Archive for February 2nd, 2021

Moonflower Murders

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021

By Anthony Horowitz

The Short Take:

This is Horowitz’s second “book within a book” mystery and it’s as much fun as the first. Susan Ryeland is back, once again trying to fix a mess that involves the late writer, Alan Conway.


You don’t need to have read Horowitz’s Magpie Murders to fully appreciate this book, but why miss out on that fun? The author knows how to craft a mystery and in these books he doesn’t stop at one. In the middle of his modern mystery is another one, written in the classic style of the Agatha Christie era, with a main character who is practically a clone of Hercule Poirot.

I particularly like how Horowitz’s “own” writing purposefully out sparkles that of the “book” written by the fictional Alan Conway. It’s yet another clever touch in a well-crafted yet complicated plot. After all, how many mysteries serve up an eight years old murder, a current disappearance, and a fictional murder and then blend them together seamlessly.

The characters–or suspects–are intriguing and not exactly forthcoming when Conway’s former editor, Susan Ryeland, talks to them. She then delves into Conway’s book to discover what the missing Cecily saw that identified the guilty party of that long-ago murder.

Through this reading we learn a lot about the dead Conway and his strained relationship with Susan. And why the plot and writing of his book isn’t top-notch (guess what–it’s not her fault).

Did I mention the characters in Conway’s book are all based on the “real” people who figure into thee old murder and the current disappearance. It doesn’t get much more entertaining than that.

A Little Plot:

Susan is struggling with her small hotel in Greece when a couple approach her and offer a large sum if she’ll come to England to investigate their daughter Cecily’s disappearance. Why? Cecily told them that reading a mystery book by Alan Conway revealed who had killed a hotel guest eight years ago and then promptly disappeared. Since Susan edited Conway they figure she would be able to figure out what happened.

For more about Horowitz, his books, and his many other writings click here.


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February 2021