Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
Now I know for a lot of you this book will already be on your radar, and if not, then it should be. If the book hasn't reached you yet, or if you are feeling overwhelmed by the size of your To Be Read pile, then there is a fantastic BBC TV series starring Lesley Manville to watch but be warned! If you start watching it one weekend, then just be prepared to write off any plans you may have, because you will binge this TV series. Handily the screenwriter on the series is also the author.
It's one of those rare things, a TV series as good as the book. But I digress.
I'm publishing this early as tomorrow is mine and my husband's wedding anniversary. My husband is a pretty special human being, we met as booksellers, he is one of the kindest and strongest people I know, and if you don't know, does all the tech on the blog. I blooming love him to bits.
I could say more, but he's quite a private sort of chap, so I will just say on with the review!
Crime writer Alan Conway has been a bestselling author for years. Readers love his detective Atticus Pünd, a celebrated solver of crimes in the sleepy English villages of the 1950's.
But Conway's latest tale of murder at Pye Hall is not quite what it seems. Yes there are dead bodies and a whole host of intriguing suspects, but hidden in the pages of the manuscript, lies another story: a tale written between the very words on the page, telling of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition and murder.
There is something fascinating about reading a book after watching the excellent adaptation on the TV. The BBC version of Magpie Murders was excellent! We binge-watched it over 2 days and loved it! Horowitz worked on the TV version as well and interestingly there are a couple of differences between TV and book.
First of all the book is split firmly into 2. The first part, following a brief introduction from Susan Ryeland is the Atticus Pünd Magpie Murders without the final chapter. It's printed in a different typeface to the 2nd half which is all about Susan's investigation into the missing chapter and Alan Conway's death.
In a word, it is excellent.
I adore Horowitz as a writer, he anticipates what the reader may be thinking (and assuming before the reader themselves does). It's clever.
Atticus Pünd reads like Agatha Christie. Pünd is gentle, and shrewd. The victim is despised by everyone. The same can almost be said for Susan, shrewd, honest whilst Alan Conway is extremely unlikeable - plagiarising books, stealing his student's plot ideas. He is a great murder victim!
This is great fun. I would recommend both book and the TV series.