4.5 extremely clever stars
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This was my very first foray into the writings of Mr Horowitz. It will not be my last as its clever writing, easy style and the ability to draw one into the story line is quite alluring. Most alluring is the fact that the author himself is one of the main protagonists. and his being so made this book just plain fun. True, it was a murder and mayhem mystery, but the telling of this tale with Mr Horowitz being exactly what he is an author, made for an excellent way to both get to know him as well as read of his interaction with the very astute but totally weird ex detective Daniel Hawthorne, a bit of a British Detective Columbo.
Just imagine planning your own funeral. Diana Cowper, a wealthy woman with a movie star son, Daniel, does such a thing. The mystery begins when Diana is found strangled in her home only six hours after the master plan of her funeral is arranged. How could she possibly have known she would be dead shortly after seeing the funeral director? Diana had a checkered past being involved ten years ago in a hit and run that left one young boy dead and another irreparably disabled. She also had seemed to get away with it with only a bit of a slap on the wrist which might be another little clue to the story.
Therein lies the case who killed Diana, and as Hawthorne meets with Horowitz we learn that the ex detective wants Horowitz to write a book on his exploits. They develop a kind of tenuous relationship as “Tony”(by the way he hates being called that), learns more and more about the elusive Hawthorn and his uncanny ability to see clues and solutions where none seem to be apparent. It is their interchange and search for the killer which drives this story forward with quite a few twists and turns with a nice amount of shady characters with possible motives.
This was such a great read. I absolutely loved that the author inserted himself into the story and quite honestly had to ask myself could this be real? The interplay of the characters was a draw as well as the ending which was quite threatening to our author, or was it?
I highly recommend this book for those who are looking for a different way of both writing and telling a story that was hard to put down. Clever and witty and one in which I do hope to see “Tony” and Daniel meet up once again and get that Hawthorne book written.
Thank you to Anthony Horowitz, Harper Publishing, and Edelweiss for forwarding me an advanced copy of this totally engaging novel. Well done “Tony”!
Publishing on June 5, 2018