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  • Wendy Percival

An usual take on the whodunnit

Updated: Jun 14, 2018

I've always loved Anthony Horowitz's TV series Foyles War, but I'd never read any of his novels. So I was keen to read Magpie Murders which sounded intriguing. And what a great read it was too. If you're looking for something different in the murder-mystery genre, I can thoroughly recommend it.


Here's my review which I posted on Goodreads.


This is a really clever twist on the whodunnit novel and I really enjoyed it. It’s a sort of mystery within a mystery, nicely told from the point of view of protagonist, publishing editor, Susan Ryeland, who reads “best selling author” Alan Conway’s latest manuscript featuring his famous detective Atticus Pund and realises she may have stumbled upon the evidence of a real murder.

You get two-for-the-price-of-one with Magpie Murders, as it has all the hallmarks of a traditional Poirot-style whodunnit from 1955, and yet is also set in the present day.

We initially meet Susan as she takes home the manuscript to read over the weekend. We settle down to read what Susan reads and it soon becomes clear that something doesn’t quite add up, that there is a parallel mystery underpinning that which is revealed in the “novel”. Having a long experience of editing murder-mysteries, Susan is convinced she can unravel the truth, totally unaware of the consequences of her actions.

A really good read, and an unusual take on the genre.

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