*I read this really fast, and it was a fun read, what with “Anthony” being so frustrated at being behind Hawthorne in figuring out what was going on, and in his capacity as a real-life writer where we get fun glimpses into the behind the scenes life of someone who makes art and rubs shoulders with famous people but isn’t really all that famous himself.
*I am still puzzled by Horowitz’s fictional but supposedly real detective. What is his deal? By that I mean that “Anthony” the character in this book still has no idea what Hawthorne’s deal is, but Anthony the writer who wrote this book fictionally chose to have an inscrutable–I don’t want to say main character, but what other word is there?–main character, so why did he do that? Is it just because everyone knows you shouldn’t do that, and he wanted to see if he could?
*I liked the mystery here. I didn’t guess the murderer, of course not, but I did call a twist about 2/3 of the way through! I was proud of myself. I also liked the way that Horowitz worked nods to Sherlock Holmes in there. It was just present enough not to be overbearing; I thought it was skillfully done.
*There are multiple mentions of a third contracted Hawthorne book, and if it’s published, I would read it. But that contract may just exist in this fictional universe. If I’m being honest, though, I much preferred Horowitz’s Magpie Murders, which was an Agatha Christie homage without being quite so meta. It was a legit snack of a mystery (I’m sorry, I have The Good Place fresh in my mind right now and it has infiltrated my vocabulary.)
[3.5 stars, rounded up]