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The New York Times bestselling author of the brilliantly inventive The Word Is Murder and The Sentence Is Death returns with his third literary whodunit featuring intrepid detectives Hawthorne and Horowitz. When Ex-Detective Inspector Daniel Hawthorne and his sidekick, author Anthony Horowitz, are invited to an exclusive literary festival on Alderney, an idyllic island off The New York Times bestselling author of the brilliantly inventive The Word Is Murder and The Sentence Is Death returns with his third literary whodunit featuring intrepid detectives Hawthorne and Horowitz. When Ex-Detective Inspector Daniel Hawthorne and his sidekick, author Anthony Horowitz, are invited to an exclusive literary festival on Alderney, an idyllic island off the south coast of England, they don’t expect to find themselves in the middle of murder investigation—or to be trapped with a cold-blooded killer in a remote place with a murky, haunted past. Arriving on Alderney, Hawthorne and Horowitz soon meet the festival’s other guests—an eccentric gathering that includes a bestselling children’s author, a French poet, a TV chef turned cookbook author, a blind psychic, and a war historian—along with a group of ornery locals embroiled in an escalating feud over a disruptive power line. When a local grandee is found dead under mysterious circumstances, Hawthorne and Horowitz become embroiled in the case. The island is locked down, no one is allowed on or off, and it soon becomes horribly clear that a murderer lurks in their midst. But who? Both a brilliant satire on the world of books and writers and an immensely enjoyable locked-room mystery, A Line to Kill is a triumph—a riddle of a story full of brilliant misdirection, beautifully set-out clues, and diabolically clever denouements.


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The New York Times bestselling author of the brilliantly inventive The Word Is Murder and The Sentence Is Death returns with his third literary whodunit featuring intrepid detectives Hawthorne and Horowitz. When Ex-Detective Inspector Daniel Hawthorne and his sidekick, author Anthony Horowitz, are invited to an exclusive literary festival on Alderney, an idyllic island off The New York Times bestselling author of the brilliantly inventive The Word Is Murder and The Sentence Is Death returns with his third literary whodunit featuring intrepid detectives Hawthorne and Horowitz. When Ex-Detective Inspector Daniel Hawthorne and his sidekick, author Anthony Horowitz, are invited to an exclusive literary festival on Alderney, an idyllic island off the south coast of England, they don’t expect to find themselves in the middle of murder investigation—or to be trapped with a cold-blooded killer in a remote place with a murky, haunted past. Arriving on Alderney, Hawthorne and Horowitz soon meet the festival’s other guests—an eccentric gathering that includes a bestselling children’s author, a French poet, a TV chef turned cookbook author, a blind psychic, and a war historian—along with a group of ornery locals embroiled in an escalating feud over a disruptive power line. When a local grandee is found dead under mysterious circumstances, Hawthorne and Horowitz become embroiled in the case. The island is locked down, no one is allowed on or off, and it soon becomes horribly clear that a murderer lurks in their midst. But who? Both a brilliant satire on the world of books and writers and an immensely enjoyable locked-room mystery, A Line to Kill is a triumph—a riddle of a story full of brilliant misdirection, beautifully set-out clues, and diabolically clever denouements.

30 review for A Line To Kill

  1. 5 out of 5

    Yun

    When's the last time an author wrote themselves into a fictional murder mystery, eh? I can't think of one either, and that's what's so neat about this particular series. Horowitz portrays himself as the hapless, mildly bumbling Watson to Hawthorne's shrewd Sherlock, and it's a compelling, fascinating read every time. In this installment, A Line To Kill, Horowitz has been invited to a literary festival on the island of Alderney, and the only catch is that he must also bring along the subject of hi When's the last time an author wrote themselves into a fictional murder mystery, eh? I can't think of one either, and that's what's so neat about this particular series. Horowitz portrays himself as the hapless, mildly bumbling Watson to Hawthorne's shrewd Sherlock, and it's a compelling, fascinating read every time. In this installment, A Line To Kill, Horowitz has been invited to a literary festival on the island of Alderney, and the only catch is that he must also bring along the subject of his book series, ex-Detective Inspector Hawthorne. While Horowitz thinks his biggest problem is trying to get Hawthorne to appear more genial and likable to their audience, a murder happens right under their nose. I just love murder mysteries that happen on islands. Perhaps it's the illusion of a locked-room mystery or knowing that the suspects have no way to escape, forcing everyone to hang around until the guilty party is found. It creates this slightly menacing but mostly fun atmosphere that I can't get enough of. This book has everything I've come to enjoy from the series: a small handful of suspects, lots of red herrings, and a few well-done twists that harken back to the days of the Golden Age of Mystery. The dynamic between Hawthorne and Horowitz reminds me of the odd couple, with Hawthorne as gruff and reticent as ever and Horowitz constantly trying to draw him out without success. Along the way, the author manages to poke gentle fun at his fictional self, and the whole thing is quite droll. This is such a fun series, and this latest installment is another great addition. It grabbed me from the very first page and kept me riveted throughout. I ended up devouring it in under two days. I hope Horowitz continues to write more, though I wonder what'll happen when he runs out of literary puns? My heartfelt thanks for the advance copy that was provided for my honest and unbiased review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bill Lynas

