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"One of the most entertaining mysteries of the year. It’s also one of the most stimulating, as it ponders such questions as: Which is of greater interest to the reader, the crime or the detective? And: Is the pencil truly mightier than the butcher knife?” — Wall Street Journal

New York Times bestselling author of Magpie Murders and Moriarty, Anthony Horowitz has yet again brilliantly reinvented the classic crime novel, this time writing a fictional version of himself as the Watson to a modern-day Holmes.

A woman crosses a London street. It is just after 11 a.m. on a bright spring morning, and she is going into a funeral parlor to plan her own service. Six hours later the woman is dead, strangled with a crimson curtain cord in her own home.

Enter disgraced police detective Daniel Hawthorne, a brilliant, eccentric man as quick with an insult as he is to crack a case. And Hawthorne has a partner, the celebrated novelist Anthony Horowitz, curious about the case and looking for new material. As brusque, impatient, and annoying as Hawthorne can be, Horowitz—a seasoned hand when it comes to crime stories—suspects the detective may be on to something, and is irresistibly drawn into the mystery.

But as the case unfolds, Horowitz realizes that he’s at the center of a story he can’t control, and his brilliant partner may be hiding dark and mysterious secrets of his own.

Review

“Actually, the word is not murder, it’s ingenious. . . . A masterful meta-mystery.” -- Booklist (starred review)

“Sharp-witted readers who think they’ve solved the puzzle early on can rest assured that they’ve opened only one of many dazzling Christmas packages Horowitz has left beautifully wrapped under the tree.” -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Deduction and wit are well-balanced, and fans of Peter Lovesey and other modern channelers of the spirit of the golden age of detection will clamor for more.” -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Horowitz is undeniably brilliant.” -- Metro London

"The beguiling whodunit plot is dispatched with characteristic élan as Horowitz blurs the line between fiction and reality… there is no denying the sheer ingenuity of the central notion.” -- The Financial Times

The Word Is Murder is an intriguing labyrinth of whodunnits and a true page-turner throughout .” -- Real Crime Magazine

“An ingenious funhouse mirror of a novel sets a vintage ‘cozy’ mystery inside a modern frame.” -- Wall Street Journal

“Irresistible … What can’t this supremely versatile writer do?” -- USA Today

“Horowitz succeeds with The Word Is Murder by simultaneously adhering to and defying the rules of a traditional mystery.” -- Christian Science Monitor

The Word Is Murder is full of surprises and suspense…hugely entertaining. It is a special treat for those who want to read crime mysteries.” -- Washington Post Book Review

" The Word Is Murder, with its dry tone and insider anecdotes about publishing and the movie business, is certainly one of the most entertaining mysteries of the year. It’s also one of the most stimulating, as it ponders such questions as: Which is of greater interest to the reader, the crime or the detective? And: Is the pencil truly mightier than the butcher knife?” -- Wall Street Journal

From the Back Cover

A woman crosses a London street.

It is just after 11 a.m. on a bright spring morning, and she is going into a funeral parlor to plan her own service.

Six hours later the woman is dead, strangled with a crimson curtain cord in her own home.

Enter disgraced police detective Daniel Hawthorne, a brilliant, eccentric man as quick with an insult as he is to crack a case. And Hawthorne has a partner, the celebrated novelist Anthony Horowitz, curious about the case and looking for new material.

As brusque, impatient, and annoying as Hawthorne can be, Horowitz—a seasoned hand when it comes to crime stories—suspects the detective may be on to something, and is irresistibly drawn into the mystery. But as the case unfolds, Horowitz realizes he’s at the center of a story he can’t control . . . and that his brilliant partner may be hiding dark and mysterious secrets of his own.

A masterful and tricky mystery that operates at many levels, The Word Is Murder is Anthony Horowitz at his very best.

