Voice actor Kinnear sounds playfully peevish and impatient when portraying the narrator of Horowitz’s hugely entertaining whodunit, adding to the novel’s sense of fun. Daniel Hawthorne, a respected former Metro policeman who has been hired to consult on a strange murder case, pressures popular novelist Anthony Horowitz (a fictionalized version of the author himself) to write a book about him and his investigation. Diana Cowper, a well-to-do widow, has been strangled in her London residence, and Hawthorne and Horowitz’s investigation leads them to the scene of a long-ago tragedy at a seaside resort in Kent and another murder. Horowitz isn’t the only “real” person to appear in the story; directors Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson appear and, along with an assortment of colorful suspects, are smoothly enacted by Kinnear. Horowitz’s mystery is as cleverly constructed as the classic whodunits of the golden age, populated by fascinating characters and peppered with fair-play clues. Kinnear’s faultless delivery is completely in tune with the author’s ability to mix murder and mirth. A Harper hardcover. (July)
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