    The third novel featuring detective Daniel Hawthorne & real life author Anthony Horowitz (or at least, I assume, a fictionalised version of him) is as widly enetrtaining as the first two books in the series. From the opening chapters there's plenty of humour & Horowitz is happy to send himself up & play sidekick to Hawthorne. In A Line To Kill the tiny Channel Island of Alderney is the setting for a literary festival, a murder & a whole host of suspects. Horowitz delivers an Agatha Christie style The third novel featuring detective Daniel Hawthorne & real life author Anthony Horowitz (or at least, I assume, a fictionalised version of him) is as widly enetrtaining as the first two books in the series. From the opening chapters there's plenty of humour & Horowitz is happy to send himself up & play sidekick to Hawthorne. In A Line To Kill the tiny Channel Island of Alderney is the setting for a literary festival, a murder & a whole host of suspects. Horowitz delivers an Agatha Christie style plot & his narrative flows beautifully. There's not as much humour as in the previous two Hawthorne/Horowitz novels, but I'm still looking forward to the next instalment.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Walsh

    I wish to thank NetGalley and HarperCollins Canada for this clever and entertaining ARC in return for an honest review. This is the third book in the Hawthorne and Horowitz series where the author has inserted himself into a mystery story alongside the intelligent, cool, and conceited detective Hawthorne. Hawthorne has asked Horowitz to write about his cases to enhance his fame. In this capacity, Horowitz accompanies Hawthorne as his assistant detective but doesn't have Hawthorne's skills in dra I wish to thank NetGalley and HarperCollins Canada for this clever and entertaining ARC in return for an honest review. This is the third book in the Hawthorne and Horowitz series where the author has inserted himself into a mystery story alongside the intelligent, cool, and conceited detective Hawthorne. Hawthorne has asked Horowitz to write about his cases to enhance his fame. In this capacity, Horowitz accompanies Hawthorne as his assistant detective but doesn't have Hawthorne's skills in drawing clues together and establishing the truth. Their relationship is difficult, but they need each other to produce successful and popular books. The setting is the quiet channel island of Alderney, where a literary convention is being held. Horowitz feels he must attend to publicize his next book about Hawthorne's cases, although it isn't yet finished. We meet some of the residents of this remote, historic island, some eccentric, some menacing and almost all burdened with secrets. The literary guests who have agreed to attend are a mixed lot. There is a blind psychic who talks to the dead, an author of children's books, a TV chef and cookbook writer, a war historian, and an idiosyncratic French poet, also Hawthorne and Horowitz. However, the author feels the guests will mostly ignore his books and his writing. Instead, those attending his lecture will be more interested in discussing Hawthorne's famous solutions to the crimes he solved. The island's inhabitants are divided about a power plant to be built with a power line running through Alderney. Some believe it will bring economic advantages to the island, but others fear the beauty of their island will be diminished, and property values decrease. This division has brought out rivalries and hatred among the people of Alderney. However, this project is being pushed by a wealthy businessman and islander. One of the members of the literary group is travelling along with her accomplice under a false identity. Some hold long-held past grudges against local citizens. So it is no surprise that Alderney erupts with its first murder. No one can leave the island when the two-day convention is finished. Soon there is a second murder. Police officers arrive from Guernsey after Hawthorne has started investigating and looking for clues. We now have a classic locked-room mystery with many suspects and motives. There are many twists, revelations, misdirections and red herrings galore. This is an entertaining, easy, and relaxing read for anyone who enjoys an old-fashioned mystery. I felt this series would make great TV. There is a setup at the end that demands a fourth book in the series.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Max

    Anthony Horowitz is back with his annual whodunit. My attempts at pacing myself were futile, as I knew I couldn’t wait anywhere near October to pick this one up. Horowitz is a twenty-first-century equivalent to Agatha Christie, and I eagerly await more books in this Hawthorne series. In our third return to the “dynamic” duo, Horowitz follows Hawthorne to a literary festival on a secluded island in Alderney. There are celebrity chefs, casino owners, poets, and professors. The island is in conflic Anthony Horowitz is back with his annual whodunit. My attempts at pacing myself were futile, as I knew I couldn’t wait anywhere near October to pick this one up. Horowitz is a twenty-first-century equivalent to Agatha Christie, and I eagerly await more books in this Hawthorne series. In our third return to the “dynamic” duo, Horowitz follows Hawthorne to a literary festival on a secluded island in Alderney. There are celebrity chefs, casino owners, poets, and professors. The island is in conflict over the installment of a powerline, which creates enemies out of former friends. What originally was just a trip to promote Horowitz’s most recent publication turns into a murder investigation when a corpse is found in the aftermath of a late-night party. Could the death be from the fallout of the powerline debate? Or is this the repercussion of something that had happened decades before? What makes this series so fun to read is because it’s fun to play along. The mystery itself feels very accessible to the reader, allowing you to make guesses and have your own suspicions throughout the story. Never feel too confident with your accusations though, as it’s always a shifting climate. Expect locked room mysteries at their finest when picking up this book, I’m glad it strays away from a lot of the police procedural tropes we see a lot. A couple of people on an island, a dead body, and hundreds of red herrings. (And that’s not an exaggeration, you can’t ever be fooled by this book’s misdirection!) For avid readers of the series, there is also a fair amount of mystery around Hawthorne’s past. I’m sure that there could be a storyline forming over the next few books exploring more of his background? And in terms of Horowitz’s fictional self, I always enjoy reading some updates/stories on Foyle’s War and Alex Rider adaptations. I think readers know what they’re getting into when they pick up a Horowitz book, and his endings never fail to entertain me. Keep an eye out for everyone and everything, as I can guarantee you, everyone does have a secret in this novel. Thank you Harper books for an advanced reader’s copy!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gail

    I hope that Anthony Horowitz is having as much fun writing the Hawthorne series as fans do reading the books. Where to begin: first, there is always a clever, layered, intelligent mystery with a resolution that I never see coming, but even more delicious are Horowitz's clever inside jokes about writers, the publishing industry, current events, and, even himself. As the character author Anthony Horowitz, he has been cajoled into writing a series of books about Hawthorne, a mysterious and irascibl I hope that Anthony Horowitz is having as much fun writing the Hawthorne series as fans do reading the books. Where to begin: first, there is always a clever, layered, intelligent mystery with a resolution that I never see coming, but even more delicious are Horowitz's clever inside jokes about writers, the publishing industry, current events, and, even himself. As the character author Anthony Horowitz, he has been cajoled into writing a series of books about Hawthorne, a mysterious and irascible former detective who has become a consultant to solve murders that have stumped traditional law enforcement. That Horowitz is out manipulated, out maneuvered, and outshone by his own creation is a running joke. Horowitz also sets his sights on other tropes of the modern writer: publishers, agents, editors, literary festivals. He is an insider's insider. More importantly, he manages to make the reader care for Hawthorne, who is neither cuddly nor entirely admirable, but seems to live by his own code--a code which neither Horowitz nor the reader to this point have entirely apprehended. So, quite obviously, I unreservedly recommend A Line to Kill. And, now I am desperate for Horowitz to write Hawthorne #4 because I want to know exactly what did happen in Reeth. Full Disclosure--NetGalley and the publisher provided me with a digital ARC of this book. This is my honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Whispering Stories

    Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.com I’ll begin by saying I didn’t do my research on this book before agreeing to review it. I didn’t realise it was part of a series, however, it works as a standalone. The story is unlike anything I have ever read before, given that the author has written himself as one of the characters. Anthony Horowitz has written a book featuring ex-detective Daniel Hawthorne. Hawthorne is quite a reserved character and the two seem to have a strained relationship. The p Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.com I’ll begin by saying I didn’t do my research on this book before agreeing to review it. I didn’t realise it was part of a series, however, it works as a standalone. The story is unlike anything I have ever read before, given that the author has written himself as one of the characters. Anthony Horowitz has written a book featuring ex-detective Daniel Hawthorne. Hawthorne is quite a reserved character and the two seem to have a strained relationship. The publishers would like the pair to go to a literary festival on the island of Alderney and do a Q&A session. Once there it isn’t long before a murder occurs, the first one to ever take place on the island. With the two seasonal police officers no longer on the island and the local bobby at home with a bad back, Hawthorne is asked to take a look at the scene whilst they await help. When the detectives do arrive they have every faith in Hawthorne and allow him to run a parallel investigation to their own. When I began the book I was a little unsure of the way it was written, it feels quite like a memoir in that everything is recalled and the author talks directly to you about what is happening. At first, I read two chapters and put it down but a week later I picked it up again and began reading and didn’t stop for the next few hours. It took a while to get to the first murder scene which would normally annoy me, but given I hadn’t read the first two books it was nice to get to know the characters and immerse myself in the festival and the lives of the writers, staff, and visitors there. The idea of setting the story on a tiny island is fantastic, as it heightened the tension knowing that the murderer couldn’t get away and must be one of the people at the festival. I loved the banter between the characters and the weird relationship between Horowitz and Hawthorne, it is like they disliked each other but knew they had to work together. I enjoyed the twists in the story of how some of the characters knew one another. Hawthorne reminded me of Sherlock Holmes the way he analyses a scene and likes to point out things others will have missed. A Line to Kill is a gripping, entertaining, and ingenious novel. I now have some catching up to do with the previous books in the series. If you are a thriller/detective lover grab a copy of this book, it really is as intriguing and interesting as that cover looks.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Each of these three books are enjoyable, clever and fun to read. The tension between author and investigator as they are forced into being a duo by their publishers makes for amusing conflicts. It is not easy to determine who is behind murders on a remote island where the two travel to participate in a book fair being held on island of Alderney (a place I had never heard of before). Looking forward to the next installment!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Angus (Just Angus)

