In the follow-up to the bestseller The Magpie Murders, we find Susan Ryeland, publishing editor extraordinaire, living in Greece with her boyfriend Andreas and running a hotel. After almost being killed while solving the Magpie Murders, Susan wanted to get away from London and live somewhere she could relax and unwind. But with their hotel barely making any money and stress creeping back into her life, she begins to long for her former life.
When a couple arrive at the hotel looking for her specifically to ask for her help locating their missing daughter, Cecily, back in London, Susan at first hesitates. But they too are hotel owners, and although she has no history with them, the mystery of their missing daughter may have something to do with her past client, the infamous Alan Conway, writer and creator of the detective Atticus Pund mysteries. Oh, and they agree to pay her a fortune for her time! With Susan missing London, she agrees.
The couple is unsure if their daughter’s disappearance has anything to do with a murder at their hotel years ago. A man named Frank Parris was brutally murdered on the day of their daughter’s wedding. And although one of their employees confessed to the murder at the time, Cecily disappeared the day after calling them and telling them that after reading Conway’s novel, Atticus Pund Takes the Cake, she believed the wrong person was charged with the murder.
Susan discovers that after the Parris murder, Conway had gone to stay at the hotel while he began writing his new book. He seemed curious about the murder and began asking questions. Although he promised not to use any of the information he was given, or use anyone from the hotel as characters in his novel, when the book came out, they realized they had been duped and he had not kept his word.
Susan realizes that she had edited the infamous book now in question, and with Conway gone, she must begin the interview process from the past murder all over. Is it possible that this long ago murder could have anything to do with Cecily’s disappearance? And what did she read that would have lead her to draw the conclusion that the wrong person has been jailed this whole time?
She decides she needs to reread the book not only to refresh her memory, but to see if she can find any clues as to if Conway knew the real killer of Frank Parris. If he did know, why did he not tell anyone at the time? So within the the novel Moonflower Murders, we all get to read, along with Susan, Atticus Pund Takes the Cake. She begins to realize Conway really did know who the killer was and perhaps there really were clues to this mystery within the story. What did Cecily read?
As she begins to sort out the clues between the book and the information she receives from all the interviews, it seems someone begins to feel she is getting too close to the truth. Now in danger, Susan must expediently solve this mystery. But with so many suspects, will she be able to find the real murderer before she becomes one of their victims?
Moonflower Murders is as brilliant as The Magpie Murders. There are clues everywhere, and you may find yourself going back to the book within the novel to see if you can find them. The ending, which fits all the pieces of the puzzle together is masterful. There is only one word to describe this novel…genius!