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Magpie Murders

(Susan Ryeland #1)

by
3.95  ·  Rating details ·  107,316 ratings  ·  13,273 reviews
Alan Conway is a bestselling crime writer. His editor, Susan Ryeland, has worked with him for years, and she's intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. Alan's traditional formula pays homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers. It's proved hugely successful. So s ...more
Hardcover, 477 pages
Published June 6th 2017 by Harper (first published October 6th 2016)
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Shawn Thrasher I guess I thought that was the point - not to spoil it - but it hadn't yet been edited. She was the editor, reading it for the first time. I thought t…moreI guess I thought that was the point - not to spoil it - but it hadn't yet been edited. She was the editor, reading it for the first time. I thought that made it even better. Just my thoughts though.(less)
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Kris YES! And I thought it was CLEARLY written by a man in a woman's voice at that point. Because, you know, she really wanted to be married all along, rig…moreYES! And I thought it was CLEARLY written by a man in a woman's voice at that point. Because, you know, she really wanted to be married all along, right? Because that's what EVERY woman wants, RIGHT? (I gave this book 4 stars, but that obviously hit a nerve with me.)(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.95  · 
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Yun
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I thought I'd seen it all when it comes to murder mysteries. But then Magpie Murders comes along and completely blows me away!

Author Alan Conway is well known for his famous Atticus Pünd detective series, so when editor Susan Ryeland receives his latest manuscript, she's excited to dig in. But it soon becomes clear that Conway enjoys hiding clues of real people inside his stories. And when she gets word that he has unexpectedly passed away, she starts to wonder. What secrets does Conway's lates
...more
Paromjit
This is a superb and intelligent homage to the Golden Age of Crime and draws on the work of writers like Agatha Christie. It is structured to contain a novel within a novel. This means there is more than one mystery at play. Susan Ryeland is in her forties, in a relationship with Andreas and an editor at Cloverleaf Books, the publishers. She is settling down to read the latest manuscript of the Atticus series from Alan Conway set in the 1950s. Atticus is a German refugee, who has assisted the po ...more
Glenn Russell
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing



“As far as I'm concerned, you can't beat a good whodunnit: the twists & turns, the clues and the red herrings and then, finally, the satisfaction of having everything explained to you in a way that makes you kick yourself because you hadn't seen it from the start.”
― Anthony Horowitz, Magpie Murders

I'm no fan of whodunits. I've never read anything by Agatha Christie, P. D. James, Dorothy L. Sayers or Ellery Queen, not even Conan Doyle. Nor have I ever seen a film based on a whodunit. Detective s
...more
Julie
The Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz is a 2017 Harper publication.

Shrewd, cunning, intelligent, and ingenious!

I love the golden age of mysteries, but, of course, I also love present -day mysteries, too. This book gave me both of those things in one novel!

How is this for a setup?

Susan Ryeland is an editor for Cloverleaf Books. She plans to spend her weekend reading the manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest Atticus Pudd mystery, entitled ‘Magpie Murders’. The reader is allowed to read along wit
...more
Anne
Sep 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok. So this book was made even cooler through an act of my own dumbassery.
Here's what happened:
I needed an audiobook to listen to real quick-like and this thing was (for whatever reason - more than likely a Goodreads friend recommendation that I forgot about) on my wishlist in the library. So I just downloaded it to my phone without even looking at the blurb. I didn't know who wrote it, I didn't know what it was about, I didn't know...well, anything other than it was some sort of a mystery.

description

So, y
...more
Meredith (Slowly Catching Up)
Magpie Murders is a cleverly crafted, superbly plotted, classic whodunnit mystery with a brilliant twist.

“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 reac
...more
Annet
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's one thing reading about detectives, quite another trying to be one....
What a great read! Now I understand why so many people like this. A sort of out of the box Agatha Christie whodunnit but then different style. Especially the two separate stories running next to each other make it a really good read. Number of pages of this book pretty confusing because of this :-)
I hesitated about this one to start, but yes, definitely good crime read. And this writer has produced a lot of (different) w
...more
Liz
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Much has been made over Horowitz’s clever conceit of a book within a book. And it truly is well done. I'm usually not a big fan of reading what I consider cozy mysteries a la Agatha Christie, even though I love watching them on PBS. But the blend of old and new worked for me.

This is a very fast paced book. The first half, the book within, switches from one person to another every few pages. Everyone has a motive. And everyone is hiding something. The “author” drops hints and clues galore. But w
...more
karen
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
fulfilling my 2019 goal to read (at least) one book each month that i bought in hardcover and put off reading long enough that it is now in paperback.

Whodunnits are all about truth: nothing more, nothing less.

thank goodness for this self-imposed 2019 project o’ mine, where i finally start chipping away at books that have been sitting unread on my shelves for years; books i bought in hardcover (sometimes on the very day they were released) and for one reason or another, never got around to readin
...more
Candi
"A bottle of wine. A family-sized packet of Nacho Cheese Flavoured Tortilla Chips and a jar of hot salsa dip. A packet of cigarettes on the side (I know, I know). The rain hammering against the windows. And a book. What could have been lovelier?"

