The Word Is Murder

The Word Is Murder

Book - 2018
Average Rating:
Rate this:
When a wealthy woman is found murdered after planning her own funeral service, disgraced police detective Daniel Hawthorne and his sidekick, author Anthony Horowitz, investigate.
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2018]
Edition: First U.S. edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780062676788
Characteristics: 390 pages ; 24 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

vm510 Sep 10, 2018

An interesting mystery but I wish the main characters were more relatable and charming. I didn't care to read about these two new Sherlock & Holmes characters as much as I enjoyed the cast of characters in Magpie Murders.

Sep 04, 2018

If you like your mysteries with a slight side of meta, Anthony Horowitz's latest two stand-alone mysteries are a real treat. The Word is Murder is narrated by Horowitz himself, or a fictional counterpart, as a prickly detective hires Horowitz to write about him. Horowitz is intrigued by the detective's latest case--a woman goes into a funeral home to plan her funeral and winds up dead the same day. The mystery itself is filled with twists and layers, and the set-up of Horowitz as narrator adds a fun layer throughout.

Aug 22, 2018

Horowitz always writes a good mystery, and placing himself front and center in this book makes it even more interesting, His sidekick, a dour former British police detective adds to the story.

Aug 19, 2018

This interesting murder mystery mixes both fact and fiction. Anthony Horowitz is hired by ex-detective and police consultant, Daniel Hawthorne, to co-investigate the strange murder of a woman on the very day that she arranged her own funeral.
If you are a fan of Anthony Horowitz (Fowles War, Midsomer Murders, Magpie Murders, House of Silk, Alex Rider series, etc.) then you'll enjoy the focus on Horowitz and his descriptions of how he develops his characters and plots. The murder mystery itself I'd just give 3/5 stars.

Aug 15, 2018

An unusual premise: the author as character, but the momentum of the story makes you stick with it... and then the ending... sort of the-butler-did-it. Did laugh a bit. Well worth your time zipping through it. One reviewer said not for "cozy readers"; not sure what that means, but I would probably urge cozy readers to try it.. not over the top in murder and mayhem and the unique viewpoint is worth trying it on "for size".

Aug 12, 2018

It took a little while to get used to the writing style, with the author being the main character, but it was an interesting perspective. The mystery was intriguing and it was an enjoyable read.

GCPL_Angela Jul 22, 2018

I wanted to love it, but it just wasn't as good as Magpie Murders. While the central mystery is satisfyingly twisty (arguably, the most important quality to look for in a mystery novel), the main detective is neither likable nor compellingly unlikable. And while the "author-as-character" device employed here still feels fresh enough to be interesting, at times it does come across as rather self-indulgent.

Cozy readers beware -- there's more violence here than you'll find in your typical Christie-esque mystery. It's not extensive, but what's there does make the tone a bit darker and grittier than what I was expecting after reading Magpie Murders. Recommended with some reservations; mystery readers who also enjoy suspense/thrillers are unlikely to be bothered by the violence, but cozy readers may want to take a pass.

Jul 11, 2018

Loved this story. Horowitz has a way with words - they come so easily to him. It felt like he was telling me the story in a conversation with him rather than me reading his book. Horowitz has a unique take on writing this detective story. I laughed when he directed his reader to read clues he left in previous pages. I agreed with him when he thought he could unveil who had been the murderer, but as usual we were wrong. I was shocked when he unwittingly went to confront a suspect who turned against him. I enjoyed all of the name dropping of plays, TV dramas, and movies. It was interesting to read about the behind the scenes efforts of authors and their producers who make these productions. I was astounded at the many rewrites authors expect to do of these scripts. But those were the sidelights. The main story itself is fascinating - a woman dies on the day she visits a funeral home to make arrangements for her own funeral. Horowitz ties everything together neatly, even why that woman at the book fair said those words to her.

ehbooklover Jul 03, 2018

Another great mystery by Anthony Horowitz. It's chock full of red herrings that kept me changing my mind about who-dunnit plus it has a very unique narrator (it's actually the real author!) I just LOVED this book so much.

Jun 25, 2018

Mischievous and Marvelous!

Horowitz' latest homage to the classic Golden Age mystery winningly updates the genre with his playful mixing of fact and fiction. The author inserts his real self (complete with references to actors, producers and directors with whom he's worked or wanted to work--the scene with Spielberg and Peter Jackson is hilarious) in the fictional mystery. As with his other work, this is a "fair" mystery; the clues are there for the reader to solve the puzzle although the solution is far from obvious. Getting to that solution is delightful. Wonderful prose, interesting characters and vivid descriptions of the London locations in particular make this very entertaining. I read it in a single sitting because I enjoyed it so much. I highly recommend it for all mystery fans.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

Aug 12, 2018

rapunzel454 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at DPL

To Top