Magpie Murders (2016) Review

Author: Anthony Horowitz
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishing (2016)
Genre: Mystery, Fiction
Length: 498 pages
ISBN: 0062645226

Goodreads rating: 3.9/5.0
My rating: 8.3/10

We’ve all read whodunnits and we’ve all been shocked by the endings; what Horowitz does here is not only incredible, but frustrating as well.

I was so deeply enthralled by the Atticus Pünd storyline (I’m a sucker for whodunnits/thrillers) that I had completely forgotten there was an entirely different storyline set in a different timeline. When I reached the point where the Pünd novel ends a couple chapters short… irritation/shock would be the best option to describe my feelings. My impatience caused me to flip through the pages and find that the rest of the novel is included later thankfully.

My frustration was quickly quieted when I started to read the secondary (or would it be primary?) storyline that follows the suspicious happenings surrounding Alan Conway’s “death,” initially labeled suicide. Eerily similar to the Pünd story, I was pulled in instantly because I thought it would offer me an answer to both storylines.

What follows is something you’ll need, and I emphasize need, to read if you’re looking for a classic British mystery novel. Horowitz was able to write in two or three completely different voices throughout the novel, all the while keeping you drawn in with his dry humor and clever writing.

I was also lucky enough to find one of my new all time favorite quotes:

“You must know that feeling when it’s raining outside and the heatings on and you lose yourself, utterly, in a book. You read and you read and you feel the pages slipping through your fingers until suddenly there are fewer in your right hands than there are in your left and you want to slow down but you still hurtle on towards a conclusion you can hardly bear to discover.”

Not only was this relevant to the story I was holding in my hands, but in just about every book I’ve ever read. Cause if this doesn’t describe avid reading, then I don’t know what does.

Horowitz does well with character creation, he has characters you hate and characters you love. Those you blindly trust and those you just know had something to do with the murder. Pünd’s character specifically reminds me a lot of a more cheery version of Christoph Waltz’s character in Inglorious Bastards. Intelligent and charming to the point where it’s almost dastardly, and proves to be so for the assailant. In this case, Pünd is much less manipulative and not evil in any way.

All in all, an incredible mystery novel along the likes of Sherlock Holmes and Hercules Poirot (as Horowitz himself describes). I was left longing to read the other, and unfortunately fictitious, Atticus Pünd novels.

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