With a title like Moonflower Murders, I would have picked up this book even if it hadn’t been authored by one of the cleverest modern mystery writers, Anthony Horowitz. And the icing on the cake is that it is the second in the so-called Magpie Murders Series. Magpie Murders was one of my favorite books of 2017, and I reviewed it here.
Horowitz’s second Magpie murder once again features his protagonist of sorts Atticus Pund. I say “of sorts” because Atticus Pund is the fictional detective in a series of murder mysteries written by Horowitz’s own fictional author Alan Conway. Are you confused yet?
Alan Conway was murdered in Magpie Murders, and that mystery was solved in part by Conway’s editor Susan Ryeland. When this book opens, Ryeland has quit the editing business and she, along with her love interest, is running a small hotel in Greece. She is second-guessing her choice when a Mr. and Mrs. Trehearne arrive at the hotel. They tell her that their daughter Cecily disappeared the same day as a murder took place at their hotel Farlingaye Hall located in Sussex, England. The hotel handyman was arrested for the murder. It seems Cecily had just finished reading a mystery novel by Alan Conway featuring detective Atticus Pund based on that hotel. Something she read in that novel made her believe the arrest was an error and she believed she knew the real murderer. Unfortunately, she went missing before she could tell what she knew. The Trehearnes ask Ryeland to come to England and, using her familiarity with Conway’s writing, try to solve the mystery.
Horowitz’s writing is exceptional, and his stories are always so unique and unpredictable. For example, included as part of Moonflower Murders is the entire Atticus Pund novel written by Alan Conway that Cecily read. Since we are able to read the same book as Cecily, it allows us to try and solve the murder as well.
I always look forward to a new novel by Anthony Horowitz, and Moonflower Murders did not disappoint. I highly recommend it, especially if you are a fan of Agatha Christie and Hercule Poirot.