Monday, July 10, 2017

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz (2017)

 Horowitz has written this perfectly Christie-n murder mystery, heavily shaded with the Golden Age of Detective fiction, but also with a delightfully modern twist.  Horowitz obviously loves a good old fashioned murder mystery, and in Magpie Murders he pulls out all the stops.  Red herrings abound, the characters could give the passengers on the Orient Express a run for their money, the plot is devilishly twisty.

Horowitz has his narrator say this about three fourths of the way through, which surely sums up his love for and appreciation of the genre:

"I've always loved whodunnits... I've read them for pleasure throughout my life, gorging on them actually.  You must know the feeling when it's raining outside an the heating's 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 hand 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.  That is the particular power of the whodunnit which has, I think, a special place within the general panoply of literary fiction because, of all characters, the detective enjoys a particular, indeed a unique, relationship with the reader.

"Whodunnits are all about truth:  nothing more, nothing less.  In a world full of uncertainties, is it not inherently satisfying to come to the last page with every i dotted and every t crossed?  The stories mimic our experience in the world.  We are surrounded by tensions and ambiguities, which we spend half our life trying to resolve and we'll probably  be on our own deathbed when we reach that moment when everything makes sense. Just about every whodunnit provides that pleasure.  It is the reason for their existence..."

This book he has written embodies this sentiment:  I, too, found myself wanting it to go and on; I didn't want it to end, and in fact, slowed down my reading so it would last longer.

I love a good whodunnit, and this is more than a good whodunnit - it's perfect.  Perfect plot, perfect characters, perfect detective.  The Mystery Muse (Christie?) smiled up on this book.


Magpie MurdersMagpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Horowitz has written this exquisitely Christie-n murder mystery, heavily shaded with the Golden Age of Detective fiction, but also with a delightfully modern twist (I won't spoil what it is). Horowitz obviously loves a good old fashioned murder mystery, and in Magpie Murders he pulls out all the stops. Red herrings abound, the characters could give the passengers on the Orient Express a run for their money, and the plot is devilishly twisty. If you are in the mood for a good old fashioned murder mystery, you can't go wrong with this one. It comes with a Hercule Poirot Seal of Approval.


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