‘It’s about a murder.’
Like ‘Magpie Murders’, this is a book within a book. It is a follow-up to ‘Magpie Murders’ and while it can be read as a standalone novel, the background from the earlier book is useful.
The main character in this novel is Susan Ryeland, now a retired publisher living on a small Greek Island with her boyfriend Andreas. They are running a small hotel, but it is particularly challenging, and Susan is starting to miss her previous life.
Two visitors arrive at the hotel – the Trehernes – and they tell Susan a mysterious story. A murder took place at their hotel in Suffolk, UK, on the day of their daughter’s wedding. A man was convicted of the murder. But the couple were recently contacted by their daughter Cecily who told them that she had read a novel about the famous literary detective Atticus Pünd based on a murder which had taken place at their hotel. Cecily claimed that the novel, ‘Atticus Pünd Takes the Case’ by Alan Conway, proved that the wrong man had been convicted. Cecily has now gone missing. Can Susan help? After all, she had edited and published this novel and must have some insights. The Trehernes have read the novel but can’t see any connections.
Susan is fascinated. And when the Trehernes offer her a fee (which will help her and Andreas with their hotel), she is happy to return to the UK.
‘The whole thing should be easy when actually it makes no sense at all.’
I really enjoyed this novel. So many red herrings and twists to negotiate. There are similarities between the murder mystery in ‘Atticus Pünd Takes the Case’ and the murder that took place on Cecily Treherne’s wedding day. Who was responsible for the murder? And where is Cecily?
Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.