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.
115 of 126 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.
19 of 22 people found this review helpful
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 find a memorable character in this immense cast, (and that could be because I've just finished a couple of Daphne DuMauire books) and eventually I found myself reading just to quench a curiosity more lazy than intrigued. That's not to say I didn't enjoy the read! I highly recommend to fans of the genre and additionally to anyone wanting a read with an entertaining cozy quality.
39 of 46 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.
46 of 55 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.
27 of 33 people found this review helpful
I loved this book -- up until the end when he pulled out one of the MOST annoying tropes around.
SPOILER (sort of)
When authors make their otherwise intelligent, capable female characters do something so incredibly stupid and then have them wind up having to be saved by "her knight in shining armor", it ruins an otherwise wonderful book.
Honestly it was a great book up to that point. Now I am not sure I will bother with anything else by the author.
17 of 21 people found this review helpful