The Word Is Murder

The Word Is Murder

A Novel

Book - 2018 | First U.S. edition.
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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.
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2018]
Edition: First U.S. edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780062676788
Branch Call Number: FIC HOROWIT
Characteristics: 390 pages ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

Crime Fiction

Uniquely imagined, intricately plotted, and very funny, this mystery features real people as characters, including the author as the book’s narrator. Suggested by Marie B.

From the critics

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Jul 12, 2019

Stand-alone mystery novel

Jul 03, 2019

Read more books by this author!

Jun 13, 2019

Love how Horowitz integrated himself as one of the main characters in this whodunit mystery along with (true) facts about his personal and professional life. And while the story involves a very British-mystery story, the complicated and hard-nut forced into retirement police investigator makes one wonder if he, too, is a real person. The clever writing results in a very fun read.

May 27, 2019

A terrific book. So happy to discover this writer. He knows how to do a great page-turning story.

Feb 28, 2019

"If you want me to write about it, you're going to have to tell me. Otherwise, I'll have to make it up."

Horowitz adds himself to a book that successfully weaves fact with fiction ... and then the fun begins! He's asked by a brilliant ex-detective to write a book about his investigation into a murder that has baffled the Metro Police. Horwitz follows Hawthorne around in order to learn about him for the book, only to find him impatient, homophobic, and secretive about his life. Cleverly constructed, with fascinating characters! I found myself chuckling at some parts, found plenty of suspense, and best of all - more than one twist I never saw coming!

Feb 13, 2019

Loved this book from the opening scene to the last page. Hawthorne as detective is inscrutable and fascinating and Anthony as the writer is charming and delicious. Anthony Horowitz has wonderful dialogue and creates great characters never letting you know quite who is a red-herring and who is key to the murder solution. Enjoy!!

IndyPL_CarriG Jan 14, 2019

An unexpectedly fun, twisty mystery with a dose of meta-mystery and Arthur Conan Doyle.

A woman walks into a funeral parlor, arranges for her services, and then is murdered that same day. This raises the suspicions of those on the police department enough to bring in their brilliant, yet difficult and irritating, outside consultant Hawthorne. Horowitz writes himself in as the Watson-like character, recording Hawthorne's triumphs and troubles alike.

I think I would have enjoyed it slightly more if Hawthorne's flaws had been less infuriating. Detectives are often troubled, as are brilliant people, and if you are both perhaps you are double-trouble. Hopefully if Horowitz writes more in this series he will give Hawthorne a bit of a redemption. It was still a fun, easy read and I look forward to reading more of Horowitz's work.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Jan 11, 2019

Horowitz does an amazing job of borrowing narrative structures from classic mystery authors and making them his own. This time Horowitz casts a fictional version of himself as the Watson character in a very Sherlock-ian mystery. This is the first in a series that promises to be good fun.

DCLadults Jan 02, 2019

A New & Noteworthy 2018 pick. Horowitz hooked me with this unique presentation of murders where the author becomes a character. My bet is you won’t guess “who did it”!

Nov 26, 2018

This novel gets a point for originality in format if not in plot. It’s written in the first person, which by itself isn’t original, but the trick here is that the author is writing as himself, the real Anthony Horowitz, the writer of Foyle’s War and many successful books. It is populated with various real people he may have encountered in real life like Steven Spielberg, especially people in British television. In the end, though, that’s just a gimmick. The plot is a pretty traditional mystery. The author keeps telling the reader that he just left some clues here and there, but there are more red herrings than useful clues.

The mystery fails from what I call the Agatha Christie Syndrome. You may like Agatha Christie. I don’t. Her books, like this one, are filled with clues, but the way the detective interprets them and successfully solves the case is either ridiculous or depends on information not available to the reader. Thus it is not a fair mystery, i.e. one the reader can solve. In this case the author solves it at the very end by virtue of recognizing somebody, someone not identified to the reader until that point. The author then goes on to describe previous clues that supposedly point to that person, but the reality is that they all could just as easily have been totally random, not related to the mystery at all. Many of them are farfetched and contrived. There were so many red herrings that he could have decided in the last chapter to make the killer someone else that all those clues pointed to.

Much of the book seemed like a cross between an ego trip and a puff piece for his other works, which I found quite irritating. The author does write well, at least, and I found it more interesting than another mystery I started on, so it was not a total loss. It was devoid of objectionable material, which is worth something.

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Aug 12, 2018

rapunzel454 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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