I was completely caught off guard by Magpie Murders. It was a recent addition to my library, courtesy of the magical clearance wall at 2nd & Charles. Seriously, if you’ve never shopped the wall, you’re overpaying for books. I am a sucker for a good mystery. I love trying to solve something before the storyline does. It’s a competition with myself, and those are the hardest to win. I was hoping that this would be an Agatha Christie type book. I’d say it loosely falls in that category.
So, the novel starts from the perspective of an editor, Susan Ryeland, who has just received a new manuscript from one of her clients, Alan Conway. The story moves into her reading of the manuscript so quickly that I ended up flipping back and forth for a few pages, thinking that my book was missing pages. Really, it’s like you’re getting two books in one here.
Without giving too much away, Susan discovers that the manuscript is missing chapters at the end. The story just drops. She goes to speak to the company owner, Charles Clover, about where Conway’s chapters are, thinking that she just received an incomplete copy. Apparently not. The rest of the book follows her quest into Alan Conway’s life and times writing the Atticus Pund stories, on search for the missing chapters.
It’s All in the Details
You really do get two books for the binding of one. You’re trying to solve the Atticus Pund novel, called Magpie Murders, while also trying to figure out where the missing chapters are! Was there someone in on the sabotage? Was it really an accidental death? Why were the characters so shifty when approached with questions?
This is another review that’s difficult to write without giving the storyline away. In an interesting turn of fate, it turns out my high school honors literature teacher and I were reading this book at the same time! It’s a small world. And how beautiful that reading can bring people together like that!
I would definitely recommend this book. It was a quick and engaging read that had a little something for everyone. I’m curious to reread this one later and see if I pick up on the key clues to solve the crimes. Whoops…spoilers.
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