A pair of Horowitzes? (Is that the plural? How about Horowitzim?)

Actually, there’s only one Horowitz that we’re talking about here: Anthony. I’m using the plural metonymically, if that’s the right word, with the author standing in for his books.

Thirteen months ago I reviewed A Line to Kill. Two months ago I reviewed Magpie Murders. Now I’m reviewing The Twist of a Knife and Moonflower Murders. You’ve probably already guessed that Moonflower Murders is the sequel to Magpie Murders, and so it is, so symmetry would demand that The Twist of a Knife must be the sequel to A Line to Kill.

And so it is.

Normally I listen to an audiobook at the same time as I’m reading a printed book. Well, not literally at the same time—more like I read some of book #1 in the morning, then listen to some of audiobook #2 when I’m driving somewhere or going for a walk, and then read some more of book #1 in the evening. To avoid mental confusion, I try to pick ones where the settings as different as possible, so I can enter one world without thinking I’m in the other. Perhaps, let’s say, one is a mystery set in 20th Century rural Scotland and the other is a science fiction novel set in 22nd Century New York. Unfortunately, because of the vagaries of reserving library books, one never knows when a reserved book becomes available, and as a result I found myself with these two 21st-Century-England-based Horowitz mysteries occupying the same fortnight on my reading calendar. Oh well, c’est la vie as they say in London.

Actually it turned out not to be too difficult to keep my mind in the right world at the right time. Moonflower Murders is a classic mystery in the Agatha Christie vein, a bit like a 21st Century Miss Marple, even to the point of the cliché gathering of all the suspects in one room where the amateur detective reveals all. It’s suitably entertaining and puzzling. Like Magpie Murders there is a book-within-a-book, detailing Atticus Pūnd’s solution of a very different but thematically related murder.

The Twist of a Knife, on the other hand, is much more modern, although it pays homage to Sherlock Holmes rather than Ms. Marple. The lead character here is named, oddly enough, Anthony Horowitz, and he goes to see a new play (really was written by Horowitz himself) at the Vaudeville Theatre in London, where… Well, I’ll stop there, but let me just say that the line between fiction and reality is thoroughly blurred. Again entertaining and puzzling if this is your sort of thing. It is mine. Horowitz is the Dr. Watson in this story, and the fictional Daniel Hawthorne fills the Sherlock Holmes role. To add spice and tension, Horowitz is accused of a murder and there is a ton of evidence against him. How does he prove himself innocent? More to the point, how does Hawthorne prove him innocent? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

And also read Moonflower Murders, but only after you’ve read—or at least watched—Magpie Murders. Remember, it’s not The Magpie Murders!

Categories: Books