The Word Is Murder by Anthony Horowitz
Lindsay and I read The Word is Murder with three of our Traveling Friends. A while back we read Magpie Murders in a much larger group in the Traveling Sisters group and this one was a bit of a different reading experience for us. I enjoyed Magpie Murders just a bit more than The Word is Murder and felt it had a few more elements to the story to add to the discussion. However we had a great discussion with this one and I recommend it for group reads.
Anthony Horowitz takes the classic, golden age whodunnit style of mystery, crime here with The Word is Murder and reinvents it with some clever wit, sarcasm, and fun by adding himself into the story. Rumor has it Horowitz based this crime on a real case. He creates some mystery here with what’s fact and what’s fiction. This really added to our discussion as we tried to figure out what was real and what wasn’t. We took to the internet to find some answers.
What really made this story for us was the dynamics between Horowitz and the eccentric and brilliant investigator Hawthorn. I loved his quick wit and sarcasm that left Horowitz’s reluctance to work with him “The world has had quite enough of white, middle-aged, grumpy detectives.’’
There are some great twists and turns that kept some of us on our toes and guessing right to the end and we didn’t figure out that ending. One of our friends was much cleverer than we were and was able to piece together some of the clues that were left for us to find.
I highly recommend this one to readers who love the classic whodunnit mysteries and to anyone looking for a safe, fun, fast-paced and suspenseful mystery with a little wit and sarcasm to it.
Clever! Brilliant! I don’t think I will ever write a review for this author’s work without those two words included.
Anthony Horowitz has such a unique way of narrating his novels. This one is done in the first person, with Horowitz himself as the main character – ingenious! This is marketed as “a masterful and tricky mystery” which sums it up perfectly!
This novel revolves around a tragic and shocking murder that happens six hours after the victim plans her own funeral. Ex-detective, Daniel Hawthorne, is helping the police investigate this unique case. Hawthorne reaches out to Horowitz to request that he accompany him on his investigation to document the case as well as write a sort of biography about Hawthorne. I loved the dynamic between Hawthorne and Horowitz! They made such an entertaining pair!
If you haven’t read Horowitz before, know you are in for a treat with his unique writing style. Last year I read and LOVED Magpie Murders and while I would say that Magpie remains my most favourite, this novel is a very close second!
From Jan’s review
Jan’s reviewThis is, in many ways, a classic whodunit Agatha Christie style murder mystery, which happens to be a favorite genre of mine. What makes this book different and unique is the author is a character in his own book and the narrative is a fun blend of fact and fiction. In the story, the novelist Horowitz is presented with the opportunity to follow along with Hawthorne as he works the case and writes a book about it.
They are an unlikely pair and the banter and dynamic between these two characters are most enjoyable. Horowitz is the Watson-type sidekick to Hawthorne’s Sherlock Holmes. Hawthorne is brilliant but difficult and very little is known about his personal life, while Horowitz interjects into the story tidbits about a writer’s life while writing a mystery novel, which adds to the fun.
I loved last year’s Magpie Murders and with this book, the author has made his way onto my favorites list. This is a highly readable, well-written, and well-constructed mystery with the proper clues and red herrings, and a surprising conclusion.
I was happy to read this is book one of a new series. I can’t wait for the next installment!
Have you read this one? Want to read this one? Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you!