Regular price: $31.93

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

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

Critic Reviews

"Listen straight through - or savor slowly? That will be your struggle because Horowitz's delicious mystery-within-a-mystery is, as they say, 'fiendishly clever' and terrifically narrated." ( AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,584
  • 4 Stars
    2,021
  • 3 Stars
    674
  • 2 Stars
    139
  • 1 Stars
    85

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4,351
  • 4 Stars
    1,289
  • 3 Stars
    261
  • 2 Stars
    52
  • 1 Stars
    35

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,170
  • 4 Stars
    1,845
  • 3 Stars
    695
  • 2 Stars
    175
  • 1 Stars
    79
Sort by:
  • 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.

138 of 152 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    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.

50 of 57 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    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.

26 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ted
  • Lancaster, PA, United States
  • 08-14-17

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.

53 of 62 people found this review helpful

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

34 of 40 people found this review helpful

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

24 of 29 people found this review helpful

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

Lots of hype for just a nice book.

A whodunit within a whodunit. No gratuitous violence or sex. Nice little twist at the end of the " inside" book. Good narration. I had a hard time warming up to our heroine; she said things like "even though I was in the hospital for quite some time the real intensive-care came from Andreas." Hmmm.
Lots of nods to our favorite fictional British detectives and their creators though!

29 of 36 people found this review 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!

14 of 18 people found this review helpful

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

A very ambitious work!

Goodness, this was a complicated and meticulously written book! It brings the meaning of "a story within a story" to a new level (it contains an entire book within the greater story). I found it a fascinating listen--and astonishingly, for a work of this length, which essentially contains two entire books in it, keeping the plots and characters straight was not any problem!

This is a story of a book editor, who becomes intrigued by the death of an author she has worked with for years, and seeks to uncover the answers to his life's mysteries by searching his last book for clues. So the reader/listener is treated to dual mysteries, each of which depends upon the other for clarity and resolution.

An exceedingly cleverly written book--I kept thinking how challenging it must have been for Anthony Horowitz to write this, in an interesting manner that proceeds to lay out clues for two distinct stories at the same time. This is a truly satisfying book to listen to--excellent narration--and I am filled with admiration for the skill of the author to have assembled such an intriguing book. I don't think I've read anything by Mr. Horowitz before, but I am going to be looking for what else he may have written. If you like skillful, literate mysteries--that conjure up (quite deliberately) the classic era of Christie alongside a more contemporary mystery, you should really like this book. But be prepared to hunker in for a while--as this is a really long book! I loved every minute of it.

31 of 41 people found this review helpful

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

Inventive Plotting and Narration

What made the experience of listening to Magpie Murders the most enjoyable?

The readers deftly deliver the characters. The plotting is original and genuinely interesting. I wasn't dying to know whodunit or surprised that much to find out, but the journey was truly enjoyable. I really don't even like Whodunit's very much. But this one was, as billed, exceptional.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The first narrator - the editor. She's a believable struggler, and not whiny in the least. It's great that to have female characters that are strong and smart in mainstream work.

What about Samantha Bond and Allan Corduner ’s performance did you like?

Their excellent voice quality, timing, weaving in and out of characters. I love Audible's sound quality across the board.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

What's in a name? More than you might want to know.

Any additional comments?

Some of the names of the Magpie Murders characters are too awful - then you get it. Highly recommend.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful