Continuing a January run of HIGHLY RECOMMENDED reads for readers:

Anthony Horowitz is a man Auntie M would like to interview. The author of the Alex Rider teen spy series, he’s responsbile for some of the UK’s best television series, including Midsomer Murders and Foyle’s War, and wrote what was one of Auntie M’s favorite reads last year, Magpie Murders. He’s also written two Sherlock Holmes and one James Bond novels, is on the board othe Old Vic Theatre, and oh yes, don’t forget his OBE from the Queen for servies to Literature.

Now he’s turned to the start of a new series that promises to be just as successful and entertaining. The Word is Murder brings his creative bent to the forefront in the debut, which features Detective Daniel Hawthorne and . . . author Anthony Horowitz.

That’s right. Horowitz appears as a character in his own series, when Hawthorne approaches him to write a book about the detective’s newest case, and it’s a humdinger Howorwitz can’t ignore: victim Diana Cowper arranged her own funeral service and is murdered later that same day. Did she anticipate her murder, or was she just doing as many older people do and putting her affairs in order?

Hawthorne is known for solving tough cases and Horowitz soon finds that he is also very good at holding clues and secrets to himself until they need to be shared. This leads Horowitz as assistant detective into some hot water at times, even as he struggles to like the detective he’s shadowing. It’s an interesting mix of personalities and Horowitz-Author parses out information on Hawthorne to Horowitz-Character.

With the writer reluctantly gaining respect for Hawthorne’s talents, it’s still a dark and dangerous path they follow with surprising twists and turns in a pleasing mystery with a surprise ending.

A masterful and complex mystery that has Auntie M waiting in anticipation for the next in the series. Highly recommended.