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The Word is Murder
Cover of The Word is Murder
The Word is Murder
A Novel
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SHE PLANNED HER OWN FUNERAL. BUT DID SHE ARRANGE HER OWN MURDER?New York Times bestselling author of Magpie Murders and Moriarty, Anthony Horowitz has yet again brilliantly reinvented the classic crime...
SHE PLANNED HER OWN FUNERAL. BUT DID SHE ARRANGE HER OWN MURDER?New York Times bestselling author of Magpie Murders and Moriarty, Anthony Horowitz has yet again brilliantly reinvented the classic crime...
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  • SHE PLANNED HER OWN FUNERAL. BUT DID SHE ARRANGE HER OWN MURDER?

    New York Times bestselling author of Magpie Murders and Moriarty, Anthony Horowitz has yet again brilliantly reinvented the classic crime novel, this time writing a fictional version of himself as the Watson to a modern-day Holmes.

    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.

    A masterful and tricky mystery that springs many surprises, The Word is Murder is Anthony Horowitz at his very best.

About the Author-

  • ANTHONY HOROWITZ is the author of the US bestselling Magpie Murders and The Word is Murder, and one of the most prolific and successful writers in the English language; he may have committed more (fictional) murders than any other living author. His novel Trigger Mortis features original material from Ian Fleming. His most recent Sherlock Holmes novel, Moriarty, is a reader favorite; and his bestselling Alex Rider series for young adults has sold more than 19 million copies worldwide. As a TV screen - writer he created both Midsomer Murders and the BAFTA-winning Foyle's War on PBS. Horowitz regularly contributes to a wide variety of national newspapers and magazines, and in January 2014 was awarded an OBE.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from February 26, 2018
    This spectacular series launch from bestseller Horowitz (Magpie Murders), a scrupulously fair whodunit, features a fictionalized version of himself. The author’s doppelgänger—who, like his creator, has written a Sherlock Holmes pastiche, The House of Silk, and a Tintin movie script for Steven Spielberg—is approached by Daniel Hawthorne, a former detective inspector who once consulted on one of his TV series. Hawthorne wants Horowitz to turn his “real-life” cases into books, and eventually gets him to agree. Their first joint investigative venture concerns the strangulation of Diana Cowper in her London home, mere hours after she visited a funeral parlor and made detailed arrangements for her own funeral. (In one amusing metafictional scene, Hawthorne criticizes Horowitz for inaccuracies in chapter one, an omniscient third-person account of the funeral home visit.) An interrupted text Diana sent to her son shortly before her death leads the duo to look into a long-ago hit-and-run tragedy that claimed one twin child’s life and seriously injured the other. Deduction and wit are well-balanced, and fans of Peter Lovesey and other modern channelers of the spirit of the golden age of detection will clamor for more. Agent: Jonathan Lloyd, Curtis Brown (U.K.).

  • AudioFile Magazine Rory Kinnear flawlessly performs this entertaining metafiction in which the real mystery writer Anthony Horowitz is persuaded by a fictional investigator called Hawthorne to shadow him as he solves a murder so Horowitz can write about it and make them rich. This is mad fun, especially if you are a fan of "Foyle's War," "Midsomer Murders," or other of Horowitz's work, since real movie folk (Spielberg!) from Horowitz's actual life become part of the story. It's a fresh and diverting spin on the classic scenario: eccentric-but-brilliant master sleuth with earnest-but-bumbling sidekick. Sherlock Holmes, anyone? (Horowitz has written that character, too.) Kinnear is so good you forget he's there; instead you feel as if you've seen this as a movie on some screen in your intercranial theater. B.G. � AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine
  • Library Journal