About the Author

ANTHONY HOROWITZ is the author of the US bestselling Magpie Murders and The Word is Murder, and one of the most prolific and successful writers in the English language; he may have committed more (fictional) murders than any other living author. His novel Trigger Mortis features original material from Ian Fleming. His most recent Sherlock Holmes novel, Moriarty, is a reader favorite; and his bestselling Alex Rider series for young adults has sold more than 19 million copies worldwide. As a TV screenwriter, he created both Midsomer Murders and the BAFTA-winning Foyle’s War on PBS. Horowitz regularly contributes to a wide variety of national newspapers and magazines, and in January 2014 was awarded an OBE.

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4.4 out of 54.4 out of 5
3,203 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

switterbug/Betsey Van Horn
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
"It''s written all over you, mate."
Reviewed in the United States on October 27, 2017
After reading Horowitz’s MAGPIE MURDERS, I was compelled to read this one straightaway. I am a big fan of his small screen series, such as Foyle’s War, a nuanced, intelligent series about a British detective during WW II and beyond to the Cold War, the short series... See more
After reading Horowitz’s MAGPIE MURDERS, I was compelled to read this one straightaway. I am a big fan of his small screen series, such as Foyle’s War, a nuanced, intelligent series about a British detective during WW II and beyond to the Cold War, the short series Injustice, a tense drama about a tormented attorney, and the eccentric but suspenseful Midsomer Murders about a quaint English village and its people, coupled with murder. Magpie Murders had a combination of a vintage English murder, mixed with a contemporary meta-fiction that renders it more complex and twisty.

In this, another murder case, Horowitz is even more brazen by casting himself as himself, layering fictional characters and a storyline with the authentic Horowitz, in a sometimes gleefully tingling meta- scene. For example, the writer is in an actual meeting with Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson, and…well, I won’t reveal what happens, but it really blurs the lines between fact and fiction, that scene being the most arch of all the meta-scenes due to the billion-watt celebrities going eerily from foreground to background with a few strokes of a keyboard.

The story: It starts with a short narrative: a 60s-aged woman, Diana Cowper, walks into a funeral parlor to arrange her own funeral, and is murdered six hours later. This was more of a prologue, demonstrating the author’s draft of a story, and then the next chapter we get to the meat of the set-up, and how that funeral parlor scene came to be.

In London, Anthony Horowitz, busy with different writing projects and a screenplay, is contacted by a peculiar ex police force detective named Daniel Hawthorne. Hawthorne was once hired by Horowitz’s production team to be used as a consultant in his five-part miniseries, INJUSTICE, to help keep the script’s police procedures credible and methodical. He was brilliant with his advice, and apparently a crack investigator, but was fired by the Metropolitan police force prior to working with Horowitz on the series. Anthony never liked him—he found him morose, socially miscued, prickly, annoying, and intrusive, but he put up with him for his use on the series.

Horowitz is inwardly outraged and outwardly dismissive when Hawthorne calls him to offer him a 50-50 book deal to write about himself. Why would anyone want to read about Hawthorne? And how brazen for him to call Horowitz to write this? And 50-50??? Yet, when he finally does meet up with him and Hawthorne tells him about the Cowper case, Anthony is legitimately intrigued. The fact that she has a famous son, a stage and screen actor he’s familiar with, amps up the buzz.

Horowitz agrees to do it, i.e. to follow Hawthorne around (who has been curiously hired by the Met to consult, and seems to have primary privileges). The problem— to Anthony’s chagrin, Hawthorne is a cipher and refuses to answer any questions about himself. Anthony expresses to him that if he is going to write about him,
“I’d have to know where you live, whether you’re married or not, what you have for breakfast, what you do on your day off. That’s why people read murder stories.” Hawthorne’s response?
“I don’t agree. The word is murder. That’s what matters.”

