul 23 1955 and Aug 1955. The detectives were modeled after Christie's Poirot and a plot to look for the murderer of a generally disliked wealthy village landowner among a community of suspects. First time reader pf Horowit's novels and likely the last. As Spirit_of_Che commented on Aug 22, 2018, too slow to develop etc. and the ending verdict was uninspiring:

Atticus Pünd who never lost sight of a single detail vs Hercule Poirot
James Fraser who was an Oxford graduate vs Captain Arthur Hastings
Raymond Chubb who was a London Detective Inspector vs Chief Inspector James Japp

w
WhidbeyIslander
Sep 15, 2018

You get two-for-one mysteries in this clever, fun read. A book editor reads her publisher's best-selling author's new book, but finds the last chapters missing. Searching for them she begins to get involved in a real life mystery (well, you know...). It's well written and keeps your interest, which is all you can ask of a whodunnit.

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