Thursday, February 2, 2023

Friday Focus: Book Beginnings and The Friday 56


It's Friday . . . time to share book excerpts with:
  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.  
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an eBook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.

Today I'm featuring my current read, Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz. The excerpts shared are from a trade paperback edition borrowed from a friend.


Beginning:  Crouch End, London

A bottle of wine. A family-sized packet of Nacho Cheese Flavoured Tortilla Chips and a jar of hot salsa dip. A packet of cigarettes on the side (I know, I know). The rain hammering against the windows. And a book.

What could have been lovelier?


Page 56:  "Afraid he'll come after you with a horsewhip? I wouldn't put it past him. But no, Jack. I didn't tell him about you."


My thoughts:  We all have our favorite food and beverages to indulge in while we read. My favorite beverages are wine and tea, depending on my mood and time of day. For snacks, I choose from a wide array of tasty morsels that complement my beverage of choice. 

I watched and enjoyed the recent PBS adaptation of this book, which aroused my curiosity about the written version. To my delight, so far I'm finding that the media adaptation is close to the book. It's a pleasure to get lost in a well-plotted mystery with an eclectic cast of characters.


From GoodReads: When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway's latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the bestselling crime writer for years, she's intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan’s traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job.

Conway’s latest tale has Atticus Pünd investigating a murder at Pye Hall, a local manor house. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but the more Susan reads, the more she’s convinced that there is another story hidden in the pages of the manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder.

Masterful, clever, and relentlessly suspenseful, Magpie Murders is a deviously dark take on vintage English crime fiction in which the reader becomes the detective.


This Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog,  It cannot be republished without attribution.



  1. I enjoyed the PBS adaptation as well. I haven't gotten around to the book yet myself, but I do like these quotes. Glad you are enjoying it.

  2. I read and discussed this book with a mystery group soon after it was published. Now, my new mystery group will read it for March, I think. Anyway, still deciding if I'll do a reread or maybe I'll just finish watching the TV adaptation. I think we've only watched the first episode. If you like this one, I recommend you read the next in the series as well. :-)

  3. Definitely an author on my list!! Happy weekend!

  4. We are watching this series, and I'm happy to hear a little about the book.

  5. I haven't read this book, but I sure want to! Thanks for putting it on my radar! Happy Reading!

  6. Not exactly my idea of cozy, LOL, but I can see what he's doing there. I hope you enjoy this one. Have a great weekend!

  7. I enjoyed the book very much. It was confusing but fun anyway.

  8. I've been wanting to read this book for some time. I hadn't realized there was a PBS adaptation of it.