Book Review: The Word Is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

Since I was very young, I’ve always been a big fan of good mysteries. I still remember when I first got The Hound Of The Baskervilles, by Arthur Conan Doyle. It was a delight!

Then, fast forward to a year or so ago, and I was reading The Magpie Murders, my first Anthony Horowitz novel. I loved it so much, and I still need to write at least a short review here.

After that excellent first impression on an exceptional mystery novel, of course I was going to get another Horowitz novel. So I got The Word Is Murder, the first book on the Detective Daniel Hawthorne series, published in 2017.

SHE PLANNED HER OWN FUNERAL. BUT DID SHE ARRANGE HER MURDER?
Buried secrets, murder and a trail of bloody clues lie at the heart of Anthony Horowitz’s new detective series.
A wealthy woman strangled six hours after she’s arranged her own funeral.
A very private detective uncovering secrets but hiding his own.
A reluctant author drawn into a story he can’t control.
What do they have in common?

This book is narrated by Horowitz himself, as presents a very interesting blend of fiction and reality. He is the narrator, which was approached by a detective to write a true crime book on an ongoing investigation he’s beginning. It’s very interesting to read the author himself, or his book version, talking about how it’s different to write a true crime book instead of fiction. But that can also be a weakness, as in some very few occasions I though that some details and thinking could be left out.

Besides the somewhat unusual narrative style, the plot is also very interesting. It was great to try to guess who did it, and be completely surprised on how things turn out. Also, I usually read either older mystery books (Agatha Christie and Conan Doyle), or books that are historical mysteries. So, reading a contemporary mystery is very interesting and kinda new to me. And Horowitz definitely uses that to his advantage. I was completely surprised on how one little detail set my theories (and the narrator’s) all wrong.

With that being said, even though I enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it to mystery fans, I think that The Magpie Murders is a better book. Anyway, you can’t go wrong with either book.

Bottom Line: Recommended! Interesting and innovative narrative, strong plot and surprising end makes it for a must read for mystery fans.