Series: Susan Ryeland #2
Published by HarperCollins on November 10, 2020
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This sequel to Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz is for fans of intricately plotted, classic mysteries. Horowitz brings the witty writing, and complex puzzles back in this mystery within a mystery.
Susan Ryeland lives in Crete, running a hotel with her partner Andreas. She’s approached by the Trehearnes, a British couple. They offer to pay Susan to look into the disappearance of their daughter, Cecily. Why Susan? Because before she disappeared, Cecily called her parents, convinced a mystery novel written by Alan Conway revealed who committed a murder that happened at the Trehearnes’ hotel, eight years prior, on Cecily’s wedding day. Susan edited the book Cecily was reading, Atticus Pund Takes the Case. Conway, now dead, had visited the hotel after the murder, asking questions about it.
As part of her investigation, Susan reads the book, looking for clues – who committed the murder at the hotel and what’s happened to Cecily. So the reader is treated to that mystery wrapped around the entirety of Atticus Pund Takes the Case.
Conway was notorious for working real people into his books so Susan, and you the reader, must figure out how the characters in one mystery relate to those in the other. You see where the intricately plotted part comes in – it’s very meta.
My thoughts about Moonflower Murders
The writing is clear and descriptive but avoids floweriness.
He writes well-developed characters, even – maybe especially- the unlikable ones. It shows that Anthony Horowitz spent years writing television shows because he paints detailed and clear images of his characters.
Read this slowly. Horowitz wants you to pay attention as first Pund and then Susan solve their respective mysteries. Take time to appreciate all of the clever wordplay, deftly hidden clues, and brilliant reveals. Both mysteries are incredibly satisfying.
Do you have a favorite mystery trope? I mostly read cozy mysteries but I definitely have a soft spot for locked room/isolated mysteries.
If you’re the type of reader who likes being given the clues so you can try to puzzle out whodunit, read the first Susan Ryeland mystery, Magpie Murders. You might also watch the tv series Foyle’s War for which Anthony Horowitz wrote.
Fans of classic British mysteries like Agatha Christie’s books will enjoy this. Especially if you enjoyed And Then There Were None.
You might also try John Dickson Carr who was a master of the locked-room mystery. Try his Gideon Fell series which starts with Hag’s Nook.
Moonflower Murders is perfect for readers who enjoy intricately plotted mysteries, especially those of the classic era.
Thank you NetGalley and HarperCollins for the DRC.