The Word is Murder, Anthony Horowitz

Reviewed By
Karen Chisholm

Launched into listening to this on audio without really doing any blurb reading or background checking of any type. Basically grabbed it because we'd recently watched THE MAGPIE MURDERS which we'd loved, and, well it was there. 

One of those reinvention style novels, where the author has cast himself in the role of a "Watson" like character, although to equate Daniel Hawthorne with Sherlock Holmes might be a bit of a push. Still, there's nothing wrong with the development of a brilliant, eccentric, disgraced police detective as a character, and Horowitz seems quite a dab hand at coming up with these ideas. The portrayal of himself as the long-suffering, patient and somewhat dour sidekick also seems to work, although to be honest, in the audio version, it took me a while to cotton onto the central conceit. 

The plot is nicely twisty as well - starting out with a woman talking into a funeral parlor to plan her own funeral, only to be found, six hours later, strangled to death with the curtain cord in her own home. I can't really say that the likely perpetrator is that hard to pick, but the journey to discovering him, which involves an awful lot of relationshiop building and character development was most enjoyable, as is the pairing of this unlikely crime solving duo. As of the time of this review there are 5 books in total in the Hawthorne and Horowitz series. Will definitely be adding another to the listening queue, if for no other reason than to see how things continue to develop.

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Book Number (in series)

The New York Times best-selling author of Magpie Murders and Moriarty brilliantly reinvents the classic crime novel once again with this clever and inventive mystery starring a fictional version of the author himself as the Watson to a modern-day Holmes, investigating a case involving buried secrets, murder, and a trail of bloody clues.

A woman crosses a London street.

It is just after 11 a.m. on a bright spring morning, and she is going into a funeral parlor to plan her own service.

Six hours later the woman is dead, strangled with a crimson curtain cord in her own home.

Enter disgraced police detective Daniel Hawthorne, a brilliant, eccentric man as quick with an insult as he is to crack a case. And Hawthorne has a partner, the celebrated novelist Anthony Horowitz, curious about the case and looking for new material.

As brusque, impatient, and annoying as Hawthorne can be, Horowitz - a seasoned hand when it comes to crime stories - suspects the detective may be on to something, and is irresistibly drawn into the mystery. But as the case unfolds, Horowitz realizes he's at the center of a story he can't control...and that his brilliant partner may be hiding dark and mysterious secrets of his own.

A masterful and tricky mystery which plays games at many levels, The Word Is Murder is Anthony Horowitz at his very best.

Review The Word is Murder, Anthony Horowitz
Karen Chisholm
Wednesday, January 10, 2024
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