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Magpie Murders
Cover of Magpie Murders
Magpie Murders
A Novel

"Magpie Murders is a double puzzle for puzzle fans, who don't often get the classicism they want from contemporary thrillers." —Janet Maslin, The New York Times

From the New York Times bestselling author of Moriarty and Trigger Mortis, this fiendishly brilliant, riveting thriller weaves a classic whodunit worthy of Agatha Christie into a chilling, ingeniously original modern-day mystery.

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.

Masterful, clever, and relentlessly suspenseful, Magpie Murders is a deviously dark take on vintage English crime fiction in which the listener becomes the detective.

"Magpie Murders is a double puzzle for puzzle fans, who don't often get the classicism they want from contemporary thrillers." —Janet Maslin, The New York Times

From the New York Times bestselling author of Moriarty and Trigger Mortis, this fiendishly brilliant, riveting thriller weaves a classic whodunit worthy of Agatha Christie into a chilling, ingeniously original modern-day mystery.

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.

Masterful, clever, and relentlessly suspenseful, Magpie Murders is a deviously dark take on vintage English crime fiction in which the listener becomes the detective.

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About the Author-
  • Anthony Horowitz is the author of the New York Times bestseller Moriarty and the inter- nationally bestselling The House of Silk, as well as the New York Times bestselling Alex Rider series for young adults. As a television screenwriter, he created Midsomer Murders and the BAFTA-winning Foyle's War, both of which were featured on PBS's Masterpiece Mystery. He regularly contributes to a wide variety of national newspapers and magazines, and in January 2014 was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his services to literature. He lives in London.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from February 6, 2017
    Bestseller Horowitz (The House of Silk) provides a treat for fans of golden age mysteries with this tour de force that both honors and pokes fun at the genre. In the prologue, an unnamed editor sets the tone by describing how reading the manuscript of Magpie Murders, the ninth novel in a bestselling mystery series by Alan Conway, cost her her job and many friendships. In the text of the manuscript itself (which is accompanied by a bio of Conway and blurbs from real-life authors Ian Rankin and Robert Harris), Poirot-like sleuth Atticus Pünd, a German concentration camp survivor who has settled in England, tackles an Agatha Christie–like puzzle in 1955 Saxby-on-Avon. The verdict of accidental death seems warranted in the case of housekeeper and unrepentant busybody Mary Blakiston, who took a fatal fall down a flight of stairs at Pye Hall, since no one else was in the locked manor house at the time. But rumors that her estranged son wished Mary dead lead his fiancée to seek Pünd's help. The identity of the person responsible for Mary's death is but one of the questions Pünd must answer, and Horowitz throws in several wicked twists as the narrative builds to a highly satisfying explanation of the prologue. Agent: Jonathan Lloyd, Curtis Brown (U.K.).

  • AudioFile Magazine Listen straight through--or savor slowly? That will be your struggle because Horowitz's delicious mystery-within-a-mystery is, as they say, "fiendishly clever" and terrifically narrated. Samantha Bond begins enticingly with her husky vibrato and fully realized performance as a contemporary book editor who's been given a murder-mystery manuscript. Soon, we're in the midst of that book, set in 1955 and performed by Allan Corduner with a delightful bow toward the storytellers of old. A village busybody has fallen and broken her neck, and when her boss is murdered (a suit of armor is involved), famous detective Atticus Pund arrives to assist the police. When the manuscript ends abruptly, our editor determines to follow the clues, a potentially lethal decision. Oh boy, oh boy. A.C.S. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award � AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from September 4, 2017
    Horowitz’s new novel salutes the whodunit by presenting two sterling examples of it­­­—a golden age classic in the style of Christie and Sayers bookended by a contemporary mystery involving the suspicious death of bestselling author Alan Conway. Actor Bond, best known as Lady Rosamund on the television series Downton Abbey, narrates the contemporary plot, providing a proper British accent for editor Susan Ryeland, as she sits down to peruse the manuscript of the ninth novel in Conway’s bestselling series featuring master sleuth Atticus Pünd, a German concentration camp survivor. For the manuscript portions of the audiobook, actor Corduner takes over, reading the clue- and red herring–strewn puzzle, set in the fictional village of Saxby-on-Avon in 1955, in a mellifluous British voice. For the character of Pünd, he weakens the force of his speech while adding a Germanic edge. He employs similar distinctive touches for all of the manuscript’s secondary characters, including Pünd’s eager young assistant, James, and a long list of suspects in the murder of Sir Magnus Pye. When the Pünd novel ends abruptly, reader Bond returns for Susan’s explanation that the last chapter is missing. Worse yet, the author is dead, supposedly by his own hand. At the funeral, meeting the real-life counterparts to his fictional characters, Susan suspects Conway’s been murdered and sets out to prove it. Bond easily handles the highs and lows of Susan’s amateur sleuthing, including some mistakes and at least one terrifying moment of truth. The verdict: twice the mystery, twice the clues, twice the wit, and twice the fun. A Harper hardcover.

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Magpie Murders
A Novel
Anthony Horowitz
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