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Publisher's Summary

From the New York Times best-selling 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 best-selling 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 manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder.

Masterful, clever, and relentlessly suspenseful, Magpie Murders is a deviously dark take on vintage English crime fiction in which the listener becomes the detective.

©2017 Stormbreaker Productions Ltd. (P)2017 Orion UK

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What listeners say about Magpie Murders

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5,695
  • 4 Stars
    3,094
  • 3 Stars
    1,037
  • 2 Stars
    236
  • 1 Stars
    131
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    6,823
  • 4 Stars
    1,913
  • 3 Stars
    409
  • 2 Stars
    86
  • 1 Stars
    49
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4,997
  • 4 Stars
    2,776
  • 3 Stars
    1,067
  • 2 Stars
    282
  • 1 Stars
    119

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A British Whodunit

I enjoy Horowitz and his screen writing for TV with a particular favorite being the program Foyle's War. Much of this novel reads like a screen play with a great deal of external detail about the setting and the movements of this absolutely huge cast of characters.

However my biggest concern was that there wasn't enough internal detail, or character development to help me feel connected to the story being told. After all, we don't have the likes of Michael Kitchen or Honeysuckle Weeks to encapsulate pages of writing into one very succinct glance, look or reaction filled with meaning. Actors can really add to the back story in a screen play and help flesh out the characters and add depth to the story being told. Without them the writer needs to work to find a way to engage the reader with solid sparkling characters we can actually care about.

I thought the narration was good and added positively to the listening experience. The two readers worked well.

Be aware that this book is really best for diehard fans of the Christie or Sayers style of British mysteries. I did keep listening and stuck with it to the bitter end but I thought it felt a bit empty and dragged in parts. Proceed with caution.

198 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

very enjoyable but ....

I really enjoyed the book and the narrators did a wonderful job...BUT....When I was discussing with my book club, I realized that I missed out on the visuals that the hard book provided. The book is almost like a graphic novel and you miss that aspect when you listen to it.

85 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Fun Wholesome English Whodunnit


Enjoyable English Whodunnit with a twist -- a clever little story in a story that uncovers the "who" exactly dunnit in a full list of suspects (that could all be straight out of a game of Clue). Horowitz includes a nod to some of the great writers of mysteries, and sprinkles in a good shake of red herrings to keep you away from any quick conclusion. For fans of the genre, this is a well written respectable read that's not a bad way to spend a couple of afternoons. Overall, I regret that I didn't find a memorable character in this immense cast, (and that could be because I've just finished a couple of Daphne DuMauire books) and eventually I found myself reading just to quench a curiosity more lazy than intrigued. That's not to say I didn't enjoy the read! I highly recommend to fans of the genre and additionally to anyone wanting a read with an entertaining cozy quality.

67 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Twisty-er Than A Strawberry Twizzler!

I've never read anything like this. There's nothing else to say without revealing too much about this - um.... Hmmm... No I can't even write that. From the first seemingly non-sequetarian open, well, pay attention. There are clues spattered all over this thing and both readers show them off clearly. The Magpie Murders... Make that Magpie Murders, are surprisingly as satisfying as they are startling.

Can't say more... Just, enjoy. I did.

67 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Could have been 5 stars except for the cliche

I loved this book -- up until the end when he pulled out one of the MOST annoying tropes around.

SPOILER (sort of)
When authors make their otherwise intelligent, capable female characters do something so incredibly stupid and then have them wind up having to be saved by "her knight in shining armor", it ruins an otherwise wonderful book.

Honestly it was a great book up to that point. Now I am not sure I will bother with anything else by the author.

48 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Tedious

This book might have been better if I had read it rather than listened to it, but, as it was, I couldn’t make myself finish it. It was basically tiny detail after tiny detail without any interesting or likeable characters. I just did not care how it ended.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not bad -- took the long way 'round

This is a book within a book, a fictional detective story in a small British village bookended by a mystery involving the author and editor of that detective story. Both have very unlikable characters (the detective, and the author), and both take a long and winding path to get to solutions that aren't very interesting or surprising. Not bad, exactly, but far from good. Average stories with atypical packaging are still average stories.

38 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Fun British Masterpiece

I really have to give Anthony Horowitz a perfect score on this novel. I feel as though I want to listen again in order to work out all his clues and anagrams. There are so many clever elements to the story that I couldn't begin to list them here. You just have to take my word for it. This is anything but your standard "whodunit." And the narrators add even more spice to the story. So, along with this hearty recommendation, I just advise you to sit back and enjoy the ride. You are in for a delightful journey!

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Has no business writing mysteries.

While the premise is good the details lack. Riddled with logic errors, absurd coincidences and 'facts' hidden from the reader until revealed during the exposay. If you are looking for a story you might be satisfied. If looking for a Whodunnit, you'll likely be very disappointed.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Talk talk talk

Too much talk! Long soliloquies without much action. I ended up not caring about any of the characters and I was glad when it was over.

4 people found this helpful