If, like me, you’ve always been a fan of the classic murder mystery, this book is for you. Think Agatha Christie, quaint English villages filled with charming citizens, each with a secret or two. And, of course, the manor house and its powerful owner holding sway of some sort over the village. Now add in an entire second mystery tied to the first, and wrap it all in an overarching bundle of the publishing world and the eccentricities of one very complicated writer and you have Magpie Murders.

I know, that sounds like quite a mash up, but I assure you, it works very well. There are a lot of layers to this book, and if you read some of the reviews, you might think it’s all just too much. But quite the contrary, it’s a blast for the true mystery geek!

Alan Conway is a successful author of multiple mysteries, but when he turns in his latest manuscript to his publisher something’s missing—the ending! Who dunnit?! Did he do that by accident or was it on purpose? And if it was on purpose, what exactly WAS that purpose? You’d think you could call and ask him, but unfortunately for Alan–though very fortunately for the reader–he conveniently turns up dead the next day. Did he kill himself or was he killed? And either way, why??

So now you have the mystery of the murder of the author of a murder mystery. And when his editor, Susan, goes looking for the missing chapters, she starts to realize how closely one mystery echoes the other. Now Susan is pursuing two murderers, one fictional and one real. And, as if that’s not enough…those aren’t the only suspicious deaths we’re talking about here.

See what I mean? SO many layers, but trust me, the author, Anthony Horowitz, does an amazing job leading his readers through the story, planting lots of red herrings along with genuine clues. Did I figure out who dunnit before the end? For one mystery I had a sneaking suspicion, but not for the other. I won’t tell you which. You’ll have to read it for yourself and let me know who you suspected. Enjoy it, it’s quite a literary ride!

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