WOW, the month of June has flown by! I can’t believe it’s already officially summer, and there’s just one more week left of school until the summer holidays! Good thing I have a pile of books from the library to keep me busy during my time off!
I recently made an impulse purchase at Chapters - I bought a brand new book that I’d never heard of, but it was by an author I have enjoyed in the past, it had a great cover, and it was 50% off, so I figured I couldn’t go wrong. The narrator of Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz is editor Susan Ryeland, and the novel opens with her settling in to read the latest manuscript from bestselling mystery writer Alan Conway. We are then treated to said manuscript, titled Magpie Murders, featuring German detective Atticus Pünd. This is a classic whodunnit in the style of Agatha Christie, beginning with an accidental death in a small English village where everyone knows everything about everyone else and nothing is as it seems. When Pünd is asked by a village resident to look into this death, he is able to see things from an outsider’s point of view, and is not entirely convinced it was an accident, but refuses to help for personal reasons. When a second death occurs, clearly a murder of the most violent type, he reluctantly agrees to help in the investigation, and discovers many hidden secrets and truths that have lain buried for years, some for decades. But just when he seems to have solved the case, the manuscript ends. It appears that the last section is missing, and, upon inquiry, Susan discovers that Alan is dead, seemingly a suicide. But why would he kill himself before his new book comes out? Driven as much by the need to discover the whereabouts of the missing chapters as the desire to find out the truth, Susan begins her own investigation, and, like Pünd, uncovers family secrets and hidden pasts, and discovers that in Alan’s own life, all is not what it seems and everyone is a suspect. I’m not quite finished this page-turner, but I’m loving it so far. It is a story-within-a-story, an homage to traditional British whodunnits, their writers and the TV series adaptations and spin-offs, and a peek inside the publishing world. This cleverly written novel has held my interest and had me trying to squeeze in extra reading opportunities before, between and after all the extra activities and events that always accompany the end of the school year. I hope to have it finished soon, and I’m sure the ending will not disappoint. So far, I would definitely recommend this entertaining book to fans of British mysteries, or anyone who has enjoyed watching “Midsomer Murders” or “Foyle’s War” (Horowitz is the creator of both series).
That’s all for today. I’m heading out to a friends’ place for a BBQ soon, and hope the rain holds off. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!