Cover image and summary from Goodreads:
From the New York Times bestselling author of Moriarty and Trigger Mortis, this fiendishly brilliant, riveting thriller weaves a classic whodunit worthy of Agatha Christie into a chilling, ingeniously original modern-day mystery.
When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the bestselling crime writer for years, she’s intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan’s traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job.
Conway’s latest tale has Atticus Pünd investigating a murder at Pye Hall, a local manor house. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but the more Susan reads, the more she’s convinced that there is another story hidden in the pages of the manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder.
Masterful, clever, and relentlessly suspenseful, Magpie Murdersis a deviously dark take on vintage English crime fiction in which the reader becomes the detective.
I heard so much about this book from the various bookish internet places that I frequent. I read Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None earlier this year, and this book was said to be for fans of classic whodunits, so I thought I would give it a go.
This book combined two things I really like into one fun read: a good whodunit (which I did not fully solve!) and a book-within-a-book. I am not super familiar with classic murder mysteries, but if you are, you might get more out of this than I did, as I’m sure there were references that I completely missed! I did enjoy the look at the publishing industry in the present-day storyline, and I really enjoyed the way the two mysteries came together in the end.
It took some time to really grab me, but the closer I got to the end, the faster I read, wanting to know the truth behind both mysteries. This was a fun, clever read, and I definitely recommend it for mystery lovers – especially fans of the golden age of mysteries!