#BookReview | The Word Is Murder by @AnthonyHorowitz

cover109632-mediumDate of Publication: 24th August 2017


I don’t think I have ever read a book in the style that this one has been written. The narrator of the story is Mr. Horowitz himself.  To start, the reader is introduced to Diana Cowper, she is making plans for her own funeral, six hours later she is dead.  Then I got a little confused, what I appeared to be reading was like a C.V of the achievements of the author, this however was the lead up to the main story.

So the main story concerns Horowitz and ex police officer Detective Hawthorne.  He has approached Horowitz to write a true crime book for him, it will entail Horowitz shadowing Hawthorne as he is investigating a bizarre and intriguing murder.  This is where the book shows its unique quirkiness. As the case unfolds everything is recorded by Horowitz, to be later used in the book.  It is during this time that we get a glimpse into the mind of a writer doing research, he is given all he needs for the book by Hawthorne.  Horowitz sees clues where there are none, and Horowitz effectively guides the reader through red herrings, just as he is in the book.  Hawthorne has a tenacity through HIS investigation, he is a stickler for detail and therefore will allow not artistic license.  Because of this everything is relevant and is not flowery or padded out.

I absolutely adored the character of Hawthorne.  He is a loner, he is annoying, does not give any personal details away, he is a character I still know little about.  But what he lacks in details is made up for by the way Horowitz has developed quite a complex character, giving away odd little traits and habits.  Even though Hawthorne has his own hunches and ideas, we are never given any glimpse from this charcter as to who the culprit is.  For Horowitz, hispart in the story,  apart from telling of his past, present and future projects and the name dropping of films, shows, actors etc, was his ability to lay himself open to being wrong and the often barbed comments from Hawthorne, they happened often, and I do admit to sniggering a few times.  Even when Horowitz thinks he has an idea, Hawthorne just blows holes in them and knocks them aside.  Before I got to the actual unveiling of the murderer, I still had no idea who it was.  It is left to Hawthorne to explain how, when and why everything happened the way it did, very much in the way Agatha Christie would have done in her books.

This is a blend of fact and fiction that has been warped and twisted into a very addictive read. It hooked me from the very beginning and did not let go, there are stories within stories, facts, details, characters, mis-direction and false leads throughout, but it is very well put together so that it all makes sense and flows well and at a very good pace. I have found this story to be so difficult to review because I really don’t want to give anything away, if you have read this book, then you will know exactly what I mean.  If you have not read this book, then go get yourself a copy, right now.

I would like to thank Netgalley and Random House UK, Cornerstone for my copy of this book.  My thoughts are my own and are unbiased and honest.


SHE PLANNED HER OWN FUNERAL. BUT DID SHE ARRANGE HER MURDER? Buried secrets, murder and a trail of bloody clues lie at the heart of Anthony Horowitz’s page-turning new detective series. If you enjoyed BBC’s Sherlock, you’ll LOVE The Word is Murder!

“A very clever and inventive mystery” (Bookbag)
“A perfect detective novel in a unique style complete with an excellent twist!” (Life Has a Funny Way of Sneaking Up On You)
‘With its unorthodox protagonist, clever plotting, brilliantly imperfect characters, and escalating sense of urgency and intrigue, THE WORD IS MURDER is an instant crime classic that will keep you reading as fast as you can… one of the best and most compulsively readable mysteries of the year. Hugely satisfying on every level.” (Written by Sime)

A wealthy woman strangled six hours after she’s arranged her own funeral.

A very private detective uncovering secrets but hiding his own.

A reluctant author drawn into a story he can’t control.

What do they have in common?

Unexpected death, an unsolved mystery and a trail of bloody clues lie at the heart of Anthony Horowitz’s page-turning new thriller.


Anthony Horowitz is the author of the number one bestselling Alex Rider books and The Power of Five series. He has enjoyed huge success as a writer for both children and adults, most recently with the latest adventure in the Alex Rider series, Russian Roulette and the highly acclaimed Sherlock Holmes novel, The House of Silk. His latest novel, Moriarty, is also set in the world of Sherlock Holmes and was published in October 2014. Anthony was also chosen by the Ian Fleming estate to write the new James Bond novel which will be published next year. Anthony has won numerous awards, including the Bookseller Association/Nielsen Author of the Year Award, the Children’s Book of the Year Award at the British Book Awards, and the Red House Children’s Book Award. In 2014 Anthony was awarded an OBE for Services to Literature. He has also created and written many major television series, including Injustice, Collision and the award-winning Foyle’s War.
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Link for “The Word is Murder” on  Amazon