cover image Magpie Murders

Magpie Murders

Anthony Horowitz, read by Samantha Bond and Allan Corduner. HarperAudio, , unabridged, 13 CDs, 16 hrs., $44.99 ISBN 978-0-06-267764-8

Horowitz’s new novel salutes the whodunit by presenting two sterling examples of it­­­—a golden age classic in the style of Christie and Sayers bookended by a contemporary mystery involving the suspicious death of bestselling author Alan Conway. Actor Bond, best known as Lady Rosamund on the television series Downton Abbey, narrates the contemporary plot, providing a proper British accent for editor Susan Ryeland, as she sits down to peruse the manuscript of the ninth novel in Conway’s bestselling series featuring master sleuth Atticus Pünd, a German concentration camp survivor. For the manuscript portions of the audiobook, actor Corduner takes over, reading the clue- and red herring–strewn puzzle, set in the fictional village of Saxby-on-Avon in 1955, in a mellifluous British voice. For the character of Pünd, he weakens the force of his speech while adding a Germanic edge. He employs similar distinctive touches for all of the manuscript’s secondary characters, including Pünd’s eager young assistant, James, and a long list of suspects in the murder of Sir Magnus Pye. When the Pünd novel ends abruptly, reader Bond returns for Susan’s explanation that the last chapter is missing. Worse yet, the author is dead, supposedly by his own hand. At the funeral, meeting the real-life counterparts to his fictional characters, Susan suspects Conway’s been murdered and sets out to prove it. Bond easily handles the highs and lows of Susan’s amateur sleuthing, including some mistakes and at least one terrifying moment of truth. The verdict: twice the mystery, twice the clues, twice the wit, and twice the fun. A Harper hardcover. (June)