Book Review of ‘Moonflower Murders’ by Anthony Horowitz

The image shows the front cover of ‘Moonflower Murders’ by Anthony Horowitz

Featuring his famous literary Detective Atticus Pund and Susan Ryeland, hero of the worldwide best seller Magpie Murders, a brilliantly brain-teasing literary thriller by Anthony Horowitz. The follow-up to Magpie Murders.

Retired publisher Susan Ryeland is living the good life. She is running a small hotel on a Greek island with her long-term boyfriend, Andreas. It should be everything she’s always wanted – but is it? She’s exhausted with the responsibilities of making everything work on an island where nothing ever does, and truth be told she’s beginning to miss her old life in London.

And then a couple – the Trehearnes – come to stay, and the story they tell about an unfortunate murder that took place on the same day and in the same hotel in which their daughter was married is such a strange and mysterious one that Susan finds herself increasingly fascinated by it. And when the Trehearnes tell her that their daughter is now missing, Susan knows that she must return to London and find out what really happened….

My Review

I’ve always been a big fan of Anthony Horowitz – my pupils enjoy his adventure books, I enjoy his murder mysteries, and don’t get me started on Midsomer Murders! Horowitz is the king of tongue-in-cheek, knowing just how to plant literary ‘Easter eggs’ for his readers. I never quite know what to expect from this author, but I virtually always enjoy it.

In ‘Moonflower Murder’, we again see Susan Ryeland being the unlikely crime-solver, despite also being a publisher/hotelier. She ticks of the tasks involved in investigating the crime with gusto, and a certain sense of irreverence, in order to creep closer towards the solution. If you’ve got into reading cosy murder mysteries by enjoying Richard Osman’s ‘Thursday Murder Club’ books, that I suspect that you’ll also enjoy Horowitz.

For those fans of a more traditional detective novel, however, do not fear! Horowitz has treated readers to a novel within a novel – as, in the course of her investigations, we find Ryeland reading a novel that she has previously edited in order to hunt for clues that it may contain. We are suddenly launched into a standalone story, where Detective Atticus Pund, solves his crime with ease and style, very much in keeping with Agatha Christie’s Poirot. Does this little diversion into another story help Ryeland get closer to whodunnit? Well, not really, but I was more than happy to be taken along for the ride!

So if you can’t decide between a cosy murder (such an oddly-named genre) or a traditional detective story, then this may well be the book for you. The main story is twisty and has pace and depth, whilst the embedded one is straightforward and satisfying. I suspect that Horowitz really enjoyed writing this one!

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