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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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
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.
133 of 146 people found this review helpful
By Mel on 07-12-17
Fun Wholesome English Whodunnit
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.
49 of 56 people found this review helpful