    3.5 stars. I have to say, as much as I enjoyed this, it didn't quite live up to my expectations. I love what these books do for the cozy crime genre. They feel so fresh and fun and original. But A Line To Kill would have to be the weakest of the three for me. I feel like we kind of took a step back into some familiar tropes that really could have been avoided. I still had a lot of fun with this, just not as much fun as I had with the previous two. 3.5 stars. I have to say, as much as I enjoyed this, it didn't quite live up to my expectations. I love what these books do for the cozy crime genre. They feel so fresh and fun and original. But A Line To Kill would have to be the weakest of the three for me. I feel like we kind of took a step back into some familiar tropes that really could have been avoided. I still had a lot of fun with this, just not as much fun as I had with the previous two.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Having loved the first two books in this series, "The Word is Murder," and "The Sentence is Death," I was thrilled, not only to read the third, but to hear in the interview at the end of this that Anthony Horowitz is planning further mysteries featuring Hawthorne. This begins with Horowitz feeling a little over-confident, as Hawthorne comes to a meeting at his publishers. Hawthorne, he imagines, will be in 'his world.' Of course, this confidence is premature, as Hawthorne manages to be the centr Having loved the first two books in this series, "The Word is Murder," and "The Sentence is Death," I was thrilled, not only to read the third, but to hear in the interview at the end of this that Anthony Horowitz is planning further mysteries featuring Hawthorne. This begins with Horowitz feeling a little over-confident, as Hawthorne comes to a meeting at his publishers. Hawthorne, he imagines, will be in 'his world.' Of course, this confidence is premature, as Hawthorne manages to be the centre of attention, be utterly confident and embrace the idea of a literary festival on the Island of Alderney. With 'Tony,' as always disgruntled (Horowitz's self-deprecation is done masterfully) and, quite rightly questioning Hawthorne's willingness to attend the festival, the two men and the other 'celebrity' authors head off for the little island. You always feel that Anthony Horowitz has such fun with this series, and he has a great group of suspects, from a spiritualist, to a children's author, a celebrity chef and a French performance poet. On the island, there is a row going on about a power line and this has created bad feeling between the locals. When there is a murder, it is up to Hawthorne to unravel the motives and there are many. One of the things I enjoy about this series is the way Hawthorne is always one step ahead of Horowitz, as well as the little snippets of information you hear about him in every novel. In the interview, Anthony Horowitz is also self-deprecating about his own writing - talking of people reading his books on holiday, he suggests that there are better writers, but that his work can be a stepping stone. I dislike this snobbery about writing and urge Mr Horowitz not to fall victim to this belief that books should be 'worthy'. I love books for many reasons, but, on a Bank Holiday weekend, this was utter pleasure - well written, with excellent characters, a great setting, and a joy to read. I look forward to more of Horowitz and Hawthorne.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Justin

    I was lucky enough to snag an ARC of this from another bookstagrammer and much like his others, Horowitz has written yet another great mystery! Eccentric characters, an intricate plot, and a plausible murder. With a cliffhanger ending about Hawthorne, I’m hoping this means there are many more Horowitz and Hawthorne mysteries to come!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Joelle Egan

    The Sherlockian duo of Hawthorne and Horowitz confronts another challenge in A Line to Kill, the third in Anthony Horowitz’s delightful literary mystery series. As in the previous books, Horowitz finds himself caught up in an investigation despite his primary objective to write about Hawthorne and his exploits. His self-deprecating, unwitting narrative “self” reports the astounding talents of the former detective as he uncovers the truth behind crimes. As Horowitz becomes enlightened, so does th The Sherlockian duo of Hawthorne and Horowitz confronts another challenge in A Line to Kill, the third in Anthony Horowitz’s delightful literary mystery series. As in the previous books, Horowitz finds himself caught up in an investigation despite his primary objective to write about Hawthorne and his exploits. His self-deprecating, unwitting narrative “self” reports the astounding talents of the former detective as he uncovers the truth behind crimes. As Horowitz becomes enlightened, so does the reader. In this installment, the two men are assigned a “command performance” at a literary festival. The island of Alderney seems like an odd place to host such an event, and Anthony is also curious as to why Hawthorne would willing agree to take part. Once on the island, things take a deadly turn, and the pair is confined to Alderney with the rest of the odd festival attendees. The police request Hawthorne’s help in solving a murder that is linked to the festival. There is a lot of surreptitious activities and connections in Horowitz’s homage to Christie’s “locked room” scenario. Everyone, even Hawthorne himself, has ulterior motives that propel the action forward and provide interesting twists. The final reveal is carefully plotted and satisfying. Horowitz has once again created a unique series with an innovative approach, despite how much of the classical tropes are employed. Funny and fast-paced, A Line to Kill seamlessly brings nostalgia and class to the mystery genre that has grown to display more style than substance. Thanks to the author, Century Publishers and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tonya with an "O"

    While I still love the dynamics between Anthony and Hawthorne and intend to keep reading about their (mis?) adventures, the story execution here fell short. Anthony Horowitz has spoken about his love and admiration for Agatha Christie in previous works, and also makes reference to her genius in this book. I'm assuming the "murder on a tiny island" is meant as an homage to the locked room mystery that Christie did so well. For the most part, Horowitz is very talented at doing the same. He knows ho While I still love the dynamics between Anthony and Hawthorne and intend to keep reading about their (mis?) adventures, the story execution here fell short. Anthony Horowitz has spoken about his love and admiration for Agatha Christie in previous works, and also makes reference to her genius in this book. I'm assuming the "murder on a tiny island" is meant as an homage to the locked room mystery that Christie did so well. For the most part, Horowitz is very talented at doing the same. He knows how to keep you engaged; guessing and second guessing the killer. You know all the suspects, you've heard all the clues, but still you're shocked at the 'AHA! MOMENT'. And that did still happen at the end, but there are a few things that were never mentioned, and could not have been known, that are laid out during the big reveal. That bugs me. It means that even if I clocked every clue correctly, I still may never have figured it out. Also, there were threads left dangling after the wrap up, and I prefer an unambiguous end. A Line to Kill is entertaining, witty, and suspenseful. I just wish it was more self-aware and less self-congratulatory.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sarah-Hope

