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SHE PLANNED HER OWN FUNERAL. BUT DID SHE ARRANGE HER MURDER? Buried secrets, murder and a trail of bloody clues lie at the heart of Anthony Horowitz’s page-turning new detective series. If you enjoyed BBC’s Sherlock, you’ll LOVE The Word is Murder!

SHE PLANNED HER OWN FUNERAL. BUT DID SHE ARRANGE HER OWN MURDER?

A woman is strangled six hours after organising her own funeral.

Did she know she was going to die? Did she recognise her killer?

Daniel Hawthorne, a recalcitrant detective with secrets of his own, is on the case, together with his reluctant side-kick – a man completely unaccustomed to the world of crime.

But even Hawthorne isn't prepared for the twists and turns in store – as unexpected as they are bloody...
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Buried secrets, murder and a trail of bloody clues lie at the heart of Anthony Horowitz’s page-turning new detective series. If you enjoyed BBC’s Sherlock, you’ll LOVE The Word is Murder.
Chosen as one of Crime Time's books of the year

'Raises the game-playing to Olympic level' – Guardian Books of the Year
'A real page-turner. I loved it!' – ALED JONES (ITV, Weekend)

'The beguiling whodunit plot is dispatched with characteristic elan as Horowitz blurs the line between fact and fiction' – Financial Times

'Splendidly entertaining, absorbing and difficult to put down. Hawthorne is an intriguing character' – Daily Express

'Sharp-witted readers who think they've solved the puzzle early on can rest assured that they've opened only one of many dazzling Christmas packages Horowitz has left beautifully wrapped under the tree' – Kirkus Reviews

'Deduction and wit are well-balanced, and fans of Peter Lovesey and other modern channelers of the spirit of the golden age of detection will clamor for more' – Publishers Weekly

Reviews

Raises the game-playing to Olympic level.

Guardian Books of the Year

A real page-turner. I loved it!

ALED JONES (ITV, Weekend)

Actually the word is not murder, it's ingenious ... A masterful meta-mystery.

Booklist

Ingenious twist on the classic whodunnit

The Guardian

The beguiling whodunit plot is dispatched with characteristic elan as Horowitz blurs the line between fact and fiction

Financial Times

Splendidly entertaining, absorbing and difficult to put down. Hawthorne is an intriguing character

Daily Express

There is plenty of metafictional fun to be had

The Guardian

Horowitz is strong on plot … and infectiously zestful

Daily Telegraph

Horowitz has put together a cleverly twisting mystery featuring plenty of suspicious characters and more than a few red herrings

Nudge

Fast-paced and full of unpredictable twists and turns.

The Times Audiobook of the week

With its unorthodox protagonist, clever plotting, brilliantly imperfect characters, and escalating sense of urgency and intrigue, The Word is Murder is an instant crime classic that will keep you reading as fast as you can… one of the best and most compulsively readable mysteries of the year. Hugely satisfying on every level.

Written by Sime

A very clever and inventive mystery

Bookbag

keeps you guessing until the excellent solution

Country Life

Prepare for plenty of twists and turns

i paper

A perfect detective novel in a unique style complete with an excellent twist!

Life Has a Funny Way of Sneaking Up On You

Will undoubtedly exhilarate not only crime and Horowitz fans but anyone who enjoys the sense of metafiction and fourth wall breaking found in books by authors like Lemony Snicket, Bret Easton Ellis and Martin Amis.

Fiendfully Reading

Sharp-witted readers who think they've solved the puzzle early on can rest assured that they've opened only one of many dazzling Christmas packages Horowitz has left beautifully wrapped under the tree.

Kirkus Reviews

Horowitz is a highly accomplished author and his writing is immediately engaging …The whole book is exceptionally well executed. The Word is Murder follows the conventions of the thriller genre but it also feels new and original. I found this book refreshing, incredibly readable and, actually, the word I want to use is delightful!

Bibliomaniac blog

The Word is Murder is an excellent detective story, with a very satisfying set of twists and turns which keep you guessing as to the true identity of the killer.

NZ Booklovers

Deduction and wit are well-balanced, and fans of Peter Lovesey and other modern channelers of the spirit of the golden age of detection will clamor for more.

Publishers Weekly

An extremely entertaining read … I immensely enjoyed this book

Lavender Books Blog

The dramatic finale to the case has you on the edge of your seat and the ending has a delightfully entertaining twist

Cross Examining Crime blog

The Word Is Murderis an intriguing labyrinth of whodunnits and a true page-turner throughout

Real Crime Magazine

A quirky, highly original first person narrative … The whole story is a real page turner, with a splendid mix of murder mystery, suspense and thriller with a large dose of more factual information concerning the author’s work as an author and scriptwriter

Splashes Into Books blog

This has to be one of the most unique books I’ve read, complete with plenty of angst, twists and turns to keep readers guessing to the very end. The story is an enthralling skilful blend of fact and fiction, mixed together by a highly talented wordsmith to create a superb murder mystery that I have no hesitation whatsoever in highly recommending

Splashes Into Books blog

A chilling tale

Woman's Own

The Word Is Murder is a captivating tale with an interesting mix of blood, murder and humour only Horowitz could pull off… As the book neared the end, I found myself literally gaping in shock as the killer was revealed. It was not only a great and suspenseful read but also a great mystery-murder novel which keeps you wanting to learn more and comes full circle

Twelve Pale Roses blog

Anthony Horowitz is a wonderfully tricksy, playful and mischievous writer. A very clever one, too … As should be obvious, highly, highly recommended

Lady Fancifull blog

Horowitz is undeniably brilliant at plot construction

Metro

What an interesting and curious story … A modern day Holmes and Watson, an intriguing story and a tale of observation

Lynn’s Books blog

This book is simply magnificent … Horowitz fans are going to love this book, as are all fans of classic detective novels.

The Most Sublime blog

I found this novel a sheer delight from start to finish

Harriet Devine blog

The Word is Murderis a fresh, funny twist on the classic murder mystery

Roaring Bookworm blog

Confident writing by an author with an established voice, at the top of his game. I was hooked, I stayed to the end, and it was a delight.

Crime Fiction Lover

Crazy, cool, and totally enthralling. It's like nothing you've read before- prepare to be amazed and read all night.

Booklovers 3

An ‘old-fashioned-but-still-modern’ detective novel. Loved it!’

Nudge

fact and fiction mingle enjoyably

Sunday Express

A delicious whodunit, which promises pure diversion

TLS, Summer Books feature

A delicious whodunit, which promises pure diversion

TLS, Summer Books feature

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9781784757236

    June 18, 2018

    Arrow

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Extract

Chapter One

Just after eleven o’clock on a bright spring morning, the sort of day when the sunshine is almost white and promises a warmth that it doesn’t quite deliver, Diana Cowper crossed the Fulham Road and went into a funeral parlour.

She was a short, very businesslike woman: there was a sense of determination in her eyes, her sharply cut hair, the very way she walked. If you saw her coming, your first instinct would be to step aside and let her pass. And yet there was nothing unkind about her. She was in her sixties with a pleasant, round face. She was expensively dressed with a pale raincoat which hung open to reveal a pink jersey and grey skirt. She wore a heavy bead and stone necklace, which might or might not have been expensive, and a number of diamond rings that most certainly were. There were plenty of women like her in the streets of Fulham and South Kensington. She might have been on her way to lunch or to an art gallery.

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