Reviews

Moonflower Murders, by Anthony Horowitz

laikiaroo's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

I enjoy the book within a book

knit1purfle2's review against another edition

Go to review page

medium-paced

3.75

chibireads's review against another edition

Go to review page

mysterious slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

2.5

 This was, most of all, simply too long. Susan wasn't a very likable character and I didn't care enough for her to be even remotely interested in her relationship struggles with Andreas etc. The same goes for any other character introduced in this book or brought back to the story. It's also very unfortunate that Horowitz seemed to only be able to portray gay characters in a very homophobic way. I'd prefer if he'd leave them out of his stories completely if this is the only way he can portray them. Especially for books set in todays age.
Like with the first book the novel within a novel aspect (& this time the story) ended up being more interesting to me than the actual story itself and while this added to my enjoyment in the first one I realized I wasn't interested in the main story at all once the book was over and I had to get back to it. I don't know what it says about me or the book when the best part in my opinion was the book which was either heavily based on or basically a carbon copy of an Agatha Christie novel.
I personally think Horowitz should have left Magpie Murders as a standalone novel and will definitely not pick up any other book in this series should there be any more published.

bluemiriam's review against another edition

Go to review page

2.0

I found all of the characters in the main story to be flat and unlikeable. Susan was highly judgemental and did not have the cleverness to carry the story as a detective, plus she seemed to not actually care about the mystery much. Horowitz wrote some thoughts for her that basically served as telling us answers without any evidence
Spoiler For example, she simply decided in an inner monologue that Cecily was dead, without including any reasoning at all, and happened to be right. In fact, the whole resolution was based on Susan telling a story with no evidence and only a thin assumption based on astrology.
The story put its gay characters into the worst possible light, conflating their homosexuality with manipulative and cruel character traits.
The idea of a book within a book was interesting, but it pushed the story as a whole into an incredibly long slog. The secondary book essentially stole Agatha Christie's detective Poirot for the main character of Atticus Pund, and told a perfectly fine detective story in her style. It was not special enough to save the book from the awful outer story with Susan Ryeland. Overall, a weak story with a disappointing ending and several highly problematic tropes.

biblioteca_nati's review against another edition

Go to review page

mysterious slow-paced

2.75

ljhind's review against another edition

Go to review page

challenging dark mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

shoelessmama's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

Quality-wise this was a solid 3 stars, but it gets bumped up to a 4 for pure enjoyment. More, please!

chrissiewhitley's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

Why did I get the impression that the two of them were playing some sort of game? They reminded me of the husband and wife in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, the ones who invite a young couple into their home only to rip them apart.


Few books can employ the use of a gimmick the way Horowitz did in [b:Magpie Murders|32075854|Magpie Murders (Susan Ryeland, #1)|Anthony Horowitz|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1504599398l/32075854._SY75_.jpg|3829748] by using the story-within-a-story technique and not have it feel gimmicky. Not to mention, have it work successfully. Horowitz did that in spades in his first Susan Ryeland book. And to attempt to not only have a follow-up, but to also make use of the same technique again — and somehow still not have it feel gimmicky (and perhaps do it better) — is nothing short of a wonder. And yet he's done it.

That's it. Normally it's not quite meant; normally it is some sort of banner blurb with which to decorate the cover: [He's] Done It Again! But, dammit, he has. Anagrams, symbolism, hidden clues, and literary connections abound. A few years after the events of the first book, former book editor, Susan Ryeland — who was compelled to play amateur sleuth in [b:Magpie Murders|32075854|Magpie Murders (Susan Ryeland, #1)|Anthony Horowitz|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1504599398l/32075854._SY75_.jpg|3829748] – is now in Crete, running a small hotel. She's getting a bit restless and worn down, so when an English couple seek her out in order to help solve the disappearance of their (adult) daughter, Ryeland jumps at the chance to briefly return to the life she thinks she's missing.

The Trehernes, the family hiring Ryeland, own a luxury hotel in Suffolk — the location where a man named Frank Parris was murdered almost a decade ago. Following that murder, Alan Conway (the author we all feel like we know but have actually never met on the page due to his death launching Susan Ryeland into detective work in the first place), takes a trip to this hotel and proceeds to surreptitiously gather information about Frank's death which he turns into his next Atticus Pünd novel — his third at the time.

Recently, Lawrence and Pauline Treherne had been phoned by their daughter, Cecily — who lives at and helps run the Suffolk hotel. Cecily believes the clues that indicate that the police arrested the wrong man for Frank's murder are within Atticus Pünd Takes the Case. And now she's disappeared.

I admit that I was bordering on being both irritated and stubbornly bored at more than a third of the way into Moonflower Murders, as I was growing increasingly dismayed that Susan Ryeland had still yet to begin reading the book within, Atticus Pünd Takes the Case. But given the incredible ending — an ending that I was sure I'd solved (spoiler: I was wrong) — which is incredible by way of the complex series of connections Horowitz has the in-book author, Alan Conway, tie into the real-life murder, anything that was done in the preceding pages pays off at the end.
Everything in life has a pattern and a coincidence is simply the moment when the pattern becomes briefly visible.


Audiobook, as narrated by [a:Lesley Manville|3429301|Lesley Manville|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/f_50x66-6a03a5c12233c941481992b82eea8d23.png] and [a:Allan Corduner|551119|Allan Corduner|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1517301180p2/551119.jpg]: Having previously been narrated by [a:Samantha Bond|6915071|Samantha Bond|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1517399541p2/6915071.jpg], it took me only a few minutes to acclimate to the wonderful narration from Manville for the Susan Ryeland character, who holds together both books for the framing story. I was pleased on several accounts (as stated above) when Corduner began his brilliant narration for the story within, Atticus Pünd Takes the Case. I have no idea what to expect next, if there will be a next, for the Susan Ryeland series but I hope against hope that Corduner will return — and I'd love Manville or Bond equally, but please don't rotate in a third Susan.

k8thegr8reader's review against another edition

Go to review page

Nope. I forgot why I didn’t enjoy the first one of these, but apparently this series is just not for me.

ncostell's review against another edition

Go to review page

mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75