As the case and story unfold, and the suspects pile up, it becomes just as thrilling to witness the testy relationship of Hawthorne and Horowitz as it is to watch how the investigation progresses. Moreover, the writer shares the writing process. Although the case is fiction (but treated as fact), you totally believe in it! Horowitz is a genius at including himself BUT getting out of his own way. Only an accomplished, meticulous writer is able to pull that off. You won’t be disappointed.
93 people found this helpful
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Melanie
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Maybe it''s meant to be a comedy?
Reviewed in the United States on July 25, 2018
Wow. I can''t believe this is the same guy that wrote Magpie Murders. Maybe he fired his ghostwriter because this book isn''t just stale from page 1 it has huge, amateurish problems. Cackling-villian-spilling-his-evil-plan-thus-giving-the-hero-time-to-arrive kind of... See more
Wow. I can''t believe this is the same guy that wrote Magpie Murders. Maybe he fired his ghostwriter because this book isn''t just stale from page 1 it has huge, amateurish problems. Cackling-villian-spilling-his-evil-plan-thus-giving-the-hero-time-to-arrive kind of problems. The only novelty here is that Horowitz casts himself as a Watson-type sidekick, but it does nothing for the story. He comes across as a boring, whiny doormat who will not stop name-dropping his other books & projects. Better mention Foyle''s War one more time in case somebody forgot the 15 previous mentions. And then he damsels himself. The other main character is Hawthorne, a rude, homophobic, manipulative ex-detective. Wow #2. How is anybody still using this trope of excusing a character''s horrible behavior because he''s good at something? Un-ironically? Hawthorne is made of cardboard: a straight, white, egotistical male bigot with no respect for anyone or anything. He learns nothing along the way and has zero redeeming features. I''m not questioning the veracity of the character sketch---I''m questioning the focus. Is this a personality deserving of *another* work of fiction? The shallow, self-absorbed man in a position of power who glides through life encountering as much resistance as a greased pig running through sunshie, but still he''s misanthropic & pissy. So tortured. Gay people still exist and all the other characters haven''t crowned him king, must be time to say something crass & storm off the stage. Seriously, give this one a miss.
46 people found this helpful
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eemoon
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A drag
Reviewed in the United States on August 6, 2018
This book dragged on and on. I only finished it because I started it, but i didn’t care for the way it was written. It was hard to get into the characters; no one was very likeable. The author, writing in the first person, kept expressing how ambivalent he was about writing... See more
This book dragged on and on. I only finished it because I started it, but i didn’t care for the way it was written. It was hard to get into the characters; no one was very likeable. The author, writing in the first person, kept expressing how ambivalent he was about writing this book. I was just as ambivalent about the value of reading it. Definitely not a fun read, nor a particularly rewarding one. This was a major disappointment for me, especially after reading the Magpie Murders, one of the best mysteries I’ve read in a long time.
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Matt Mansfield
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
An Odd Couple Collaborate to Solve Mysteries
Reviewed in the United States on July 28, 2018
An ex-British police detective and an author of fictional mysteries get together to solve a crime in seemingly current day London. One is real, the eponymous writer of his 2017 novel, “The Word is Murder”, and the other, the presumably fictional Detective Daniel Hawthorne,... See more
An ex-British police detective and an author of fictional mysteries get together to solve a crime in seemingly current day London. One is real, the eponymous writer of his 2017 novel, “The Word is Murder”, and the other, the presumably fictional Detective Daniel Hawthorne, living in the confine of its pages.

The opening is a terrific hook: a woman walks into a funeral parlor to arrange her own funeral and, very shortly thereafter, is murdered at home. Coincidental, calculated, or something else?

The plot quickly unfolds as the back-stories come to light. Various characters have involvements with one another, some concealed and some obscured only to be revealed as the drama requires. And there is more than one murder to be explained.

Many of the characters you might expect to find in a large-scale film production: a doting mother, an ambitious self-absorbed actor, his unmarried girlfriend with their young daughter, an unhappy couple with a disabled son and nanny, an unctuous funeral director and staff, to name a few.

The most curious relationship is between writer Horowitz and ex-detective Hawthorne. It initially seems to be an updated Watson and Homes pairing but given all the present television recreations, it is not surprising that this is different. They share similar traits, curiosity and desire to figure out what is happening, but they are quite distinct at the cores: the writer is collaborative by nature of his trade, whereas the ex-detective is a loner with his own dark corners.

Anthony Horowitz borrows quite literally from his own life experiences, including real people in the entertainment world who briefly and somewhat distractingly appear in the story. Other than establishing the author’s need to work with others, the information seems to slow down the pace.