Ah, yes! Simply substitute your favorite beverage and snack of choice, perhaps a guilty pleasure, your preferred reading retreat, and you can immediately relate to the allure of an escape with one of your treasured books. I know simple words like that ne
...more
Arah-Lynda
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paperwhite, top, i-said
What is it about Anthony Horowitz’s writing that sets me to thinking about books and my love of them?    Of course if I am thinking about books it is typically the physical representation of such that consumes my thoughts.  I mean it’s something I look for and take comfort in when I am visiting someone else’s home.  I have books in practically every room of my house.  I love to leave them lying about, because come on they are beautiful and evocative of past explorations or they lay basking in th ...more
carol.
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: female-lead, mystery
I didn't know much about the Magpie Murders when Dan 2-Headphones suggested it as a buddy read. I read the description, and though it seemed suspiciously lit-fic--I was loathe to experience another Cloud Atlas--I gave it a try. The set-up is indeed a bit lit-fic: an editor sits down to read the first copy of her author's book, and then the story launches into a book-with-a-book format.

For a life-long fan of Christie-type mysteries, the first half is a beautiful, solid reproduction of an English
...more
Katie
Though I’m usually up for a game of Cluedo if I turn on the TV and there’s a whodunnit on I immediately change the channel. I’m not sure why since I’ve never read a whodunnit novel or watched a whodunnit series. It’s an instinctive thing. So I thought the time had come to investigate my instinctive indifference. This version of the genre attracted me because of the meta fiction angle – the story within the story structure.

An easy way of evaluating any novel is to compare the time consumed readi
...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: 23 July 1955

There was going to be a funeral.

The two gravediggers, old Jeff Weaver and his son, Adam had been out at first light and everything was ready, a grave dug to the exact proportions, the earth neatly piled to one side. The church of St. Botolph's in Saxby-on-Avon had never looked lovelier, the morning sun glinting off the stained glass windows. The church dated back to the twelfth century although of course it had been rebuilt many times. The new grave was to the east, close t
...more
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
5+++ stars!!! Brilliant! Unique! Fantastic! Loved this book!

This was such a unique and outstanding story! A book within a book - it doesn't get any better than that!! I am so impressed with this author, Anthony Horowitz's, talent and creativity in developing and constructing this remarkable novel. The flow and format of this book were exceptional - simply brilliant!

I cannot recommend this book highly enough! It's definitely one of my favourites of 2017!

To find our full Traveling Sister Read re
...more
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
(3.75) This was a fun cosy murder mystery!

While a bit long, my main complaint was that switching from "the book" to "real life" was rough... I just wanted to finish the story.

Recommend and will read book 2
...more
Mary Beth
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Blurb

When editor Susan Ryeland is given the tattered manuscript of Alan Conway's latest novel, she has little idea it will change her life. She's worked with the revered crime writer for years and his detective, Atticus Pund, is renowned for solving crimes in the sleepy English villages of the 1950s. As Susan knows only too well, vintage crime sells handsomely. It's just a shame that it means dealing with an author like Alan Conway...

But Conway's latest tale of murder at Pye Hall is not quite wh
...more
Norma
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Traveling Sister Group Read with Brenda, Lindsay, Susanne, JanB, Holly, Linda, Jaline and PorshaJo

4.5 stars rounded up to 5 stars!

This book was such a fun, enjoyable, well-plotted, and a brilliantly written novel that was an extremely intriguing Golden Age style mystery that had a mystery novel structured into a mystery novel. Which I found quite satisfying and exciting to read! I loved that I was reading a book within a book! Would highly recommend!

All of our Traveling Sisters Reviews can be fo
...more
Linda
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Hey, Kiddies.

We're coloring with the BIG box of crayons here. Anthony Horowitz uses all the creative color names and he doesn't close the lid of the box until the very end.

If you've read any mysteries by Horowitz (The Word Is Murder), you know that he likes to insert a pistol in the carved-out pages of his books. We've got the ol' story within the story happening.

Susan Ryeland, editor extraordinaire, has received a manuscript from one of her writers, Alan Conway. Conway is famous for his Atticus
...more
Susan
Aug 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although I have never read anything by Anthony Horowitz, my sons have both enjoyed his books and, when I heard he was writing what could be called a homage to Golden Age detective fiction, I was curious. I adore vintage crime novels and, having read this, I feel that Horowitz has done an excellent job in combining the fun of those mysteries with a more modern take.

