Review: The Word Is Murder by Anthony Horowitz


Release: 2018
Publisher: Century
Genre: Mystery & Thriller

I don’t even know how to describe this book. It was a buddy read with a friend and we chose it because we saw it had just come out and the premise was exciting: a woman enters a funeral parlor, arranges her funeral, and she’s killed some hours later. Is it a coincidence? Who killed her and why? Did she know?

I definitely didn’t expect the novel to be so “meta”, it’s almost impossible to describe. This is a book within a book, a story where the author is the main character. Yes, you’ve read it right. Anthony Horowitz is the main character of this book, along with detective Hawthorne. In the novel, the author is hired by an ex-cop to write a book about his investigations. And the funeral mystery is the first one of them, so Anthony is expected to join Hawthorne and help him investigate.

The mystery was delightful. It reminded me of a classic Agatha Christie novel and I honestly had no idea of who the killer was. So many red herrings! The ending caught me completely by surprise and it was so smart that I even smiled when I realized the way Anthony had crafted the story to be so twisted and clever. I totally recommend it if you enjoy traditional mysteries.

However, as much as I ended up enjoying the book, and believe me, I finished it with a big smile on my face, it wasn’t always that way. The beginning, especially Anthony’s stories about his writing and meetings with film directors, etc, had me on my nerves. What exactly was the point of that? I’m sorry, but I care about the mystery, not your personal biography! Even after I finished the book, I still can’t understand why it was important to know that Anthony Horowitz had written a series about the war, the Tintin script, or that he was writing the new Sherlock Holmes series. Did anyone else feel the same way?



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