I enjoy Horowitz and his screen writing for TV with a particular favorite being the program Foyle's War. Much of this novel reads like a screen play with a great deal of external detail about the setting and the movements of this absolutely huge cast of characters.
However my biggest concern was that there wasn't enough internal detail, or character development to help me feel connected to the story being told. After all, we don't have the likes of Michael Kitchen or Honeysuckle Weeks to encapsulate pages of writing into one very succinct glance, look or reaction filled with meaning. Actors can really add to the back story in a screen play and help flesh out the characters and add depth to the story being told. Without them the writer needs to work to find a way to engage the reader with solid sparkling characters we can actually care about.
I thought the narration was good and added positively to the listening experience. The two readers worked well.
Be aware that this book is really best for diehard fans of the Christie or Sayers style of British mysteries. I did keep listening and stuck with it to the bitter end but I thought it felt a bit empty and dragged in parts. Proceed with caution.
96 of 103 people found this review helpful
This is a book within a book, a fictional detective story in a small British village bookended by a mystery involving the author and editor of that detective story. Both have very unlikable characters (the detective, and the author), and both take a long and winding path to get to solutions that aren't very interesting or surprising. Not bad, exactly, but far from good. Average stories with atypical packaging are still average stories.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
I really enjoyed the book and the narrators did a wonderful job...BUT....When I was discussing with my book club, I realized that I missed out on the visuals that the hard book provided. The book is almost like a graphic novel and you miss that aspect when you listen to it.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful
I've never read anything like this. There's nothing else to say without revealing too much about this - um.... Hmmm... No I can't even write that. From the first seemingly non-sequetarian open, well, pay attention. There are clues spattered all over this thing and both readers show them off clearly. The Magpie Murders... Make that Magpie Murders, are surprisingly as satisfying as they are startling.
Can't say more... Just, enjoy. I did.
39 of 44 people found this review helpful
A whodunit within a whodunit. No gratuitous violence or sex. Nice little twist at the end of the " inside" book. Good narration. I had a hard time warming up to our heroine; she said things like "even though I was in the hospital for quite some time the real intensive-care came from Andreas." Hmmm.
Lots of nods to our favorite fictional British detectives and their creators though!
23 of 26 people found this review helpful
I really have to give Anthony Horowitz a perfect score on this novel. I feel as though I want to listen again in order to work out all his clues and anagrams. There are so many clever elements to the story that I couldn't begin to list them here. You just have to take my word for it. This is anything but your standard "whodunit." And the narrators add even more spice to the story. So, along with this hearty recommendation, I just advise you to sit back and enjoy the ride. You are in for a delightful journey!
9 of 10 people found this review helpful