    My take on Anthony Horowitz's work is mixed: I've never read any of the Alex Rider books he's best known for; I couldn't get through Moonflower Murders (too much like a Noel Coward farce, and we don't need any more of that sort of thing); however, I'm a big fan of his Holmes novels; and I genuinely enjoyed A Line to a Kill, the first of his Hawthorne and Horowitz novels I've read. The premise behind the Hawthorne and Horowitz series is brilliant. A fictionalized version of Horowitz (how fictional My take on Anthony Horowitz's work is mixed: I've never read any of the Alex Rider books he's best known for; I couldn't get through Moonflower Murders (too much like a Noel Coward farce, and we don't need any more of that sort of thing); however, I'm a big fan of his Holmes novels; and I genuinely enjoyed A Line to a Kill, the first of his Hawthorne and Horowitz novels I've read. The premise behind the Hawthorne and Horowitz series is brilliant. A fictionalized version of Horowitz (how fictionalized? we don't know) has signed a three-book contract to shadow former police detective, now consultant Daniel Hawthorne and to turn Hawthorne's cases into novels. So, we have a fictionalized version of an author narrating the work of a fictional detective. The relationship between Horowitz and Hawthorne is edgy. Hawthorne reveals very little about himself to Horowitz and holds his cards very close to his chest during an investigation. Horowitz admires Hawthorne's brilliance, but is put off by the many signals—not always subtle—that Hawthorne sends indicating that he find Horowitz an inferior intellect. Nonetheless, Hawthorne clearly has a fondness for Horowitz. I am very much hoping this awkward pair will remain together through many more novels. In A Line to Kill, the fictional version of Horowitz is a guest at a literary festival on a small island off the British coast, and for the first time, Hawthorne is traveling with him so they can present as a duo. The line-up for this book festival sounds less than exciting: besides Horowitz and Hawthorne, there's a blind psychic; a French performance poet writing in a nearly dead ancient French dialect that no one attending the conference speaks; a cookbook writer and cooking show host who delights in advocating on behalf of some of Britain's least healthy dishes; a local historian who has published a number of books all focused on minutiae; and a rather well-known author of children's books. The wealthy owner of an online gambling empire who has an estate on the island is underwriting the book festival, while also promoting a major electricity project that will involve digging up the anonymous graves of hundreds of WWII-era soldiers who died in a Nazi work camp that was established on the island. And when this gentlemen turns up brutally murdered the detecting begins, with Hawthorne planning to outsmart and embarrass the local police. What is the poet hiding? Why all the tension between the chef and his assistant? How is the psychic getting her communications from the beyond? Why has the husband of the festival's organizer suddenly come out in favor of the electricity project that is generally loathed by the islanders? Why is there a notorious criminal living on the island? And who *hasn't* been infuriated and insulted by the festival's underwriter? Horowitz, the nonfictionalized one, makes good use of all the possibilities offered by his cast and plot. The mystery spools out in multiple directions unearthing more and more conflicts among the writers and the islanders. If you enjoy mystery novel that are simultaneously smart and tongue-in-cheek comic, you're in for a treat. I received a free electronic review copy of this title from the publisher via Edelweiss; the opinions are my own.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kasa Cotugno

    Why is it that the writers we love and wish could write faster can only do so much? Time is ... fleeting. Still, I was so anxious for this after reading Hawthorne/Horowitz #2 that I ordered it from across the Pond, and am glad I did so. The setup is intriguing, and I was introduced to a Channel Island with its fascinating history, and fell down the internet rabbithole of looking up Alderney and getting lost there for great swathes of time. The mystery is involving and I defy anyone to think they Why is it that the writers we love and wish could write faster can only do so much? Time is ... fleeting. Still, I was so anxious for this after reading Hawthorne/Horowitz #2 that I ordered it from across the Pond, and am glad I did so. The setup is intriguing, and I was introduced to a Channel Island with its fascinating history, and fell down the internet rabbithole of looking up Alderney and getting lost there for great swathes of time. The mystery is involving and I defy anyone to think they've got it figured out before Horowitz deigns to reveal his secrets. If the Magpie series is Agatha, this series is more Conan Doyle, and I'm all in and awaiting #4.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    This book is tremendous fun with plenty of in-jokes and gentle jibes at the publishing industry, as well as at the author himself. I particularly enjoyed the opening scene in which, with his customary self-mockery, Anthony Horowitz attends a meeting with his publishers to discuss publicity for his book The Word is Murder (the first book in the series) and finds they are much more interested in Hawthorne than they are in him. Throughout the book, Hawthorne displays observational and deductive skil This book is tremendous fun with plenty of in-jokes and gentle jibes at the publishing industry, as well as at the author himself. I particularly enjoyed the opening scene in which, with his customary self-mockery, Anthony Horowitz attends a meeting with his publishers to discuss publicity for his book The Word is Murder (the first book in the series) and finds they are much more interested in Hawthorne than they are in him. Throughout the book, Hawthorne displays observational and deductive skills that would give even Sherlock Holmes a run for his money. Horowitz constantly reminds himself that, when it comes to solving crime, he is not in Hawthorne’s league and his role is merely that of chronicler of Hawthorne’s genius. Of course, in actuality, Hawthorne is Horowitz’s creation and therefore any brilliance displayed by Hawthorne is the author’s own. At one point, as Hawthorne examines the evidence, Horowitz asks, “Do you know who killed him?” and Hawthorne responds, “Is this for the book?” Slipping into author mode Horowitz reassures him, “Don’t worry. If there is a book, I’ll leave the resolution until the last chapter.” So I loved the fact that the penultimate chapter is entitled ‘Keep Reading’. Alongside the humour, A Line To Kill is also an ingenious and intriguing murder mystery. There is a plethora of suspects and possible motives, and the island of Alderney, accessible only by plane or ferry, plays the role of the ‘locked room’ so beloved of crime writers. And, of course, not everyone turns out to be who they claim to be. The final chapter proves an author is always thinking about that next book and trying to come up with a title. In Anthony Horowitz’s case, this has to be one with a grammatical allusion like previous books in the series, having already ruled out the suggested Hawthorne Investigates. I for one certainly hope there is another investigation for Hawthorne and Horowitz before too long.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    This is a truly brilliant series! So clever and witty. The setting of this one makes for perfect cosy crime with a twist - Alderney Literary Festival in the Channel Islands. The mentions of the island's history in World War II really stood out for me. I had a very slight issue with the ending, hence four stars and not five, but an engrossing read. Review to follow shortly on For Winter Nights. This is a truly brilliant series! So clever and witty. The setting of this one makes for perfect cosy crime with a twist - Alderney Literary Festival in the Channel Islands. The mentions of the island's history in World War II really stood out for me. I had a very slight issue with the ending, hence four stars and not five, but an engrossing read. Review to follow shortly on For Winter Nights.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gregory