On the other hand, Daniel Hawthorne (borrowed from Nathaniel Hawthorne?) seems to be waiting for Horowitz to animate him. He lives in borrowed quarters, has an estranged wife and son, reads Albert Camus’ “The Outsider”, and builds models of former real life military equipment. Seems like a cipher.

The author has had great success layering stories within stories as he did in “Magpie Murders.” In that tale, partially set in current times, his characters are all fictional. (If it helps, here’s the link to my Amazon review of the same: https://www.amazon.com/review/R2EDCBY3ZMPP4D/ref=cm_cr_othr_d_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8)

While overlapping dramas from different time periods is a great technique for entertaining, this time the real life details seems to hamper the fun of the chase.
12 people found this helpful
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Jeff29c
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Murdered by self
Reviewed in the United States on December 21, 2018
First off I will have to say that if there is an award for name-dropping, surely this author deserves it. "Deserves" is the right word, for he has earned the right I suppose with his many writing successes. Nonetheless it was a bit off-putting to hear about Steven... See more
First off I will have to say that if there is an award for name-dropping, surely this author deserves it. "Deserves" is the right word, for he has earned the right I suppose with his many writing successes. Nonetheless it was a bit off-putting to hear about Steven Spielberg, Foyle''s War, Midsomer Murders etc. throughout the book. They added nothing to the plot or to the reader''s enjoyment.

That said this was a good story, well-written, and attention-holding. It is difficult to like the main character who is a blend of Sherlock Holmes and Mike Hammer, but again I ''spose that isn''t the point. I never did figure out why Mrs. Cowper planned her own funeral, but I realized that the funeral director would play a major role because he was mentioned so frequently rather than being a sidelines character. You will enjoy the book and appreciate the twists.
9 people found this helpful
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SassyPants
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Murder is the word!
Reviewed in the United States on April 22, 2019
I think that Anthony (not Tony) Horowitz may be my new favorite author. I loved Magpie Murders and I think The Word is Murder is even better. And that is saying a lot. Mr. Horowitz has some clever ideas to liven up the murder mystery genre. This time, he stars in his... See more
I think that Anthony (not Tony) Horowitz may be my new favorite author. I loved Magpie Murders and I think The Word is Murder is even better. And that is saying a lot. Mr. Horowitz has some clever ideas to liven up the murder mystery genre. This time, he stars in his own book! No names were changed to protect the guilty. I find Mr. Horowitz’s book a challenge to summarize because of dual plot lines.

Anthony Horowitz, author of books for both children and adults; writer for episodes of some popular crime series; writer of of an entire television series; and probably some other stuff, is approached by a disgraced former police detective named Daniel Hawthorne. The detective needs money and wants Anthony to ghost write the story of his life. To do so, Anthony follows the reticent detective while he serve as consultant to the police and tries to solve a murder. The other plot is the murder itself. Diana Cowper is the wealthy mother of a very famous actor. She makes arrangements for her funeral and 6 hours later she is strangled in her home. Almost 10 years ago, Mrs. Cowper did a little killing herself. She accidentally struck twin 8 year old boys with her car, killing one and very seriously injuring the other. She initially fled the scene, worried that the accident would ruin her son’s fledgling career. The son comes home for his mother’s funeral and then a lot of interesting things happen. There are plenty of potential suspects to interview as Anthony and Daniel get on each other’s nerves.

This novel is so good! There are plenty of twists and turns before the murderer is revealed. I think that most readers will be pleasantly surprised with the big reveal. In addition to an excellent murder mystery, there is also the story of the relationship between author and detective. At the end of the book, they still have an uneasy but improving relationship. I plan to read the next book in this series, The Sentence is Death. While I really enjoyed Magpie Murders, my one complaint is that it got confusing at times with its book within a book plot. I still loved it, but it required very careful reading. The Word is Murder has the dual plot and plenty of characters too, but I found it easier to keep things straight in my head. Therefore, while both are excellent, Word edges out Magpie in my opinion.
5 people found this helpful
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Mary Lins
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Exceptionally Appealing New Mystery From Horowitz
Reviewed in the United States on November 16, 2017
Having thoroughly enjoyed Anthony Horowitz’s “meta” mystery, “Magpie Murders”, I joyfully dove into “The Word is Murder” which has similar playful “conceits”. While not quite a book-inside-a-book, “The Word is Murder” is about Horowitz (yes, he’s written himself into the... See more
Having thoroughly enjoyed Anthony Horowitz’s “meta” mystery, “Magpie Murders”, I joyfully dove into “The Word is Murder” which has similar playful “conceits”. While not quite a book-inside-a-book, “The Word is Murder” is about Horowitz (yes, he’s written himself into the story) collaborating with a former Detective Inspector named Hawthorne, to both solve a murder and write a book about it.

