The Word Is Murder

The Word Is Murder

A Daniel Hawthorne Novel

Book - 2018
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One bright spring morning in London, Diana Cowper - the wealthy mother of a famous actor - enters a funeral parlor. She is there to plan her own service. Six hours later she is found dead, strangled with a curtain cord in her own home. Enter disgraced police detective Daniel Hawthorne, a brilliant, eccentric investigator who's as quick with an insult as he is to crack a case. Hawthorne needs a ghost writer to document his life; a Watson to his Holmes. He chooses Anthony Horowitz. Drawn in against his will, Horowitz soon finds himself a the center of a story he cannot control. Hawthorne is brusque, temperamental and annoying but even so his latest case with its many twists and turns proves irresistible. The writer and the detective form an unusual partnership. At the same time, it soon becomes clear that Hawthorne is hiding some dark secrets of his own.
Publisher: New York : Harper, 2018
ISBN: 9780062676788
0062676784
Branch Call Number: MYS Horo
Characteristics: 390 pages

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Chapel_Hill_TracyB Apr 27, 2018

So lucky to have gotten an advance copy! One again, Horowitz honors the great mystery writers while offering a modern twist. Reminiscent of a Holmes and Watson adventure, The Word is Murder starts out with the clever device of inserting the author himself into the story, helping a police consulta... Read More »


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rapunzel454
Aug 12, 2018

It took a little while to get used to the writing style, with the author being the main character, but it was an interesting perspective. The mystery was intriguing and it was an enjoyable read.

GCPL_Angela Jul 22, 2018

I wanted to love it, but it just wasn't as good as Magpie Murders. While the central mystery is satisfyingly twisty (arguably, the most important quality to look for in a mystery novel), the main detective is neither likable nor compellingly unlikable. And while the "author-as-character" device employed here still feels fresh enough to be interesting, at times it does come across as rather self-indulgent.

Cozy readers beware -- there's more violence here than you'll find in your typical Christie-esque mystery. It's not extensive, but what's there does make the tone a bit darker and grittier than what I was expecting after reading Magpie Murders. Recommended with some reservations; mystery readers who also enjoy suspense/thrillers are unlikely to be bothered by the violence, but cozy readers may want to take a pass.

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gloryb
Jul 11, 2018

Loved this story. Horowitz has a way with words - they come so easily to him. It felt like he was telling me the story in a conversation with him rather than me reading his book. Horowitz has a unique take on writing this detective story. I laughed when he directed his reader to read clues he left in previous pages. I agreed with him when he thought he could unveil who had been the murderer, but as usual we were wrong. I was shocked when he unwittingly went to confront a suspect who turned against him. I enjoyed all of the name dropping of plays, TV dramas, and movies. It was interesting to read about the behind the scenes efforts of authors and their producers who make these productions. I was astounded at the many rewrites authors expect to do of these scripts. But those were the sidelights. The main story itself is fascinating - a woman dies on the day she visits a funeral home to make arrangements for her own funeral. Horowitz ties everything together neatly, even why that woman at the book fair said those words to her.

ehbooklover Jul 03, 2018

Another great mystery by Anthony Horowitz. It's chock full of red herrings that kept me changing my mind about who-dunnit plus it has a very unique narrator (it's actually the real author!) I just LOVED this book so much.

p
pattif152
Jun 25, 2018

Mischievous and Marvelous!

Horowitz' latest homage to the classic Golden Age mystery winningly updates the genre with his playful mixing of fact and fiction. The author inserts his real self (complete with references to actors, producers and directors with whom he's worked or wanted to work--the scene with Spielberg and Peter Jackson is hilarious) in the fictional mystery. As with his other work, this is a "fair" mystery; the clues are there for the reader to solve the puzzle although the solution is far from obvious. Getting to that solution is delightful. Wonderful prose, interesting characters and vivid descriptions of the London locations in particular make this very entertaining. I read it in a single sitting because I enjoyed it so much. I highly recommend it for all mystery fans.

m
midori_hon
Jun 15, 2018

very clever and enjoyable mystery based on an inventive premise, anthony horowitz as narrator and one of the primary characters!

r
reeread
Jun 10, 2018

Anthony Horowitz cleverly inserts himself into the story, allowing him to go off on tangents that had little to do with the mystery at hand. Particularly liked the description of Peter Jackson and Wellington takeaways.

Chapel_Hill_TracyB Apr 27, 2018

So lucky to have gotten an advance copy! One again, Horowitz honors the great mystery writers while offering a modern twist. Reminiscent of a Holmes and Watson adventure, The Word is Murder starts out with the clever device of inserting the author himself into the story, helping a police consultant find out why a woman planned her funeral one afternoon and is found dead six hours later. Sharp, witty, and full of clues for the true mystery lover, Horowitz presents readers with another all-night page turner they'll be telling their friends about the next day.

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rapunzel454
Aug 12, 2018

rapunzel454 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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