Book Review: Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz

Moonflower Murders 

Publisher: Century
Publication Date: 20th August 2020


Retired publisher Susan Ryeland is running a small hotel on a Greek island with her long-term boyfriend. But life isn’t as idyllic as it should be: exhausted by the responsibility of making everything work on an island where nothing ever does, Susan is beginning to miss her literary life in London – even though her publishing career once entangled her in a lethal literary murder plot.

So when an English couple come to visit with tales of a murder that took place in a hotel the same day their daughter Cecily was married there, Susan can’t help but find herself fascinated.

And when they tell her that Cecily has gone missing a few short hours after reading Atticus Pund Takes The Case, a crime novel Susan edited some years previously, Susan knows she must return to London to find out what has happened.

The clues to the murder and to Cecily’s disappearance must lie within the pages of this novel.

But to save Cecily, Susan must place her own life in mortal danger…


Moonflower Murders is the much anticipated sequel to Magpie Murders, the first book in the Susan Ryeland series. I thoroughly enjoyed the first in the series and was consequently very excited to get my hands on an early copy of Moonflower Murders.

Following on from Magpie Murders, Susan has left the publishing industry and is now running a hotel in Crete with her boyfriend, Andreas. It should be the idyllic life and yet there’s something missing for Susan. So when Susan is approached by the wealthy Lawrence Trehearne, asking her to look into the disappearance of their daughter, Cecily, she cannot resist. She and Andreas need the money and Susan can use the opportunity to see whether a permanent return to the UK could be on the cards.

The book largely follows the same format as Magpie Murders, initially telling of publisher Susan Ryeland’s efforts as an amateur detective before detouring to the adventures of fictional detective Atticus Pünd. The idea of setting a book within a book seems very unique to me and I felt that it worked very well.

The structure of the book enables the author to introduce two separate and complex mysteries for the reader to ponder upon. It is cleverly done, with a small circle of potential suspects and plenty of red herrings to trip the reader up. My own detective skills were severely lacking when it came to working out ‘whodunnit’! 

Moonflower Murders is a wonderful return to the golden age of crime writing. With a complex plot and an engaging writing style, I sincerely hope that Susan Ryeland will be given another outing in the future as I would love to read more about her adventures into amateur sleuthing. Horowitz is a great storyteller

Huge thanks to Random House and NetGalley for providing a review copy of this book.

About the Author

Anthony Horowitz is one of the most prolific and successful writers working in the UK – and is unique for working across so many media. Anthony is a born polymath; juggling writing books, TV series, films, plays and journalism.

Anthony has written over 40 books including the bestselling teen spy series Alex Rider, which he adapted into a movie that was released worldwide in 2006. The Alex Rider series is estimated to have sold 19 million copies worldwide. His highly anticipated novel, Oblivion, the epic conclusion to the Power of Five series, was published in October 2012. Anthony is also an acclaimed writer for adults and was commissioned by the Conan Doyle Estate and Orion Books to write two new Sherlock Holmes novels. The House of Silk was published in November 2011 and was internationally lauded as the top title of the autumn. The sequel, Moriarty, was published in October 2014 with similar success. Most recently he was commissioned by the Ian Fleming Estate to write the James Bond novel Trigger Mortis, which was published on 8th September 2015.

Anthony is responsible for creating and writing some of the UK’s most beloved and successful television series, producing the first seven episodes (and the title) of Midsomer Murders. He is the writer and creator of award-winning drama series Foyle’s War, which was the Winner of the Lew Grade Audience award for BAFTA. DCS Foyle was voted the nation’s favourite detective in 2011. Anthony has also written other original complex dramas for ITV, particularly thrillers. Collision, a major five part “state of the nation” piece was transmitted on ITV1 in November 2009 to seven million viewers a night. He followed this with the equally successful legal thriller Injustice, also for ITV 1 – transmitted in June 2011. Foyle’s War returned in March 2013 as a Cold War thriller and was greeted with such critical acclaim and demands for more that he wrote one final series, bringing the show to an end in January 2015. Anthony’s latest show New Blood will premiere on BBC iPlayer later this year.

Anthony is on the board of the Old Vic Theatre. He regularly contributes to a wide variety of national newspapers and magazines on subjects ranging from politics to education and currently has a travel column in The Telegraph. He has been a patron to East Anglia Children’s Hospices and the anti-bullying charity, Kidscape, since 2008.

Anthony was awarded an OBE for his services to literature in January 2014.

Author Contact Links
Twitter: @anthonyhorowitz


Amazon UK  |  Amazon US Goodreads  |  Waterstones  |  Hive

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