The Word Is Murder starts when an elderly woman goes into an undertaker’s, arranges her own funeral……and is murdered 6 hours later.
This is the first book in the Detective Daniel Hawthorne series by Anthony Horowitz.
The story started as a simple murder mystery. The first chapter sets the scene, describing a lady making arrangements for a pre-paid funeral plan, having lunch, attending a committee meeting, etc. All general stuff. Until she is killed six hours later.
Chapter two, however, took an abrupt change of pace as I realised the narrator is the author. In other words Anthony Horowitz was a character in his own book! He describes how he has just written House of Silk and how he is planning a film script, making the book feel like it has plunged into an autobiography.
Was this a work of fiction or a work of fact? For a few chapters I was waivering between the two. On the one hand this felt like a novel. But on the other, he said he had been challenged to move away from fantasy into something real. (I’ve checked on Google and it’s a work of fiction)
Chapter three, entitled Chapter One, is the beginning of his work with Hawthorne, the consulting detective brought in to solve the case. Anthony Horowitz takes on the role of reluctant “Watson” sidekick to Daniel Hawthorne’s “Sherlock Holmes” detective.
In some ways it is like two books in one, in a good way.Throughout the book there are snippets about the crime writing process. Useful for any budding authors.
There are also clues as to Diana Cowper’s murder, along with pointers when we should have spotted things.
I found this a very interesting book. A bit strange at first, as I tried to work out if Diana Cowper had actually existed or not. But highly recommended.
The Word Is Murder was chosen as one of Crime Time’s books of the year in 2017. It is available from City Adventurers Solve The Murder
Also available from Amazon