Who doesn’t love a good murder mystery? The unknown, the clues, the intrigue, it’s captivating, and if there’s one thing Moonflower Murders does well, its captivate its readers.
Moonflower Murders continues the story of Susan Ryeland, the protagonist in Anthony Horowitz’s literary thriller, Magpie Murders. Now retired from publishing and running a small hotel on a Greek island, Susan is questioning her decision to move to Crete with her boyfriend, Andreas, as she’s constantly exhausted and beginning to miss her literary life in London. So when she is approached by an English couple – the Trehernes – and they tell her about a murder that took place the same day and in the same hotel as their daughter’s wedding, and now that same daughter is missing, Susan jumps at the chance to escape the rut.
What follows is a classic whodunnit, the likes of which is very reminiscent of a novel from the golden age of crime. Even better, we’re reminded throughout of this vintage crime writing style, Anthony even regularly weaves in literary puzzles, cryptic clues and anagrams. This book, in essence, is a tribute to the golden age of mystery and a salute to the greats, like Agatha Christie.
Susan, on returning to the UK, is thrown into an intricate web of clues and suspects. As she sieves through the various accounts in search of the truth she once again finds herself in danger. Integral to the case, and indeed why the Trehernes first approach her, is a book she edited during her publishing career, Alan Conway’s Atticus Pünd Takes the Case. From the start, we know that this book is key to unravelling the mystery and locating the murderer. Not only was Conway inspired by the crime that occurred at the hotel, but Cecily, the Treherne’s daughter who is now missing, read the book shortly before her disappearance.
So integral is the Atticus Pünd story, that – like Magpie Murders – Moonflower Murders has a book within a book format. This is exceptionally clever as you find that you are no longer just following Susan’s investigation – you are now the amateur sleuth searching for a clue to a murderer. In essence, it brings you into the story. This is a thrilling experience, to say the least, as you search for clues hidden within the pages.
Going back to the author, Anthony Horowitz is a household name. Not only has he written both adult and children’s fiction, as well as plays, films, TV series and short stories, he also has an unmistakable talent for writing crime novels. So it’s no surprise that Moonflower Murders is impressive; his writing is easy to read and even easier to get drawn into. Even better, Moonflower Murders has a naturally captivating pace; Anthony certainly doesn’t keep you waiting as he unravels the plot.
We loved this book. It is clear to see why Anthony is a bestselling author as his suspenseful twists and turns kept us guessing throughout. If you’re searching for your next dose of mystery, Moonflower Murders is an easy, enjoyable and enthralling read. It’ll have you gasping in surprise, deep in thought and impressed at the sheer cunning of it.