I am thrilled (pun intended) to give the latest recommendation from my summer reading list: 

Magpie Murders!

Billed as a mystery/thriller especially for fans of Agatha Christie books, this book shines because of its clever use of intertextuality (don’t be scared of that word – instead just click on that word to read my previous post on this literary technique!). It is a book within a book.

For the record, I have never read anything by Agatha Christie, and I still loved this “tribute” to classic British crime novels.

In the initial story line, a bestselling crime writer has provided his latest manuscript to his editor. After editing his previous eight books about detective Atticus Pund, she expects to read about the usual cast of suspects in a sleepy English village.

BUT as she reads the manuscript, she realizes it contains clues to another murder in her “real” setting.

So as reader, you are reading 1) the latest Atticus Pund manuscript, which honestly was a bit tedious for me….but I held on because I felt more was coming as part of the book’s overall experience, and believe me MORE WAS COMING. This Pund manuscript is sandwiched between 2) the editor’s reflections and interactions with this text in her own life.

This second element also includes letters and other manuscripts; the book in total presents a reader with three different “murders” to solve, two in the “fictional story” and another in “real life” which of course is still fiction to us readers…confused yet??

While there were a ton of characters to keep track of, I really enjoyed this clever book. I love it when an author does something different. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to follow these professionals as they do what they do best; I only ended up guessing one of the three situations correctly. I categorize this as a mystery over a thriller because nothing in it made me truly scared like contemporary thrillers; instead it has a retro, classic feel that was almost amusing and so much fun.

Thank you to my friend and fellow blogger Matt who requested I read this book; he writes about film and life over at http://left2devices.blogspot.com/

So far this summer I have recommended The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body.

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