The story begins in present day London, with Susan Ryeland, Head of Fiction at Cloverleaf Books, about to read the latest Atticus Pun
...more
Jaline
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: xx2017-completed
This was an awesome, fun-filled Traveling Sisters Group Read with Brenda, Norma, Lindsay, Susanne, JanB, Holly, Linda, and PorshaJo, and all the reviews can be found at “Two Sisters Lost In a Coulee Reading": http://wp.me/p87LDU-ON

This book is just so phenomenally good! There are two mysteries going on at the same time – and the way these are woven together is exquisitely exceptional. It starts out with an editor (Susan) reading a client’s book prior to setting to work on it. So, we read along w
...more
 Li'l Owl
Currently listening to this gem for the second time!!

Mysterious, unique, and very crafty! A book about a book? What's not to love?

I absolutely loved Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz! I listened to the audiobook edition which has two narrators, Samantha Bond and Allan Corduner.
Both of them elevated the novel to the next level with an expertly refined and polished performance, easily earning them 5★'s each!

Magpie Murders is about an editor, Susan Ryland, who is reading the typescript of a nov
...more
Carol
Jul 17, 2017 added it
Shelves: mysteries, fiction
The Hook - This quote from a main character, Susan Reyland, sums up my love of a good mystery and says it all:

” I’ve always loved whodunnits. I’ve not just edited them. I’ve read them for pleasure throughout my life, gorging on them actually. You must know that feeling when it’s raining outside and 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
...more
Ginger
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, book-club, mystery, 2020
Wow! I loved this one. 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Magpie Murders was super unique and well thought out!
The writing and characterization was superb too.

Magpie Murders is a story within a story. I don’t want to say too much because it will ruin the surprise for you. The less you know going into this, the more you’ll enjoy this whodunnit!

This is the first book that I’ve read by Anthony Horowitz and I was impressed! I will definitely be reading more by him. Bravo Horowitz on a excellent and original idea fo
...more
Robin
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, mystery, english
So much more than a mystery novel.

I cringe saying that, because it implies that a mystery novel isn't enough, or is somehow inferior. Which isn't true. I'm a reader who has spent many an hour, an afternoon, a nail biting binge read, with excellent mysteries by the greatest (Christie, P.D. James, Sayers, and more).

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 y
...more
PorshaJo
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a fun read that kept me guessing until the very end. And I mean to the *very* end (I'm a bit rusty on the murder mysteries). When this one came out, I was intrigued immediately. That cover just draws you in. It was selected by a big group of lovely ladies for our Traveling Sisters read, which made this one even more fun to guess along the way and compare notes.

A tip for readers...don't read reviews on this book (as she writes this in her review, huh)! Go into it not knowing anything other t
...more
Karl
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anthony Horowitz is writing the new James Bond novel that will appear in the summer of 2018. He has been blessed to do so by the Ian Fleming Estate. And he has been given pieces of Fleming’s unpublished writing to include in the books he is authoring. Horowitz also authored the last ‘Official’ Bond novel 2015’s “Trigger Mortis” which I enjoyed.

“Magpie Murders” is the title of this book within a book. It also happens to be the ninth and final installment of fictional author Alan Conway’s internat
...more
mwana
The murder mystery is one of the longest surviving genres of all time. At a time, it was even my absolute favourite (I no longer know) genre. However, lately I've felt disillusioned with modern attempts to be the next Christie and this novel is another example of why.

This book thinks it's clever, a book within a book following Susan Ryeland- an editor of Cloverleaf Books and the blandest character I have ever read about- and the main character of the book within the book called Atticus Pund. Mag
...more
Mel
Jul 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
Enjoyable English Whodunnit with a twist -- a clever little story in a story that uncovers the "who" exactly dunnit in a full list of suspects (that could all be straight out of a game of Clue). Horowitz includes a nod to some of the great writers of mysteries, and sprinkles in a good shake of red herrings to keep you away from any quick conclusion. For fans of the genre, this is a well written respectable read that's not a bad way to spend a couple of afternoons. Overall, I regret that I didn't ...more
Bionic Jean
“Why is it that we have such a need for murder mystery, and what is it that attracts us—the crime or the solution? Do we have some primal need of bloodshed because our own lives are so safe, so comfortable?”

These are questions crime-fiction addicts may well ask themselves, although they are actually spoken by one of the characters in the novel Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz. Nevertheless it is true: there’s something oddly appealing about an English cosy mystery. Whatever is happening in our
...more
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14,556 followers
Anthony Horowitz, OBE is ranked alongside Enid Blyton and Mark A. Cooper as "The most original and best spy-kids authors of the century." (New York Times). Anthony has been writing since the age of eight, and professionally since the age of twenty. In addition to the highly successful Alex Rider books, he is also the writer and creator of award winning detective series Foyle’s War, and more recent ...more

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Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
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“You must know that feeling when it's raining outside and 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.” 71 likes
“As far as I'm concerned, you can't beat a good whodunnit: the twists and turns, the clues and the red herrings and then, finally, the satisfaction of having everything explained to you in a way that makes you kick yourself because you hadn't seen it from the start.” 36 likes
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