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Moonflower Murders

Series: Magpie Murders, Book 2
Length: 18 hrs and 29 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (85 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Featuring his famous literary Detective Atticus Pund and Susan Ryeland, hero of the worldwide best seller Magpie Murders, a brilliantly brain-teasing literary thriller by Anthony Horowitz. The follow-up to Magpie Murders.

Retired publisher Susan Ryeland is living the good life. She is running a small hotel on a Greek island with her long-term boyfriend, Andreas. It should be everything she's always wanted - but is it? She's exhausted with the responsibilities of making everything work on an island where nothing ever does, and truth be told she's beginning to miss her old life in London.

And then a couple - the Trehearnes - come to stay, and the story they tell about an unfortunate murder that took place on the same day and in the same hotel in which their daughter was married is such a strange and mysterious one that Susan finds herself increasingly fascinated by it. And when the Trehearnes tell her that their daughter is now missing, Susan knows that she must return to London and find out what really happened....

©2020 Anthony Horowitz (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"So clever, a story within a story within a story. A triumph, and a lovely way to spend a weekend...." (Kate Mosse)

What listeners say about Moonflower Murders

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Fabulous

I loved this book and loved the reader too. Better than Magpie Murders I think

1 person found this helpful

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Fabulous, but listen to Magpie Murders first

I love the way Horowitz does a book in a book. This time, with Moonflower Murders, I did get quite lost when the story returned to the main book, but I enjoyed everything else so much it didn't matter. I listened to Manville (the female narrator) on speed 1.15 to give it a bit more kick, but put it back to 1.00 for Corduner. I love the Greek/German private investigator and just want more and more and more!

1 person found this helpful

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Best of its kind -- by a mile!

This is pure escapist pleasure. The plotting is brilliantly done. Not one but two perfectly constructed whodunnits. Wonderfully read. Virtually flawless :)

1 person found this helpful

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Anthony Horowitz is a great writer

Very long but very entertaining yes I liked this 18 hour of audible book very much. Yay!!!

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uniquely intriguing!

A complex tale ... 2 stories within 1 book. I thoroughly enjoyed it, so different from your regular who done it book!

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Great follow up to Magpie Murders

Pretty solid story and loved the book within a book concept. Missed Samantha Bond who narrated the first book. This narrator was good but there were a few times where her voice wasn't different enough for the husband and wife. This could be read without reading Magpie murders but I would recommend you did.

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  • Mani S.
  • 29-08-2020

Excellent mystery and 2 for 1 stories

Another 5 star book from Horowitz. He skilfully blends the classic Agatha Christie style of detective fiction with a more modern tale. While the story/ reality connection isn't as strong as it was in Magpie Murders, it still takes a bunch of interesting characters and tells a compelling tale. I loved every little twist. The best thing about Horowitz is that just as you think you have picked up an interesting clue, the characters get them as well and the author does something surprising and satisfying with it. He is a masterful storyteller who doesn't cheat the readers. And just when you see something slightly problematic he comes in as his own critic. Susan Ryeland is a great addition to the genre of people who don't seem like detectives but are pretty good at it. She's a very human protagonist and quite competent. Most of all, she doesn't do unnecessarily risky or stupid things. I've been waiting for this book for nearly 7 months and I wasn't disappointed. Hope Horowitz revisits this world in another book soon. Special mention of the narrators who brought the characters to life. They did an excellent job.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Trixie
  • 02-09-2020

Slow and over long

Why wasn’t Samantha Bond doing the narration? She brought warmth and personality to Susan Ryeland in the first book, which Lesley Manville’s rather stilted performance lacked in this one. Allan Corduner did his usual excellent job. I thought the book would never end. It just went on and on, getting more improbable and full of unnecessary detail. Could have done with a better editor - maybe Susan Ryeland is available? She might even get Andreas to speak instead of being a cardboard cut-out. I’ve heard of the strong silent type but he takes the biscuit. I usually love Horowitz stories but this one is the exception. He’s thrown everything at it but ended up with a ragbag of mostly unappealing characters using every cliché in the book. Could do better (and usually does).

11 people found this helpful

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  • Patricia
  • 23-08-2020

Masterpiece Writing from a master writer.

Love these books. Eighteen and a half hours of entertainment for one Audible credit. Genteel murder at its best and a story within a story with an extra one on top. Value for money.

5 people found this helpful

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  • CM
  • 27-08-2020

So Clever !

