August 2018 Book Club Book: Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

Discussion in 'TMB Book Club' started by The Blackfish, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. The Blackfish

    The Blackfish The Fish in Black
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    [​IMG]

    From the New York Times bestselling author of Moriarty and Trigger Mortis, this fiendishly brilliant, riveting thriller weaves a classic whodunit worthy of Agatha Christie into a chilling, ingeniously original modern-day mystery.

    When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the bestselling crime writer for years, she’s intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan’s traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job.

    Conway’s latest tale has Atticus Pünd investigating a murder at Pye Hall, a local manor house. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but the more Susan reads, the more she’s convinced that there is another story hidden in the pages of the manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder.

    Masterful, clever, and relentlessly suspenseful, Magpie Murders is a deviously dark take on vintage English crime fiction in which the reader becomes the detective.
     
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  2. Tangman

    Tangman Well-Known Member
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    Will start this by the end of the week.
     
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  3. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    Same. Finishing another book then starting this one.
     
  4. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    Started this morning

    Book within a book
     
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  5. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    Took me longer than I wanted to start.

    Through Part 1

    Story within a story is p cool. I dont think it was an accident. However -- Magnus Pie - Magpie. is a little too on the nose for Magnus to be the killer, even though he seems like a twat.

    So far, so good. Liking it
     
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  6. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    Part 2

    . Welp now we know why Mag Pie Murders
     
  7. The Blackfish

    The Blackfish The Fish in Black
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    Starting soon
     
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  8. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    Part 3
    This is a fun Sherlock Homes-esque story. It's nice and all, but Im really getting anxious to finish it and get back to the narrator and see how this impacts her life so much.

    Part 6
    Oh what the hell. Pund deduces Matthew killed his wife and that's it?!??! pffft

    Crouch End, London
    Heh, she is annoyed too. I feel ya home girl

    Oh shit - The author is dead!!! I thought maybe she'd be obsessive about figuring out the ending, but something else will seemingly consumer her.

    Cloverleaf Books
    This chapter threw me off because I was still in the mindset of this all taking place in the 40s, At the end of the last chapter she's in a cab and returning from a screening of the Maltese Falcon, still gving off a 40s vibe.

    Her coming home a switching on a computer really threw me for a loop. I went back to reread the first chapter and her eating Doritos is what snapped me out of it and realize we're in modern times. Still the Maltese Falcon viewing and being in a cab rather than and Uber or something I feel is a ploy by the author to fuck w the reader somehow

    Alan Conway
    Handwritten letter, typed out envelope :ohshit:
     
  9. blind dog

    blind dog #1 Ladycock fan
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    Truman Can you hook me up with an epub/mobi?
     
  10. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    Im traveling and away from my laptop. Remind me on sunday

    I'll probably finish the book today though. It's great so far.
     
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  11. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    Finished 8.5/10

    This was a cool throwback to an Agatha Christie story. Love Conway's distain for this books and characters. "Atticus Pundt is a CUNT" :roll:

    I like these fish out of water books where someone like Susan who is forced to become a detective. However how dumb of her to go to all this trouble to figure it out, confront Charles, make a mental note that he's killed thus a monster that is no longer beholden to society, then be like "OK man, call the cops on yourself. See you later" only to turn her back on him and get bashed in the head. Kind of lame to turn her into a damsel in distress to be saved by Andres. But that's a minor gripe.

    I do like they Horowitz didnt go from some crazy contrived twist and the motives were pretty straight forward.
     
  12. Rebelution

    Rebelution I'm not superstitious but I am a little stitious.
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  13. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    sent
     
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  14. The Blackfish

    The Blackfish The Fish in Black
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    starting this week. Looking forward to it
     
  15. Rebelution

    Rebelution I'm not superstitious but I am a little stitious.
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    Mind if I get a copy as well.
     
  16. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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  17. Tangman

    Tangman Well-Known Member
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    Have read up to the end of "Woodbridge"

    Like Truman, I was pissed that the last sentence of Conway's book that we have seen up to this point indicates the Blakiston dad as the killer but doesn't expand upon why he knows that.

    Not a murder mystery guy in general but this is a fun read. Can't wait to see how this all goes wrong for the editor. Conway using towns and people he knows and his own house as inspiration has to be a major clue. The ending to both stories should be fun.
     
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  18. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    I finished the book this morning. Really enjoyed it. 8/10

    I thought the book within a book concept was actually really well done, and that’s something I think can be tricky for a lot of authors and doesn’t always work out well. What happens when the book within a book is much more interesting than the original story itself? This novel held its own pretty well, however. It probably helped that both stories were who dunnits and so there was never a loss of intrigue.

    I thought the real-life killer was fairly interesting, and, while I wasn’t trying too hard to guess the killer, I didn’t see it coming. I actually had bought the red herrings for the narrator’s boyfriend being the killer. The culprit in Magpie Murders (the story within a story) itself was a little bit more obvious to me, but I still enjoyed the reveal.

    My only issues with this novel were the moments of chance/fortune that really helped the narrator both a) find the killer and b) survive his attack. I know the novel even admits to this being a problem, and proclaims that they hate it happening too and that this is what had “actually” happened, but even so, it felt like an example of ex machina.

    All told, however, I enjoyed the book. I would recommend it. Also, I listened to the audiobook, and both the narrators were pretty strong. Sometimes I feel like I can lose a little by listening to the audiobook if there are crummy narrators, but I don’t think that was the case with this book.

    Good recommendation.
     
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  19. Tangman

    Tangman Well-Known Member
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    Done. Also 8/10.

    This isn't really my genre but I enjoyed it a lot. Really well developed plot that moved at a good pace. I don't imagine the "book within the book" usually works as well as it does here.

    I'd probably have more nits to pick if I read more of these whodunit type books but there isn't a lot for me to complain about. I guess that none of the characters were very memorable but it was a large cast so that seems unavoidable. As Truman mentioned, her plan to just let Charles turn himself in was a bit naive but I guess it kinda works in that she wasn't a detective and had known him forever.

    One thing I really liked was how he left the Magpie Murders sections as unedited. Cool little touch and well done.
     
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  20. jkun

    jkun UGA, United, Falcons, Braves, Tennis, Chelsea
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    6/10 for me

    just felt let down at the end for some reason, also not really my genre so definitely influences my opinion. Think you probably have to be familiar with murder mysteries to really appreciate some aspects
     
  21. The Blackfish

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    Okay actually started today. My previous book took me longer to get through than I anticipated.
     
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  22. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    lol.

    skepticalhippo.jpg
     
  23. The Blackfish

    The Blackfish The Fish in Black
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    6% in. Clarissa is thinking that her hat is a little too extra