top of page

Meeting Anthony Horowitz

The joy of interviewing one of my murder mystery heroes.

I was very fortunate to interview best-selling author Anthony Horowitz this week for a magazine feature I'm writing about his latest novel, Close to Death. Book 5 of the popular Hawthorne series of murder mysteries, Close to Death is set just two minutes' drive from where I live and so, we sat in a local cafe to discuss locations, motives, suspects and how he decided to be a character in his own books.

Despite plotting ingenious murder mysteries (Horowitz is currently writing Book 3 of the Magpie Murders series) he's perhaps best known as the creator of Alex Rider (the spy thriller series that has sold over 20 million copies and has been made into a TV show). He's also written two acclaimed Sherlock Holmes books, three James Bond novels, numerous early episodes of Midsomer Murders and is the creator and writer of the TV detective drama Foyle's War.

But it's the Hawthorne series I'm articularly keen to discuss. I read Close to Death one recent Sunday, in bed with my dogs, unable to put it down until I'd discovered the identity of the murderer from a cast that features a Chess Master, a celebrity dentist, two ex-nuns, a GP and an ex-barrister, each of whom had a motive, if not the desire to act upon it. With Horowitz featuring as himself in this series, there's a healthy thread of humour as he writes about his frustration at being seen as little more than the sidekick of the mysterious private detective Hawthorne.

I eschew gory details of violence or detailed forensic analysis and I never care for casts of drug dealers, gangsters and people traffickers in my murder mysteries. I want escapism from real life crime. I'm a fan of clever misdirection, twists and turns, red herrings, snatches of conversations, twitching curtains and amateur sleuths who always find the killer before the professionals do.

It's why I love the Golden Age crime writers - Agatha Christie, Dorothy L Sayers, Ngaio Marsh, Josephine Tey and Margery Allingham. As a teenager, I was addicted to these wonderful, brilliantly plotted books. I never figured out who did it but loved making an educated guess from the carefully placed clues. When I reread them, which I do often, I'm still in awe of how clever they are.

I'll post a link to the article once it's published in the summer, but for now, I'll recommend Horowitz' Hawthorne series.


bottom of page