I was really looking forward to this book coming out. I always enjoy Anthony Horowitz writing and loved Magpie Murders. This second book did not disappoint , it is again two books in one. With some of the characters from the previous book but with a whole new plot. His writing is so good and the plot so clever. The narrators were also very easy to listen. At times I wished I’d had the book in front of me to refer to as there are many characters and names to remember as the plot unfolds.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Sararara
  • 11-09-2020

Very clever but

This book went on and on and on, although you know the tangled threads will come together in an elegantly worked conclusion. But it was very very slow and Susan is very uninteresting, not helped by rather stilted narration this time round. Did we really need to have a complete quasi-Poirot novel part way in? A novella would have sufficed, and it was even mentioned in the text as being padded out. I love the meta referencing and analysis, as Horowitz is a master of detective fiction, but the tone was a little too smug. Plus the portrayal of gay men had a rather negative 1980s feel, They all seemed to engage in sordid acts and be of dubious moral character. All-in-all the book was not exactly boring but was repetitive (how many times was the Pund title mentioned?) and definitely bloated at 18 and a half hours/357 pages.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Podenco Fan
  • 10-09-2020

Magpie Murders' plainer sometime plodding sibling

Magpie Murders is one of my favourite books and I loved the unique format, the homage to Christie and other greats and the fact it was a right, riveting rollercoaster of a ride which left me mystified, thrilled, shocked, astonished and enchanted. The superb narration was the final sparkle on a dazzling gem Oh how I longed for another Magpie Murders to emerge -though I do love "The Word Is Murder" series too. I did not really dare hope that Magpie Murders would have a sequel and pre-ordered the moment I found out. I suppose the first disappointment was the lack of the deliciously plummy Samantha Bond who I just adore listening too. Yes her replacement had shades of her as in maybe a distant cousin or great aunt but the similarities really only were a painful reminder that this book is very different from Magpie Murders. I really enjoyed the editorial sleuthing and insights into the world of publishing but maybe living in Crete has just taken the edge off the sharp brain we saw in Magpie Murders - I really found at times I seemed to be trudging though the deductions like a tired teacher marking homework. There was one sequence so laborious that the book (within the book) was referred to by initials. I took about ten times longer to read this book also whereas I sped through Magpie Murders, I felt becalmed in the doldrums with Moodflower Murders. Yes it was clever and superbly written like Magpie Murders but a workhorse doing a thorough job rather than a showjumper wowing the crowds and grabbing all the prizes. I also found it quite a breeze to spot the murderers in both the main book and the book within a book although of course the subplots and motivations for them were so tightly and intricately plotted I did not come clear to seeing the whole picture. In Magpie Murders the reveal was a huge shock to me and I had not come close to working it out - so yes for me being able to solve the murders so much ahead of time was not half as much fun either. I still love Anthony Horrowitz's fabulous writing and amazing talent but this was a dull day for those smitten by Magpie Murders. Love the format ............. you know what they say - three is a charm so bring on the next instalment with the return of the dulcet tones of the wonderful Samantha Bond.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Harrow
  • 06-09-2020

Sequel seemed stifled by format

I liked the Magpie Murders very much indeed and am a fan of Anthony Horowitz. This book is perfectly decent entertainment but I felt it was unable to replicate the ’story within a story’ structure with the same success. The Atticus Punt book is very well written and a great homage to the genre. The wider Susan Ryland story was, in my opinion, nowhere near as satisfying. It felt that the author, having written a gem, was bound to try to repeat the trick. Magpie Murders could perhaps have stood alone: was there really a need to do more? Horowitz has another series ( which is great ) so this book is in many ways unnecessary. It certainly is not a bad book but diminished the original slightly. As other comments have stated, it would have benefitted from a more enthusiastic editor.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Eleanor Wye
  • 06-09-2020

Great story, disappointing reading.

Excellent sequel to Magpie Murders - another superb plot. But where was Samantha Bond?

2 people found this helpful

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  • the typist
  • 03-09-2020

A dreary follow up with questionable socio-political views

I genuinely didn’t know what to make of this follow-up to magpie murders. Having enjoyed the first book immensely, and aware that Anthony Horowitz is a great writer, I was very much looking forward to reading the book. What followed however, was an easily guessable, long winded and frankly dull story – in both the present day and the book within a book. More worrying however, is the questionable take upon gay people and gay rights in general. I’m not sure if the author is a homophobe, but his writing certainly suggests so. Not only has he now killed off two gay men with “perverted sexual desires“, He also throws in rent boys, an AIDS death, and a gay for pay character who vents aggressively about how much he hated having sex with men for money. At one point I had to check whether I was reading a book written in the 1980s or 2020. Maybe Anthony Horowitz is trying to make a point – a very dubious one clearly – or perhaps he’s simply showing his age, class, and the colour of his skin as the handling of topics in the book seem to have come directly from Boomer central.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Maureen
  • 26-08-2020

Love it

Im hoping Anthony Horowitz is busy writing the next one. Great story with great narration.

2 people found this helpful

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  • V. O'Regan
  • 24-08-2020

Another brilliant mystery from Horowy

This follow up to Magpie Murders was again just brilliant. A book within a book with great attention to detail

2 people found this helpful