A Line To Kill

Harper. (Hawthorne and Horowitz Mystery, Bk. 3). Oct. 2021. 384p. ISBN 9780062938169. $27.99. M
In the third “Hawthorne and Horowitz” mystery (after The Sentence Is Death), a fictional version of author Anthony Horowitz serves as the narrator and the “Watson” to P.I. Daniel Hawthorne. Anthony is surprised when his publisher wants to send them to a literary festival on Alderney, one of the Channel Islands, and stunned when Hawthorne appears eager to attend. The sponsor of the festival, Charles le Mesurier, made his money in online gambling and is a political force on the tiny island. In fact, Mesurier has been pushing for a new electric line between Normandy, Alderney, and the British mainland, which is causing division in the community. On the final night of the festival, Anthony observes a drunk Mesurier as an obnoxious host. When the man is murdered, Anthony doesn’t know if the killer was a festival author, a guest, or an Alderney resident. Daniel, who never lets Anthony know what he’s thinking, reveals unscrupulous behavior among the authors, but he’s not fast enough to find the killer before there’s another murder.
VERDICT Horowitz’s latest reveals vulnerability in the condescending Daniel. Fans of the series or and Agatha Christie will relish character-driven mystery set on an isolated island.
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