Series Name: Hawthorne & Horowitz #4

Review By Kayleigh

Horowitz continues to build the suspense and delight in the fourth Hawthorne and Horowitz mystery.

Favourite Quote:

“I’m sorry but the answer’s no.” Reluctant author, Anthony Horowitz, has had enough. He tells ex-detective Daniel Hawthorne that after three books he’s splitting and their deal is over.

Goodreads Synopsis: 

“I’m sorry but the answer’s no.” Reluctant author, Anthony Horowitz, has had enough. He tells ex-detective Daniel Hawthorne that after three books he’s splitting and their deal is over.

The truth is that Anthony has other things on his mind.

His new play, a thriller called Mindgame, is about to open at the Vaudeville Theater in London’s West End. Not surprisingly, Hawthorne declines a ticket to the opening night.

The play is panned by the critics. In particular, Sunday Times critic Margaret Throsby gives it a savage review, focusing particularly on the writing. The next day, Throsby is stabbed in the heart with an ornamental dagger which turns out to belong to Anthony, and has his fingerprints all over it.

Anthony is arrested by an old enemy . . . Detective Inspector Cara Grunshaw. She still carries a grudge from her failure to solve the case described in the second Hawthorne adventure, The Sentence is Death, and blames Anthony. Now she’s out for revenge.

Thrown into prison and fearing for both his personal future and his writing career, Anthony is the prime suspect in Throsby’s murder and when a second theatre critic is found to have died in mysterious circumstances, the net closes in. Ever more desperate, he realizes that only one man can help him.

But will Hawthorne take the call?

I have loved Anthony Horowitz since reading the Alex Rider series with my brother. Anthony is a smart and cunning writer. You’ve probably read one of his books or watched one of his TV shows before: he’s continued both the Sherlock Holmes and the James Bond series in print and is the mastermind behind Midsome Murders and Foyle’s War. His Hawthorne and Horowitz series blends Anthony’s life and career with a fictional cast of characters with great success. Daniel Hawthorne is a classic mysterious detective who always seems to be smarter than fictional Anthony Horowitz. He’s the Sherlock to Anthony’s Holmes. Now, this is the fourth book in the series, and while the mysteries are all stand-alone so you could read this book without missing too much from the earlier books, I would recommend you read them all because Anthony does build the storyline of both his fictional self as well as the cunning and illusive Daniel. 

The murder mystery in The Twist of a Knife is set in the fictional opening night of a play written by Anthony Horowitz called Mindgame. Anthony is seemingly framed when a theater critic is killed after penning a disastrous review of the play. Who is out to get Anthony? And why are the police only too happy to not investigate but rather consider the case closed? I love Anthony’s books because, like in every great mystery, every detail is a clue. I can happily reread this series and catch different bread crumbs he’s placed throughout the story that I didn’t catch in the first time. Something else I love is that Anthony Horowitz plays himself as a bit of an overly optimistic but careless detective who always misses the big clues that Hawthorne has already picked up on. Through the story, Horowitz explains, when he finally understands, the significance of some of the clues that he, and the reader, overlooked earlier on. 

Hawthorne and Horowitz are the perfect modern dynamic detective duo. You can’t help but cheer for them. Horowitz is the perfect foil to Hawthorne and their on-page chemistry is fantastic. Hawthorne is mysterious and tragic and you also can’t help but feel that for a good chunk of the stories he’s just amusing himself with Horowitz. At the end of The Twist of a Knife readers see how much Hawthorne really does manipulate Horowitz for his own pleasure. Hawthorne is not a real person, it should be noted. It was a google search that came up when I was looking into this book. Fun Fact though: Anthony in real life has indeed written the play Mindgame and it debuted in 1999 in England. However, like in his books where he blends reality with fiction it should be noted that he writes his acknowledgments in book Anthony character which is always a delightful end to this story. 

The Twist of a Knife is an engaging and smart mystery that will thrill lovers of the classic mystery story and introduce new readers to the genre with delight. 

Thank you, Harper for the ARC in return for an honest review.