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Publisher's Summary

From the New York Times best-selling author of Moriarty and Trigger Mortis, this fiendishly brilliant, riveting thriller weaves a classic whodunit worthy of Agatha Christie into a chilling, ingeniously original modern-day mystery.
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 best-selling 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 crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan's traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job.
Conway's latest tale has Atticus Pünd investigating a murder at Pye Hall, a local manor house. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but the more Susan reads, the more she's convinced that there is another story hidden in the manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder.
Masterful, clever, and relentlessly suspenseful, Magpie Murders is a deviously dark take on vintage English crime fiction in which the listener becomes the detective.
©2017 Stormbreaker Productions Ltd. (P)2017 Orion UK
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Critic Reviews

"Listen straight through - or savor slowly? That will be your struggle because Horowitz's delicious mystery-within-a-mystery is, as they say, 'fiendishly clever' and terrifically narrated." ( AudioFile)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Sara on 07-24-17

A British Whodunit

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.

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112 of 122 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Calliope on 08-27-17

Not bad -- took the long way 'round

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.

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18 of 21 people found this review helpful

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