    Huge Horowitz fan here. This latest is a blast.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sasha Kuntsevich

    I am very happy with this book! I love that Horowitz gave us a trapped murder mystery with Hawthorne. Seeing the map of the island that was included in the beginning of the story was my first clue that I was going to enjoy this book and I definitely did. I really hope the author writes more in this series even though he clearly states it’s a three book deal

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kirsty ❤️

    I've read all three in this series in one go and have loved them all. Howorwitz writes himself into the story as Watson to a modern day Sherlock in Hawthorne. I really like the concept of that especially as fictional Howorwitz really doesn't seem to like his uncommunicative partner. I spend far too much time wondering who the real agents and publishers etc are and how much reality has been woven into the story. We have a bit of a locked room mystery this as time as on the tint island of Alderney I've read all three in this series in one go and have loved them all. Howorwitz writes himself into the story as Watson to a modern day Sherlock in Hawthorne. I really like the concept of that especially as fictional Howorwitz really doesn't seem to like his uncommunicative partner. I spend far too much time wondering who the real agents and publishers etc are and how much reality has been woven into the story. We have a bit of a locked room mystery this as time as on the tint island of Alderney there's really nowhere for our suspects to go. We have the small amount of suspects, a beautiful setting and lots of twists and turns as we go along. The ending was unexpected. There was a bit of ambiguity at one point to me as to whether the culprit would get their comeuppance. It's fun for all the murders. I keep waiting for the moment when the dynamics change and they bond but it never happens yet somehow I'm okay with that. It works. The ending sets us up for book 4 and a mystery of what happened in Reeth. I can't wait now for the next book to find that out. A much recommended series

  20. 5 out of 5

    M. Lynes

    The big problem with this series is that neither of the main characters are likeable or particularly interesting. It’s all very meta and clever but not gripping. Not a patch on ‘House of Silk’ or ‘Moonflower Murders’ which are both minor masterpieces. It feels like the author writes the Hawthorne series for his own amusement.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Forthbridge

    I did not get a free copy of this book but was happy to pay for it. The USP of this series is that the author himself appears as a hopeless aide to the updated Holmes character. All very audacious but by book three the novelty has worn off a bit but that does not matter. The delights of this book are various elements that are pitch perfect. The set-up is really interesting and he does not rush the crime which only occurs after the Alderney literary festival, featuring a celebrity chef, a childr I did not get a free copy of this book but was happy to pay for it. The USP of this series is that the author himself appears as a hopeless aide to the updated Holmes character. All very audacious but by book three the novelty has worn off a bit but that does not matter. The delights of this book are various elements that are pitch perfect. The set-up is really interesting and he does not rush the crime which only occurs after the Alderney literary festival, featuring a celebrity chef, a children's author and a blind spiritualist, is well under way. The description of Alderney , a tiny English speaking island off France, is very good. The pacing of the plot is spot on and the cast of minor characters is great fun. There is a taxi driver who talks far too much, you know what I mean guv? The policeman is so lazy you want to shake him. However Horowitz does villains brilliantly and my favorite is an arrogant, heartless swine who makes the late Harry Flashman look like a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. I loved it and will come back to it in future years when I need a tonic. The Audible version has Rory Kinnear in great form doing all the voices and there is a bonus with 30 minutes of interview with the author which is absorbing.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Anmiryam

    A very quick read! Hawthorne and Horowitz are back and attending a literary festival on a tiny channel island. Of course there is murder. Horowitz looks in the wrong places, while Hawthorne settles everything in the end. The ending is not a shocker, but the set-up for the next book in the series is excellent. This, even more than some of the earlier entries in the series, reads like an extended episode of Midsommer Murders. There is a nasty rich man who is murdered and group of eccentric suspects A very quick read! Hawthorne and Horowitz are back and attending a literary festival on a tiny channel island. Of course there is murder. Horowitz looks in the wrong places, while Hawthorne settles everything in the end. The ending is not a shocker, but the set-up for the next book in the series is excellent. This, even more than some of the earlier entries in the series, reads like an extended episode of Midsommer Murders. There is a nasty rich man who is murdered and group of eccentric suspects who are all written as extreme stereotypes. I am still annoyed that Horowitz cannot describe a characters positively, no one is spared a nasty word. I'd hate to meet him in person given how negative and judgmental he must be to write with such spite all the time.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Alyson

