Thursday, December 20, 2018
I was browsing the new book shelf at our local library last week when I noticed on a cover jacket that the author, Anthony Horowitz, had been the creator and main writer of the TV series Foyle’s War. It was a favorite of mine so I took a flyer and checked the book out. The Word is Murder takes place in London and I must admit that I can't pass up anything set in my favorite city in the whole world. Often I’m disappointed, but this time I found a winner. The London atmosphere is deep and accurate from a scene at the Old Brompton Cemetery (We used to live quite close to it.) to the corridors of RADA (the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art). There's also plenty of sly humor in the interplay between a number of the characters. The first person narrative is handled by an author who has reluctantly been drawn in to write a book about the detecting exploits of a Scotland Yard misfit named Hawthorne. He is a true mystery man and a British eccentric of the first order.
The case that binds this uneasy Holmes/Watson alliance together involves a wealthy widow who pre-plans and purchases her own funeral just a few hours before she is strangled in her own living room.Needless to say what initially looks like a simple burglary gone wrong turns into a convoluted set of trips down the back alleys of the victim's past. I enjoyed the interplay between the two lead characters and never did figure out who did it until the suspenseful conclusion. It rates four stars from me and I will take a look for another of Horowitz's thrillers titled The Magpie Murders.