Basic premise: a woman walks into a funeral home to arrange her funeral details, and a few hours later she’s murdered in her own home. Coincidental? Hawthorne doesn’t believe in coincidences.

Fans of “Magpie Murders” will enjoy all the “real life” references to actors, directors, authors, works of literature, film, and TV series (many of Horowitz’s own writing). The book doesn’t at all feel like a “commercial” for Horowitz – though it did compel me to add the BBC series, “Injustice” to my Amazon Prime Watch List. Pretty much anything Horowitz writes appeals to me; his plots are well crafted, his characters are interesting and quirky (Hawthorne is a real piece of work!) and his “Brit Wit” is exceptionally appealing.
38 people found this helpful
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gabriella acacia
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
C''mon, Netflix or Amazon: Film this story!
Reviewed in the United States on July 26, 2021
I''ve come across this charming book a few years after previous readers/reviewers, who have laid it out quite well. Horowitz''s writing style brings back pleasant memories of his Magpie Murders, as well as his scripts for Midsomer Murders and Foyle''s War. So what can I... See more
I''ve come across this charming book a few years after previous readers/reviewers, who have laid it out quite well. Horowitz''s writing style brings back pleasant memories of his Magpie Murders, as well as his scripts for Midsomer Murders and Foyle''s War. So what can I contribute that would be fresh? For one thing, the Shakespearean allusions are entertaining to this longtime English teacher, but even I failed to grasp their true significance until the very end. Reader, pay close attention to what you remember from your studies: the Freudian dynamic between Hamlet and Gertrude, mirrored with Damian and Diana; Laertes as the foil to Hamlet, reflected by Damian & Dan; the children''s names from Twelfth Night; and of course, bloodshed and murder upon murder. It''s all there in a forehead-smacking moment you might not realize until the conclusion, as I did. Meanwhile, all of this mayhem is played out against English settings that swirl from the page in dazzling descriptions: the funeral parlor and its employees which seem lifted from Dickens'' darkest locales; the opulent mansions of entertainment moguls that seethe with decadent coldness; the gritty seaside village you will recognize if you watch any of a host of BBC mysteries; behind-the-scenes at RADA, where young aspiring actors would happily kill their competition for a juicy, high profile part; Kensington townhouses and penthouses on the Thames. For those of us who can''t travel to the UK during Covid, it''s the next best thing, these virtual sojourns. Then, there are the characters who will keep you guessing in Horowitz''s meta-fiction style: not only are they as varied, eccentric, and suspicious as any you would encounter on BritBox and Acorn whodunits; you will fall under their spell to the point that you will Google some of them, believing them to be real. I found myself making notes on the flyleaf, fan-casting them with favorite performers, as I hope an authentic world production company will soon endeavour to do. Finally, I''ve found myself reading many "heavy" books during the past 18 months, and this one was a delightful change. Although it''s full of gruesome details at times and multiple deaths, Horowitz pulls off an almost lighthearted approach to it, with some of the deadliest scenes punctuated by dry British humor (Hawthorne''s crumpled raincoat must be an homage to Colombo). So put the kettle, on or pour a pint, and enjoy a bloody good romp. Cheers to Anthony & Long live London!
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Top reviews from other countries

