"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Review and quotes: MAGPIE MURDERS

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

Book Beginnings quote: 


A bottle of wine. A Family-sized packet of Nacho Cheese Flavored Tortilla Chips and a jar of salsa dip. A packet of cigarettes on the side (I know. I know). The rain hammering against the windows. And a book.
    What could be lovelier?
    Magpie Murders was number nine in the much-loved and world-bestselling Atticus Pünd series.

Friday56 quote:
In a restaurant on the other side of London, Frances Pye cast a careless eye over the menu and ordered grilled sardines, a salad, a glass of white wine.

Summary: Susan Ryeland is an editor for Cloverleaf Books which publishes the vastly popular Atticus Pünd series. When Susan receives her copy of the ninth book in the series, Magpie Murders, she sets aside a whole weekend to read it. The author of the series, Alan Conway, is a difficult but talented man. In fact he is so difficult to work with Susan generally does all the behind the scenes work on new Conway manuscripts while the publisher, Charles Clover, deals with him face-to-face.

Magpie Murders is a classic Atticus Pünd crime/detective novel with a murder at the Pye manor house in a quaint English village. At first Ryeland is unaware that this book is any different than any of Conway's novels. There are dead bodies, lots of suspects, with plenty of red herrings and clues. And then the novel ends abruptly without solving the murders. Ryeland is forced to do a bit of detective work herself to find the last few chapters of the unpublished book.

Review: Magpie Murders uses a clever literary device of a murder mystery within a murder mystery. The entire Atticus Pünd novel is within the book but it ends incompletely. Susan Ryeland, the editor of the series, is sure she can track down the missing chapters then another death occurs and suddenly she is rereading the novel looking for clues.

My husband and I listened to the audio version of the Magpie Murders on two different recent road trips. The book is fairly long, over 15 hours of listening time, so we were in luck to have two trips planned in order to finish the book in a timely fashion. I enjoyed the book-within-a-book shtick, my husband, not so much. The story starts with Susan Ryeland snuggling down to read the latest Atticus Pünd novel. Once she starts reading, Magpie Murders takes over the next 300 pages or so, without revisiting Susan and what she is up to. When she finishes reading, the story line swings back to her for the next 250 pages. We meet her in the prologue and then again mid-book. For some reason this bothered my husband. Once I figured out what was happening, I was good. 

I liked the setting, an English village, and I didn't figure out who-dunnit for either murder. I'm not a very sophisticated mystery reader so I was able to settle in and enjoy the ride the book took me on. And once my husband figured out the book's organization, he too seemed to enjoy it very much. Now I am wondering how this will work for book club. How does one go about discussing a mystery after you know the outcome? We'll see next month when we meet to discuss this one. One thing is for sure, I am a new Anthony Horowitz fan.

SOTH Book Club, November 2021

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  1. Sardines is not something I enjoy! Here is my post: https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1628591484l/58742332._SY475_.jpg

    1. I don't think I've ever had sardines. I thought they were tiny and put on pizza by some people.

  2. Ooh I kinda love the idea that we read the book with Susan and then revisit her later! I'm going to have to look this one up because your quotes have me intrigued. I hope the bookclub discussion is fun and that you have a lovely weekend :)
    Juli @ A Universe in Words

  3. I love the opening lines, with the wine, tortilla chips, and salsa dip! YUM! Thanks for sharing.

  4. I've been wanting to read this book forever and keep getting distracted by newer, shinier objects. Thanks for the reminder and for visiting my blog!

  5. I loved that book, and really all by Horowitz, including his Alex Rider series for younger readers. It's fun when you realize why there's no THE in the title.
    Mine is a historical novel/bio set in France: https://francebooktours.com/2021/10/26/katherines-wish-first-chapter-first-paragraph-book-beginnings/
    Do you like it? Fee free to request your copy and review it in your own time.
    You can also enter the giveaway

  6. I love the Horowitz books I've read. He is extremely creative! In the latest ones he includes himself as a character, a literary device I'm not very familiar with.

  7. I love the idea of a book within a book. Thanks for sharing! Hope you have a great weekend! :)

  8. I love the excerpts. I don't know why I don't know about this series since I think it's something I would like reading. I'd need to start with book #1 though. I'll have to check my library.

  9. Clever,but such a long book....

  10. Sounds like a great read! Happy Halloween weekend!!

  11. This sounds like an interesting concept of a murder mystery within a murder mystery. I can see how not "getting" the organization at first would make it a complicated read.

    1. My husband really has a much harder time paying attention to audiobooks than I do so he really wants to clear about details before he gets too lost in a story.


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