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Magpie Murders

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3.94  ·  Rating details ·  36,787 Ratings  ·  5,588 Reviews
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 cr ...more
Capa dura, 448 pages
Published October 6th 2016 by Orion
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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…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)
Kerry Jamieson
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

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Paromjit
Sep 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Glenn Russell
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


“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. Detecti
...more
Arah-Lynda
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery Lovers Everywhere
Shelves: i-said, paperwhite, top
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
Meredith
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 reach
...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
Marita

The original matryoshka set by Zvyozdochkin and Malyutin, 1892 (Wikipedia)

###
Matryoshka dolls. That is what this novel reminds me of. You read a whodunnit, and as you think you are coming to grips with the story another whodunnit pops up, and another…

Prepare yourself for codes, anagrams and acrostics, for ”tricks and trompe l’oeils” and for events that are mirror images of other events.

Brilliant!


Nesting of Matryoshka dolls (Wikipedia)
Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*
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 * Traveling Sister
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
Candi
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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
Lindsay - Traveling Sister
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
Carol
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
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
PorshaJo
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
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
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
Linda
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
Dem
Oct 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent thriller, rich in detail, strong on character with an engaging and suspensful plot that is a back to basics Agatha Christie style novel

I really enjoyed this as it was so unlike anything I read before a story within a story, cleverly crafted, old fashioned style thriller and yet it was fresh and suspensful and really kept me turning the pages.

Magpie Murders is set in a familiar setting of the English village mystery and a hugely enjoyable and suspensful tale of murder and mystery in
...more
Mel
Jul 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jenny
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. A mystery within a mystery. One of the best books I've read this year. Actually sad that it ended. No skimming allowed with this book. I have recommended this book to everyone I know. It’s so well written and intelligent. I have struggled to find books of this caliber and can only hope that Anthony Horowitz never stops writing.
Brenda - Traveling Sister
Traveling Sister Group Read with Norma, Lindsay, Susanne, JanB, Holly, Linda, Jaline and PorshaJo

We read Magpie Murders with seven of our Traveling Sisters and it brought out one of the best and most fun group discussions we have had yet. For this one, we tried to stay as close as we could to each other with our reading goals so we could play detectives together and discuss our suspicions along the way. For some of us, it was really hard to put this one down but it sure was worth it staying some
...more
Malia
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
4.5 stars
“You'd have thought that after twenty years editing murder mysteries I'd have noticed when I found myself in the middle of one.”
― Anthony Horowitz, Magpie Murders
I had heard so much about this Magpie Murders that my expectations were quite high when I finally picked it up. I didn't really know what to expect, but Horowitz is the man behind two of my favorite mystery series - Midsomer Murders and Foyle's War - that I was quite willing to take a chance on him.
Magpie Murders presents a sto
...more
Carol (Bookaria)
This story contains a classic mystery within a contemporary mystery and what an engaging ride!

The novel starts with Susan Ryeland, an editor for Cloverleaf Books. They publish the very-successful and classic mysteries starting fictional detective Atticus Pünd, the author of these mysteries is Alan Conway. Susan plans to spend her weekend reading the manuscript for the new Atticus Pünd book named the 'Magpie Murders', as she reaches the end of the novel she discovers the last chapters where the
...more
Robin
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Phrynne
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4000-books
The idea of having a book within a book was clever but initially confusing to someone who is listening to the audio version as I was. By the time I arrived at the point where the Atticus Pund story goes on hold I had forgotten that there was another story at all. Anyway I managed to sort myself out eventually but I never did understand the way the chapters were numbered. Maybe I will take a look at the paper copy in the library one day.

Nevertheless it was a clever idea on the part of the author
...more
Barbara
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

4.5 stars

"Magpie Murders" is a cleverly constructed double whodunit.....two mystery books in one. Here's how it works:

Susan Ryeland, a fiction editor at London's 'Cloverleaf Books', is reading the manuscript of 'Magpie Murders' - the ninth book in Alan Conway's Atticus Pünd mystery series. Pünd - a fictional private detective inspired by Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot - is a German Holocaust survivor who lives and works in England.

Conway's Atticus Pünd books have been Cloverleaf's bread-and-
...more
Mandy
Actually 3.5 stars.
I enjoyed this but I did have a few problems with it.
This is the story of Susan Ryeland, who is an editor working at Cloverleaf Books. As the book begins Susan sits down to read the manuscript of the company's most successful writer, Alan Conway.
The book, Magpie Murders, is then read by the reader.
Then Susan tells the reader her story.
On the whole I have to say that I liked this book, and enjoyed reading it. I thought it was a little too long however, and I was relieved when I
...more
Jaline
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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 novel entitled Magpie Murders, written by Alan Conway, ma
...more
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6,869 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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“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.” 44 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.” 16 likes
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