Dr. George Sik
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Nice one, Tony!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 17, 2017
This is another cracker from Anthony Horowitz, hot on the heels of The Magpie Murders. If that book had begun deconstructing, playing around and having a lot of fun with the form of the whodunnit, this brand new adventure carries on that theme: this time Horowitz puts...See more
This is another cracker from Anthony Horowitz, hot on the heels of The Magpie Murders. If that book had begun deconstructing, playing around and having a lot of fun with the form of the whodunnit, this brand new adventure carries on that theme: this time Horowitz puts himself into the story - and in the reluctant role of the Watson/Hastings sidekick to boot. His detective this time is a million miles from a Poirot, a Holmes or a Father Brown. Hawthorne swears like a squaddie, chain smokes his way through the case, is as politically correct as Bernard Manning and is not at all easy to get to know. It''s clear that he''s somewhere on the autistic spectrum, but is far from being endearing in the way that, say, Christopher was in The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night Time. Horowitz seemlessly mixes reality with fantasy (of course it''s fiction and none of it happened, but your disbelief is very readily suspended) until you don''t know where one ends and the other begins. Is he using the real name of his agent? Did that building really exist? Has he ever met someone like Hawthorne in real life? There is a wonderful scene where the gruff detective bursts into a meeting about a Tintin film script Horowitz is having with Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson. How much of this happened? You don''t know and, naturally, you don''t care but it creates a deliciously ambiguous halfway house between the world we know and the parallel universe of detective fiction. In fact, Hawthorne is perhaps the most realistic new detective to appear for a very long time. I thought I''d worked it out quite early on and was delighted when the fictional version of Anthony Horowitz (or ''Tony'' as Hawthorne calls him) began thinking along the same lines. We were, of course, both completely wrong. The real Horowitz had flummoxed us as usual.
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SUE, SHROPSHIRE
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
GOOD STORYLINE BUT WAY TO WEIRD FOR ME
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 25, 2018
I was intrigued by the concept of this tale (elderly woman goes into an undertaker''s, arranges her own funeral and is murdered 6 hours later) but a few chapters in, I realised that Anthony Horowitz features in the novel as himself and alarm bells started ringing ...........See more
I was intrigued by the concept of this tale (elderly woman goes into an undertaker''s, arranges her own funeral and is murdered 6 hours later) but a few chapters in, I realised that Anthony Horowitz features in the novel as himself and alarm bells started ringing ........ Having been pressurised into writing about the case by ex-detective Daniel Hawthorne - an oddball character a bit like Adrian Monk from the US TV series ''Monk'' (ie darting off all over the place and never explaining himself) - who has you reaching for the headache pills by Chapter 3: why employ a writer to document a murder you are investigating but keep them in the dark about what''s going on? The line between fact (Horowitz writing for Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson) and fiction (the murder) becomes really blurred and I found myself having to go back and re-read many pages in order to keep up with what was the ''unravelling of the murder'' story and the Anthony Horowitz ''real-life'' narrative (very weird) but even so, it''s not hard to work out ''whodunit''. As another reviewer says, some readers are not going to like this book AT ALL. That would be me. Yes, it''s well plotted and brilliantly written as is most everything produced by Mr Horowitz but it would have been much, much better if he had taken himself out of the equation and written a first-class ''whodunit'' of which he''s more than capable having done an utterly brilliant Sherlock Holmes re-boot with the sensational ''House of Silk'', but this book will leave some readers disappointed, some puzzled, some closing the book in wonderment and some wishing they hadn''t bought it. It appears that there are more of this genre to come, but I won''t be back for No. 2, sorry.
28 people found this helpful
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Jojomaman
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Fun and original crime mystery
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 9, 2018
I have to start by saying this has been the book to surprise me the most this year! I’ve never read a book by Anthony Horowitz before so this audio CD was my first experience of his work. And I absolutely loved The Word Is Murder. EVERYTHING about this book worked for me!...See more
