At first, I was confused. I never read a book that was being researched while writing. My head was a mess because I usually don’t read non-fiction and I didn’t know if I was reading a fiction or a non-fiction because (surprise, surprise) the author was part of the story.

The main character is the author, Anthony Horowitz, and you figure this out in the second chapter if you didn’t read the synopsis of course, because is there.

The Plot

A woman walks into a funeral house to arrange her own funeral and dies in the same day. I must say I bought the book because of the first page, I didn’t know anything about Anthony until he started to talk about himself in the book. He started to mention real life tv shows like Midsomer Murders (a series I love and again, I had no idea he was the creator).

This is second meta-book I read this year, the other one was “The Word Exchange” (oh, just noted both starts with the same 2 words) which means the book is being written while it’s happening. I learned a lot here about a world I never thought too much about.

Take this quote when he introduces Hawthorne

There are a surprise number of ex-policemen helping production companies make police dramas. They provide the little details that makes the story ring true and, to be fair, Hawthorne was very good at the job.


Did you ever know about that? This was a surprise to me. I would never imagine that real professionals were helping the tv. Now I love those shows even more.

This guy, Hawthorne, also helps the police as a private investigator and he contacts Anthony to write his adventures “Hawthorne investigates“. They agreed on 50/50 and then the author started to follow him around while he tries to solve the crime.


True crime

Is it really? During the entire book, I almost fact check, but I was really afraid to get a spoiler.

Is it fiction? Click here if you are dying to know
Yes, it is. But it’s soooooo good that looks real!
The victim, Diane Cowper is the mother of an actor and there are so many suspects in this story. The more you read the more you get entangled on this plot. But pay attention because the details are so important. I think the best part is Anthony is just like us, he is so lost like us. It’s amazing how he shows himself as a character, not just Watson telling the story, he was part of it.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a murder mystery and for those who want to write a mystery book (it’s a manual, people).