Cecily Disappears: Moonflower Murders (2020) by Anthony Horowitz – WITH SPOILERS

This contains spoilers throughout so do not proceed unless you have read the book. As you have read the book, I don’t need to give a rough outline of the story – this is my random thoughts having finished the book.

  • I’d read this just for the Atticus Pünd story. We know Conway wrote only nine of them but even if Susan Ryeland finds no more connections between his books and real-life murder cases, I’m sure someone like Anthony Horowitz could be approached to write a continuation series!
  • The naming of the characters after mystery writers completely passed me by – with the exception Mrs Green of Leavenworth Cottage who Susan Ryeland doesn’t cite.
  • I loved the Ludendorff Diamond short story which foreshadowed the fact that the murder of Melissa took place after everybody thought it had occurred. Once it had been revealed that Francis Pendleton was going to confess because he thought he had killed his wife, I expected that was the reason that Stefan Codrescu’s confession was for the same reason. Re-thinking this I can see this was half-baked – if Stefan had just knocked Frank Parris out with a single blow then he would have known someone else had hit him multiple times.
  • As I’m re-reading the Chronicles of Narnia at the moment I picked up on the double mention of Narnia and was sure that because it had been mentioned twice it must have a significance. The only thing I could come up with was that it pointed to someone having hid in a wardrobe. It’s interesting that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is used as one of many hidden references to lions in a book, when it itself contains many references to Jupiter which author C. S. