cover image The Sentence Is Death

The Sentence Is Death

Anthony Horowitz. Harper, $27.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-267683-2

Bestseller Horowitz’s doppelganger, also named Anthony Horowitz, once again plays Dr. Watson to PI Daniel Hawthorne’s Sherlock Holmes in the British author’s superb sequel to 2018’s The Word Is Murder. This time the astute, if irritating, detective ropes Tony into helping him investigate the murder of high-powered London divorce lawyer Richard Pryce, who was struck on the head with a bottle of expensive wine in his home. The obvious suspect is prickly poet and novelist Akira Anno, who threatened to hit Pryce with a wine bottle in a restaurant where they ran into each other days before the murder. Pryce was representing Akira’s husband in a divorce settlement in which she felt she was getting a raw deal. Other suspects emerge in the complicated case, which may have its roots in a caving expedition that Pryce and two close friends took 10 years before in Yorkshire; one of those friends died while trapped in a cave during a rainstorm. Leavening the grim story line are deliciously comic scenes in which Tony typically makes a wrong deduction or suffers a personal slight (Akira disdains him because he writes popular fiction). Horowitz plays fair with the reader all the way to the surprise reveal of the killer’s identity. Fans of traditional puzzle mysteries will be enthralled. [em]Agent: Jonathan Lloyd, Curtis Brown (U.K.). (May) [/em]