    This is the third book in Anthony Horowitz's 'Hawthorne and Horowitz' series, yet is a stand alone mystery with only veiled references to previous cases and shared experiences between the detective and the author. The clever device of making himself the author within the novel allows Horowitz to explain a mystery unfolding from his point of view and to portray himself as a hopeless and hapless investigator, completely misunderstanding the clues as they appear and jumping on the red herrings with This is the third book in Anthony Horowitz's 'Hawthorne and Horowitz' series, yet is a stand alone mystery with only veiled references to previous cases and shared experiences between the detective and the author. The clever device of making himself the author within the novel allows Horowitz to explain a mystery unfolding from his point of view and to portray himself as a hopeless and hapless investigator, completely misunderstanding the clues as they appear and jumping on the red herrings with glee. It is interesting way of writing and one that sweeps the reader along. Horowitz, as the author of a new Hawthorne Investigates book has been invited along with his moody and taciturn ex-detective to a literary festival on the Island of Alderney. This is the first event they pair have done together and the author is unsure how it will go. As he is fretting about how to make Hawthorne more likeable to the audience, he manages to miss a whole bubbling mess of connections between the apparently random selection of writers at the festival. When the event sponsor is murdered one evening, Hawthorne is asked to help the local police with the enquiries and Horowotz is there to record the goings on in the hope that he can use the case for his next book. Because of the island setting and the literary festival there is a limited cast of characters, all of whom have secrets which are gradually exposed. The setting, the island of Alderney, with its world war 2 relicts and history makes a good backdrop but it is the relationship between the two main character, the author Horowitz and the ex-detective, Hawthorne that really makes this book. Every time Horowitz appears to be getting close to the detective he is brushed aside and put down. All his attempts to be friends or even equals with Hawthorne are batted away. Horowitz is self-depreciating and someone accepting of his role as second best. The arrangement is great fun and makes an amusing read. I read this book in a couple of days. It grabbed my attention and is an effortless read. I will very happily look out for more in the series. Many thanks to Netgalley and Random House UK, Cornerstone for my ARC copy in return for an honest review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Krista

    I eagerly look forward to each new Horowitz mystery novel in either of his ongoing series. As an author who has spent thirty years creating mystery stories, he knows his way around all of the conventions and remixes them in surprising ways. The real delight, both in this series and his other series, is the way they both offer meta commentary on the way mystery authors and the publishing industry work. Without being condescending, he winks at everything from red herrings to the Holmes-Watson dyna I eagerly look forward to each new Horowitz mystery novel in either of his ongoing series. As an author who has spent thirty years creating mystery stories, he knows his way around all of the conventions and remixes them in surprising ways. The real delight, both in this series and his other series, is the way they both offer meta commentary on the way mystery authors and the publishing industry work. Without being condescending, he winks at everything from red herrings to the Holmes-Watson dynamic. Each book is a bag of candy for any lifelong mystery fan. NetGalley provided me with an arc in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    Another satisfying instalment in the Hawthorne/Horowitz murder mystery series. This is exactly the type of mystery book I like, very little in the way of violence, but a great deal of red herrings and interesting character dynamics. Not to mention a resolution that I didn’t see coming! I really enjoy Anthony Horowitz’ writing, he has a very easy and entertaining style which I can whizz through (no flowery prose to muddle through!)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mandy Radley

    This is the third in the Hawthorne mysteries where Anthony Horowitz writes himself into the story. Again thoroughly enjoyable and I hope there are more. Can tell we are lockdown again... my third book in 10 days and I'm half way through my fourth today 😁 This is the third in the Hawthorne mysteries where Anthony Horowitz writes himself into the story. Again thoroughly enjoyable and I hope there are more. Can tell we are lockdown again... my third book in 10 days and I'm half way through my fourth today 😁

  27. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Pinkett

    Thank you to Get Galley and the publishers for my early copy in exchange for my independent,honest review This is the latest in the series featuring Horowitz himself as a central character alongside private investigator Daniel Hawthorne. I haven't read any others in this series,however this did not hinder my enjoyment or understanding of the relationship between the two of them. It is set in the Channel Islands, a favourite holiday destination of ours. In fact it is set in Alderney,one of the qu Thank you to Get Galley and the publishers for my early copy in exchange for my independent,honest review This is the latest in the series featuring Horowitz himself as a central character alongside private investigator Daniel Hawthorne. I haven't read any others in this series,however this did not hinder my enjoyment or understanding of the relationship between the two of them. It is set in the Channel Islands, a favourite holiday destination of ours. In fact it is set in Alderney,one of the quieter Islands, where the author captures the quaint old fashioned charm of this area and it's cliques of inhabitants. All does not run smoothly as you come to expect from Horowitz. Shortly after arriving for a literary festival there, someone is found brutally murdered. It isn't long before Horowitz and Hawthorne are pulled into the investigation. This author writes so effortlessly, the words just flow along and you are soon there. However,I didn't find the plot particularly thrilling or suspenseful in this and it gave more of a cosy crime feel than some of his other books. This makes a great holiday read and it is still very enjoyable. I didn't love it enough to rate it 5* but rarely for me do cosy feel books achieve this rating.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Hazel

