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The Word Is Murder: A Novel (A Hawthorne and…
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The Word Is Murder: A Novel (A Hawthorne and Horowitz Mystery) (edició 2018)

de Anthony Horowitz (Autor)

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1,2349212,095 (3.82)105
When a wealthy woman is found murdered after planning her own funeral service, disgraced police detective Daniel Hawthorne and his sidekick, author Anthony Horowitz, investigate.
Membre:Stephen.Lawton
Títol:The Word Is Murder: A Novel (A Hawthorne and Horowitz Mystery)
Autors:Anthony Horowitz (Autor)
Informació:Harper (2018), Edition: First Edition, 400 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca, Per llegir
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Etiquetes:to-read

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The Word is Murder de Anthony Horowitz

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This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
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WHAT'S THE WORD IS MURDER ABOUT?
The setup here is that a former police detective, Daniel Hawthorne, is doing some work as a consulting detective and as a consultant for TV. He's one of the consultants on Anthony Horowitz's show, in fact. And now he comes to Horowitz with a proposal, Horowitz should follow him around on some of his cases, watch him at work and write True Crime books about it, with the two splitting the profits.

Horowitz is hesitant but is talked into the deal. And regrets it almost immediately—and would probably walk away from the deal if he wasn't intrigued by Hawthorne (who he really didn't know at all until this point) and the case.

It's hard to say if the murder case is the "A Story" or the "B Story" in this novel—I think it's the A, with the storyline focusing on the writing of Horowitz's first Hawthorne book as the B Story. But it'd be easy to argue the other way—which really doesn't matter, I'm just bringing it up to describe how the novel works.

I should probably talk about the murder case, though—it's pretty clever. A wealthy woman (also the mother of a famous actor) goes to a funeral parlor and starts making arrangements for her funeral. A few hours later, she's murdered. It's not as if she predicted her death (maybe not, anyway, that's to be determined), just the kind of freaky coincidence that gets the attention of journalists, consulting detectives, and spy novelists looking for a new project.

It's not just a good hook—plenty of twists, turns, intrigue, and colorful suspects follow.

NOT THE MOST FLATTERING DEPICTIONS
When you first meet him, you think that Hawthorne's probably just a misunderstood guy because of a combination of his brusque manner and genius. You may even think that this work with Horowitz may lead to a redemptive arc, a rehabilitation arc, or something. But as the book goes on, the less convinced I was of any of that. I think he's just a foul sort of person who's really good at something. By most measures, he's not a good sort of person—but those are frequently fun characters.

Horowitz really doesn't come across much better. I remember in junior high when I came across a handful of mysteries that Steve Allen (yeah, that one) wrote and I couldn't help but wonder why someone would write himself so unflatteringly. I eventually sussed it out and by the time I got to Kinky Friedman's mysteries, I expected it. See also, Brent Spiner's new book. Horowitz fits into that scheme—he's bright enough but doesn't have the stomach, the instincts, or cynicism to handle a murder investigation on his own—which is fitting, he's a writer, not a detective. He's a good Watson figure to Hawthorne—even while it's clear that he wants to do better.

HOW WAS THE NARRATION?
I've listened to interviews with Horowitz before, but I halfway wonder if I listened to another one and it didn't sound like Rory Kinnear if I'd believe it was him. Kinnear did a great job embodying the narration and characters--he's definitely the kind of narrator I'd want to listen to again.

SO, WHAT DID I THINK ABOUT THE WORD IS MURDER?
This was a fun mystery—you put any PI/PI duo in the mystery part of the story and it would've worked well*, it's just so well-conceived. Not surprisingly at all, Horowitz can construct a strong mystery/story and he does that here. I'm ready to read/listen to something like that any day. The victim, the suspects, the various motives, the red herrings, and the ultimate reveal provide everything you want.

* In my mind, that's a compliment to the design of the story. I'm not sure it reads that way when it's read.

What makes this distinct is the characters of Hawthorne and Horowitz—how they interact with each other and the suspects. Their new business relationship and its ups and downs over the course of the novel make this more than just a good PI story and turn it into a series that you're going to want to come back to.

And you will want to. I'm glad there are at least two more and am looking forward to diving in. ( )
  hcnewton | Nov 16, 2021 |
I'm on the fence. But it did make me think I want to read House of Silk. So, mission accomplished. ( )
  Je9 | Aug 10, 2021 |
Ganz netter Krimi mit einer kleinen Homage an Sherlock Holmes. Ganz nett, ganz unterhaltsam, aber nicht mehr. ( )
  Heidi64 | Jul 18, 2021 |
If you had asked me I would have said that another Sherlock Holmes inspired work would not be of interest to me. I would have been wrong. Mr. Horowitz is rapidly becoming another favorite of mine. I read MAGPIE MURDERS (which paid homage to Agatha Christie) and loved it so I decided to try THE WORD IS MURDER. I didn't know it was Holmesian (I try not to read too much about a book before I read it) and it revealed itself subtly. In fact the homage is handled so deftly that it never intruded on my enjoyment of this story. And it is quite a story. The character of Hawthorne (the Holmes stand in) is depicted with great skill. Suffice it to say he is insufferable, as a Holmesian character must be, but also fascinating and almost always "right." Our narrator is of course the Watson surrogate and his voice is wonderful. I don't want to make a mistake of assumption but given that he named the character Anthony Horowitz and his bio matches that of our real life author, his voice may be so good because it is so close to home. Whatever the reason, it makes for a funny and captivating book. As with any Holmes story everything you need is there but it is hard to see until it is all revealed and connected for you. I was amused by the number of cameos by real people in the book. I wonder if any of them has caused Mr. Horowitz any problems in real life. An enjoyable read! The game is indeed afoot. ( )
  MarkMad | Jul 14, 2021 |
mystery, British - on audio
I originally had tried to read the print version, and wasn't keen enough to finish--here is what I wrote: "I wasn't digging the boring, whiny narrator (sorry, Tony! I mean, Anthony!) though I did enjoy the author's Magpie Murders."

2 years later I am trying the audio version, having forgotten all about it, and I'm liking it ok (maybe thanks to some excellent narration by [a:Rory Kinnear|4503082|Rory Kinnear|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/u_50x66-632230dc9882b4352d753eedf9396530.png]?), but still not a huge fan of the way the character is written. It's OK, but not something I am excited to keep reading. Abandoning again after a dozen chapters/5 hours of audio. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
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Just after eleven o'clock on a bright spring morning, the sort of day when the sunshine is almost white and promises a warmth that it doesn't quite deliver, Diana Cowper crossed the Fulham Road and went into a funeral parlour.
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When a wealthy woman is found murdered after planning her own funeral service, disgraced police detective Daniel Hawthorne and his sidekick, author Anthony Horowitz, investigate.

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