Mystery

The Word is Murder ( A Hawthorne and Horowitz Mystery Book 1,) by Anthony Horowitz

“Words are, I suppose, my life.”

Everyone has choices. To be honest or to lie. To live for yourself or for others. To fulfill your own dreams or become part of a legacy. To follow the rules of convention…or not.

And what about the rules of writing a mystery? Reading this book made me think of them for the first time. Are there rules? Who makes them? Can any be broken when the story is everything?

Why is this important? Because in this book “about the creation of a book” the author creates an entirely new set of rules. He is the writer, the character, the sidekick, the filter, and the visionary. In real life, Anthony Horowitz is a novelist and screenwriter. In the book he is too. He, like this alter ego of the same name, worked on shows like Midsomer Murders (great show) and Foyle’s War (in my queue.) But in the book he accompanies a fictional Hawthorne–rumpled, evasive, brilliant, retired detective Daniel Hawthorne–on a murder case he is consulting on for the police. The outcome may or may not be the core of the upcoming novel. Diana Cowper has been strangled. Not very original, except she was murdered six hours after meticulously planning her own funeral.

The relationship between the fictional Horowitz and the detective Hawthorne is mercurial, to say the least. How does an author create a character based on someone when he refuses to divulge personal details? These two bicker like an old married couple, but they admire each other too. And, while the murder’s solution isn’t necessarily groundbreaking, this is more about the journey than the destination. A unique and entertaining journey.

9/10 Stars

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