I have to start by saying this has been the book to surprise me the most this year! I’ve never read a book by Anthony Horowitz before so this audio CD was my first experience of his work. And I absolutely loved The Word Is Murder. EVERYTHING about this book worked for me! As I listened to it in the car I found myself taking unnecessarily long journeys whenever I had anywhere to go and once sat on the driveway for nearly an hour “finishing off” takeaway coffee just because I was so caught up in the drama that I didn’t want to turn it off and go into the house!! The story seems to be a simple murder mystery with a private investigator brought in to solve it. But unlike other books, the author himself is actually a character IN HIS OWN BOOK!! Yes, that’s right Anthony Horowitz appears as himself and this gives the book a truly authentic and original feel! Sometimes it felt almost autobiographical as Horowitz talked about his writing plus his current and past projects with plenty of name dropping along the way. The narrator Rory Kinnear really brought him to life, to the point where I would actually hate to hear the real Anthony Horowitz speak as it would ruin my illusions! This was definitely one of the best audio book narration I have heard for a very long time and I would highly recommend listening to this if you like audiobooks. Hawthorne, the private investigator, comes to Horowitz to ask him to write a book (preferred by Hawthorne to be called Hawthorne Investigates!!) about a murder that has taken place. They then work together like a modern day Sherlock Holmes and Watson to solve the crime presented. There are clues along the way that I have to admit I failed to notice but I was so completely involved with the storyline that I was just enjoying the ride too much to even think about solving the crime itself! The characterisation kept me focused throughout the plot as the wonderfully intriguing and enigmatic Hawthorne managed to both wind up and impress Horowitz in equal measures. His way of using his powers of perception to get a rise out of his unlikely partner-in-crime-solving was very funny to listen to. In fact, there was far more humour in the book than I was expecting, and some of it very dark indeed. The comment about the Stieg Larsson book by the side of the dead woman’s bed, actually had me laughing aloud to myself in the car at a moment where there should have been a quiet respect for the murder victim! And I loved listening to Horowitz being “Sherlocked” by his new partner! I’m so glad this is going to be part of a new series because I can’t wait to meet Hawthorne again. For a man of hidden depths, he certainly managed to keep many of those layers under wraps for us to uncover next time! This ingenious crime drama was polished and gripping with a dark sense of humour that worked perfectly within the characterisation and the plot. The factual information threaded throughout the fictional story was fascinating and intrinsically linked to the plotline, raising the standard of what could have been just a solid piece of crime fiction to a very high level indeed. I was surprised by how much I thoroughly enjoyed this and was very sad to leave it by the time the last CD came to an end. Highly recommended by me in any format but the audio CD version really did work well for me.
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Avid Reader
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Egotistical and Boring
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 29, 2017
I have heard Mr Horowitz speak and thought then he had a big ego, yet I quite enjoyed his books. I only got to page 109 on this book as I was fed up of reading about him and his writing for children and television, I''m sure if he had just left it as a murder mystery it...See more
I have heard Mr Horowitz speak and thought then he had a big ego, yet I quite enjoyed his books. I only got to page 109 on this book as I was fed up of reading about him and his writing for children and television, I''m sure if he had just left it as a murder mystery it would have been a good read, it''s just not my cup of tea.
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Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Obvious and egocentric
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 29, 2019
A large proportion of this book was dull and irrelevant to the story line. It’s really Horowitz on Horowitz in large part, with page after page about himself, how clever he (thinks he) is, how talented, how well respected, all the projects he’s ever worked on and how...See more
A large proportion of this book was dull and irrelevant to the story line. It’s really Horowitz on Horowitz in large part, with page after page about himself, how clever he (thinks he) is, how talented, how well respected, all the projects he’s ever worked on and how successful he is blah blah blah. At first it’s irritating and dull, but after a while it comes across as rather sad. embarrassing and pathetic. Horowitz is either his own biggest fan or he has a massive inferiority complex and deciding which category he falls into is the biggest mystery in the book. I guessed the murderer very early on, because it’s not difficult. The reason why the murders were carried out doesn’t stand up - the murderer is just plain bonkers - and the ultimate clue rests on a panic message, sent by one of the victims, being corrupted by auto correct. Except that autocorrect doesn’t transpose the word, sent in the panic message, into the alternative used in the book so that twist doesn’t stand up either. The premise of the book, a writer approached by a police consultant to tell the story of a murder, is a good one but since it was used purely to give Horowitz a vehicle to tell everyone how great he is, it falls flat on its face with a dull thud.
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