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Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

I actually listened to this book. It came recommended from book bloggers/vloggers and I loved it. A different kind of detective story.

Alan Conway is a bestselling crime writer. His editor, Susan Ryeland, has worked with him for years, and she's intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. Alan's traditional formula pays homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers. It's proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job.

When Susan receives Alan's latest manuscript, in which Atticus Pünd investigates a murder at Pye Hall, an English manor house, she has no reason to think it will be any different from the others. There will be dead bodies, a cast of intriguing suspects, and plenty of red herrings and clues. But the more Susan reads, the more she’s realizes that there's another story hidden in the pages of the manuscript—one of ambition, jealousy, and greed—and that soon it will lead to murder.

The story definitely takes you to Agatha Christie and it is difficult not to make comparisons between Atticus Pünd and Hercule Poirot. It is like reading one of her mystery books about the famous detective. The story also has much of Christie's genius way of telling a mystery. However, Horowitz has built up the story in quite an unusual manner. I will not reveal it here, since I think it will be a big spoiler. You just have to trust me that it is an exciting thriller which takes unexpected turns. It is also as difficult to guess the culprit as in a Christie mystery.

While recommending the book to a Swedish friend, and looking for the Swedish title, I came on the information that is has been made into a TV-series. Wow, I thought, I just have to watch it. Turned out that I had already seen it, but did not connect it to this book. Of course, the Swedish TV-series title was totally different, but did make sense. I love the show, so I can recommend either the book and/or the TV-series, but probably better to read the book first.

Horowitz seems to be a well known author and screen writer and there is a second novel in the Magpie series, Moonflower Murders. Something to look out for.

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