    April 1, 2018

    In Horowitz's second stand-alone adult novel (after Magpie Murders), the author plays a starring role, putting a real-world twist on a first-person narrative. Daniel Hawthorne, an unlikable private detective, has been called in by the London police to help solve the murder of Diana Cowper. The mother of an up-and-coming actor, Cowper was killed on the day she arranged her own funeral. Horowitz is invited by Hawthorne to write a book about the crime and, not incidentally, split money from the book with Hawthorne. Horowitz is reluctantly intrigued with both the case and Hawthorne, a curmudgeon who reveals nothing about his personal life. A series of missteps by Horowitz annoys Hawthorne as he meticulously untangles the threads of the mystery, offending people as he goes. VERDICT A classic whodunit with a metatwist, this mystery opens the door to the world of publishing, theater, and television. Fans of Dorothy Sayers and the BBC's Midsomer Murders and Foyle's War (both written by Horowitz) will enjoy this novel. [See Prepub Alert, 12/11/17.]--Terry Lucas, Shelter Island P.L., NY

    Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from March 1, 2018
    Television writer/Christie-loving Sherlock-ian Horowitz (Magpie Murders, 2017, etc.) spins a fiendishly clever puzzle about a television writer/Christie-loving Sherlock-ian named Anthony Something who partners with a modern Sherlock Holmes to solve a baffling case.Six hours after widowed London socialite Diana Cowper calls on mortician Robert Cornwallis to make arrangements for her own funeral, she's suddenly in need of them after getting strangled in her home. The Met calls on murder specialist Daniel Hawthorne, an ex-DI bounced off the force for reasons he'd rather not talk about, and he calls on the narrator ("nobody ever calls me Tony"), a writer in between projects whose agent expects him to be working on The House of Silk, a Holmes-ian pastiche which Horowitz happens to have published in real life. Anthony's agreement with Hawthorne to collaborate on a true-crime account of the case is guaranteed to blindside his agent (in a bad way) and most readers (in entrancingly good ways). Diana Cowper, it turns out, is not only the mother of movie star Damian Cowper, but someone who had her own brush with fame 10 years ago when she accidentally ran over a pair of 8-year-old twins, killing Timothy Godwin and leaving Jeremy Godwin forever brain-damaged. A text message Diana sent Damian moments before her death--"I have seen the boy who was lacerated and I'm afraid"--implicates both Jeremy, who couldn't possibly have killed her, and the twins' estranged parents, Alan and Judith Godwin, who certainly could have. But which of them, or which other imaginable suspect, would have sneaked a totally unpredictable surprise into her coffin and then rushed out to commit another murder?Though the impatient, tightfisted, homophobic lead detective is impossible to love, the mind-boggling plot triumphs over its characters: Sharp-witted readers who think they've solved the puzzle early on can rest assured that they've opened only one of many dazzling Christmas packages Horowitz has left beautifully wrapped under the tree.

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from April 1, 2018
    Actually, the word is not murder, it's ingenious. Horowitz, who out-Christied Christie in Magpie Murders (2017), now out-Doyles Doyle by inserting himself (his actual self) into the story as the Watson-like narrator of a murder investigation he is drawn into by a brilliant and eccentric detective, Daniel Hawthorne. No one arranges her own funeral at 11 a.m. on a beautiful spring day and then gets herself murdered a mere six hours later in her own home, right? Well, Diane Cowper manages to do just that. No CCTV footage, fingerprints, or DNA traces, and no sign of a break-in, so the only clue to go on is that the victim must have opened the door to her assailant. Hawthorne has been called in as a consultant by the police and invites Horowitz to tag along because he wants the author to write a book about him. Horowitz, who started out as a television screenwriter, creating both the acclaimed Midsomer Murders and Foyle's War, finds real crime unlike anything he ever experienced while holding a cleverly devised script on a carefully designed set. Not to mention a dangerous one. A masterful meta-mystery.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The mega-popular Horowitz has been granted the rights to continue both the Arthur Conan Doyle legacy and Ian Fleming's James Bond saga and is known to younger fans as the writer of the Alex Rider series. His star will only shine more brightly.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2018, American Library Association.)

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Anthony Horowitz
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