Originally published in 2017, Anthony Horowitz’s murder-mystery novel “The Word Is Murder” is just now catching the attention it deserves, as Barnes and Noble had officially added it to their best-sellers list in Jan. of this year. As a mystery genre fan and an avid reader, I eagerly picked up Horowitz’s novel as I scanned the Popular Fiction aisle in the book store. Horowitz has already made a name for himself in the fictional world with the renowned “Alex Rider” action series, as well as his notable Sherlock Holmes anthology stories. Needless to say, I had pretty high expectations for “The Word Is Murder,” but Anthony Horowitz went above and beyond in this unique and thrilling mystery novel.
One of the most distinctive aspects of “The Word Is Murder” is that Anthony Horowitz chose to make himself the protagonist of his own novel! The story follows his entanglement with a rude and prideful ex-detective as they solve multiple puzzling murders in London. Horowitz includes personal, true anecdotes that add a sense of realism to the fictional story. He recalls writing for the popular British series “Foyle’s War” and even includes an interview that he had with Stephen Spielberg in 2011. The novel includes so many facts and true events that I found myself, more than once, Googling if “The Word Is Murder” is a true crime story.
When it comes to the actual plot, “The Word Is Murder” did not disappoint. The novel opens with a woman entering a funeral home to “settle her affairs,” only to be brutally murdered hours later. The reader is immediately forced to contemplate why a woman who knew she was to be murdered wouldn’t plan to stop it. Why wouldn’t she ask for help? Horowitz takes the reader through many twists and turns as he serves as both a novelist and sidekick to Hawthorne, a less-than-amiable ex-detective. Horowitz’s snarky commentary and utter fascination with the crime kept me glued to the pages, desperate to solve a truly perplexing murder. Much like a modern-day Sherlock Holmes, “The Word Is Murder” is both an incredibly intelligent and entertaining read, worthy of all the critical acclaim and praise.