Why would someone want to kill someone? Fictional detective Atticus Pünd poses this question in this intriguing British mystery series Kill the magpieHe answered it based on his extensive experience as a star of a huge series of mystery books solving crime. He said, “I can only think of four reasons.” Fear, envy and anger are all possible.
That doesn’t narrow down the suspects too much in the case of Pünd author Alan Conway, who suffered a fatal fall shortly after delivering his long-awaited latest novel, Magpie Murders, to his publisher. Conleth Hill, the Game of Thrones’ Lord Varys, was the snarky, sassy writer. His son and his young lover, who were both evicted from Conway’s country estate in Suffolk, are not the ones who were evicted. His sister is not the one who is upset at her brother’s “grotesque loser persona”. Conway, Conway’s grumpy colleague in writing, does not claim plagiarism.
Start twisting a file Hercule Poirot steering wheelThere are many possible motives and clues that you can consider. Once you get sucked into the suspenseful six-ring, you will never want to stop. Masterpiece PBS seriesStream now Amazon Prime VideoIt is possible that you don’t want to use your gray matter for many other purposes.
It’s not just Conway that dies in this time-traveling super mystery based on the The 2016 bestselling book of the same name by Anthony Horowitz. Conway’s novel Magpie Murders also features a story-within a-story format. This book sees the beheading and assassination of Sir Magnus Bey (a wealthy, unsavory townman in the 1950s who has many enemies). This puzzle package includes multiple puzzles for the price of one. The interwoven storytelling seamlessly bridges parallel and increasingly interconnected timelines.
This overlap allows actors to do double duty in both past and current novels. The ego helps to enhance recurring themes. For example, Conway’s son plays Bey’s brother in Conway’s Magpie Murders. Both of them hate their fathers. Conway’s sister plays the role of Conway’s brother in ’50s Stories. Both have major grievances towards their brothers.
Charles Clover, Conway’s publisher, believes that Conway died from his own free will. I was A suicide note after all). Conway’s editor Susan Ryland begins to suspect that Conway is referring to a suicide note.
It’s good that the fearless Pünd has stepped out of the pages of Conway’s novels and into Ryeland’s imagination so he can advise her as she transforms from editor into amateur detective. Discovering how and why Conway died may lead Ryland to the manuscript of the Museum of Islamic Art so her employer Clover Books can deliver the bestselling author’s latest work to readers eager to solve the mystery of another Pünd. “A whore without a solution… not even worth the paper that won’t be printed,” she sighed.
Pünd (Tim McMullan and Patrick Melrose) and the ambitious and often overworked Ryeland (the ever-brilliant Leslie Manville of Phantom Thread and Mike Leigh’s animated film Another Year) form a formidable investigative team as they navigate their way through modern-day London and in the mid-20th century, Saxby-on-Avon is a charming fairytale village where neighbors greet each other politely on a high street lined with flower stalls and quaint antique shops. It is also home of dark secrets and the location of the brutal murder of Sir Magnus Bey, Conway’s Magpie Murders.
Although all this may seem overwhelming, the strength and creativity of the series, which is directed by Peter Cattaneo of The Full Monty, is the way it flows between timelines. In one scene, for example, Pünd and his assistant arrive at a crossroads in their 1950s car, when who passes by in her little red sports car to take us back to the present? Susan Ryland.
Past and present also echo one another in themes: parent-child relations, mortality, deceptions, cruelty. “Everything in life is part of a pattern,” Atticus Pünd tells his grim buddy in Magpie Murders. It is up to you, the reader, to decide which one applies.
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