    Reading Stuff 'n' Things I haven't read anything by Mr Horowitz before and was a little apprehensive about reading this, with it being the third in the series, but I needn't have worried - this is a unique and enjoyable mystery. I have never read a book where the author puts himself as one of the main characters in a book but here he is joining up with an ex-Detective Inspector Hawthorne and, I must say, it really worked for me. Mr Horowitz doesn't take himself too seriously and he comes across as Reading Stuff 'n' Things I haven't read anything by Mr Horowitz before and was a little apprehensive about reading this, with it being the third in the series, but I needn't have worried - this is a unique and enjoyable mystery. I have never read a book where the author puts himself as one of the main characters in a book but here he is joining up with an ex-Detective Inspector Hawthorne and, I must say, it really worked for me. Mr Horowitz doesn't take himself too seriously and he comes across as a Dr Watson-type character to Hawthorne's Sherlock Holmes - which, let's face it, isn't a bad thing at all. How much the fictional Horowitz is like the real Horowitz, I don't know but I like him! Anyway, Horowitz and Hawthorne have been invited to take part in a literary festival on the island of Alderney. A murder ensues and Hawthorne is asked to assist the local constabulary to investigate with Horowitz in tow. The relationship between the two is a complex one ... do they really like each other or do they just tolerate each other for the purposes of writing books? I am still working that one out but I am liking it. This is a proper old-style mystery with a cast of excellent characters many of whom have their own secrets which creates multiple suspects and I for one must have said "I knew it was them all along" numerous times and was wrong! There is a lot of humour and tongue-in-cheek moments which make this a fun and enjoyable read with a very satisfying ending. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it was quite nice to read a murder/mystery without a plethora of violence for once and I am very much looking forward to more "adventures" from Hawthorne and Horowitz. A thank you must go to Penguin Random House UK / Cornerstone via NetGalley for my copy in return for an unbiased and unedited review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Joanne D'Arcy

    This is the third instalment of murder mystery novels that feature the ex-detective Daniel Hawthorne and in an interesting twist, (if this is the first time of discovering these novels), it also features Anthony Horowtiz. Yes the author has written himself into this piece of fiction. Stick with it, it works better than you think! Invited to a literature festival on Alderney, Hawthorne and Horowitz as they are more better known, the former seemingly more of a draw than the latter, finds themselves This is the third instalment of murder mystery novels that feature the ex-detective Daniel Hawthorne and in an interesting twist, (if this is the first time of discovering these novels), it also features Anthony Horowtiz. Yes the author has written himself into this piece of fiction. Stick with it, it works better than you think! Invited to a literature festival on Alderney, Hawthorne and Horowitz as they are more better known, the former seemingly more of a draw than the latter, finds themselves stuck there. Right in the middle of their own murder mystery. The victim is Charles Le Mesurier, a man with a lot of money and so it seems a lot of power. There are many suspects, many questions to be asked about everyone who was at the festival, especially as the victim was the sponsor. How can a celebrity chef, a blind psychic, a children’s author, a performance poet, a war historian plus a number of locals opposed to a potential power line disrupting their island have anything to do with the deceased? This is a classic locked room mystery, but extended to an whole island. An island that has never had any murder on it but suddenly is embroiled in something quite nasty. Hawthorne is called upon to at least go some way to solve the crime, Horowitz the side kick, think Hastings to Poirot is there to capture the tale. What follows as everyone is seemingly trapped is the true twist, turns and red herrings of a good murder mystery. The digs about authors, literature festivals and the world of crime gives the book a different undertone than perhaps some novels of the same genre. For me it is this humour which gives these books the edge over others I have read. The author has some skill to write himself in and write himself in as the underdog; the bumbling assistant almost. Both this series of books and the Magpie Murder ones are examples of skilful writing which gives and edge to the murder mystery genre. If you want something different and you don’t mind having your mind tested then pick up these novels – you won’t be disappointed.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Teresa Cornelius

    A Line to Kill by Anthony Horowitz I think that I have read all of Anthony Horowitz’ work and I find the ingenuity of his writing fascinating. Having read the previous two Daniel Hawthorne novels and I could not say the investigator is endearing but he is interesting. In this novel he travels with the author to a book festival on the island of Alderney. (My daughter lives in Guernsey so the location was a big draw. ) I really enjoy the way in which Hawthorne picks up all the clues whilst the auth A Line to Kill by Anthony Horowitz I think that I have read all of Anthony Horowitz’ work and I find the ingenuity of his writing fascinating. Having read the previous two Daniel Hawthorne novels and I could not say the investigator is endearing but he is interesting. In this novel he travels with the author to a book festival on the island of Alderney. (My daughter lives in Guernsey so the location was a big draw. ) I really enjoy the way in which Hawthorne picks up all the clues whilst the author depicts himself as bumbling along in the investigator’s wake. This novel is intriguing and also great fun. It is immensely readable and I sped through the novel in order to establish who had carried out the murder. I love the way Anthony Horowitz has written himself into the novel and also the fact that the people at the book festival are so much more interested in Hawthorne than in him. I will be recommending this novel to my various book groups and will wait eagerly for the next outing for Hawthorne and Horowitz. I would like to thank Anthony Horowitz, the publishers and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.

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