Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Bookshelves: brit-lit, cozy-mystery, homage, the-shit, i-am-an-anglophile, mystery, reading-in-airports
This is a delightfully clever mystery that I read sooner than I otherwise might have, after I lost my phone on the metro for SIX WHOLE DAYS, leaving me without any of my library e-books until I finally accepted that my particular phone was found by an asshole who chose not to turn it in, and shelled out for a new one. It reinforced my new practice of referring to my phone as my “hand terminal,” with a huge nod to James S.A. Corey and the Expanse series. Without my phone I couldn’t read a book, play a game, order coffee, get a ride, see the weather forecast, Google various things that pop into my head, write flash fiction, look at pictures of other people’s gardens and lunches, check the news, listen to music, read my email, troll President Twitler, refill my prescriptions, check in for my flight, or shop. I might still refer to it as a phone if I ever used it to actually talk to people, but that’s the one thing I pretty seldom use it for. It’s hilarious. I do text, though, although I couldn’t do that either. I seriously thought I might die.
Bereft of my hand terminal full of reading material, I picked this out of my TBR pile, having bought it a while back in a concourse shop after the TSA had been particularly efficient and I had time to kill, because while e-books make traveling that much less laden, I am a nervous flyer and am comforted by the look and feel and smell and potential of a real paper-and-glue book in my hands. It works so well that I never even crack the spine while on the plane but instead spend the whole flight holding the book and looking quite calmly out the window. The magic of books. Wine helps too.
Anyway. A very well-written cozy in the tradition of Agatha Christie, with a clever Escher-like story-within-a-story element, a twofer mystery, one being the did-he-jump-or-was-he-pushed death of a mystery writer and a parallel whodunit contained in his most recent manuscript, with the final chapters missing. I’d never heard of Anthony Horowitz before, was snagged by the cover, and am disappointed to see he only has 3 other adult books for me to catch up on (one brand new this month!) He’s got a new fan, for sure.
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