I live in Bristol UK literary fiction and crime are my books of choice and when not reading I like to run
For fans of Ruth Rendell and Agatha Christie "The Word is Murder" is a very clever detective story which places the author as one of the central characters. Hawthorne is a retired detective and wishes to use his sharp analytical mind to help solve the death of wealthy woman Diana Cowper who is murdered six hours after she arranges her own funeral. He enlists the help of a reluctant author and it is hoped that both will not only solve the crime but also create a bestselling novel. What gives this story an almost comic edge is the relationship between "Tony" the author and the irascible detective Daniel Hawthorne.
The novel proceeds and the usual suspects are introduced and portrayed before the reader, the hope always being that the murderer can be identified from the clues presented. To me the real pleasure of reading this story was the comical and descriptive writing on display by an established and respected author;....."Again, I found myself wondering what it must be like to work there, sitting in a room with those miniature urns, a constant reminder that everything you were and everything you'd achieved would one day fit inside."......."For him, politeness was a surgical mask, something he slipped on before he took out his scalpel."...."There was a sense of something in the air that might have been damp but was actually just misery."...."wearing a suit that could have come out of a charity shop- or should have been on the way to one."...."You never realize how fragile everything is until it breaks."..."It was as if she had been locked up in a lunatic asylum for so long that she had forgotten she was actually mad."....
So with a cunning and clever plot, mysterious and intricate characters all presented in an entertaining dialect "The Word is Murder" is a highly enjoyable and recommended read.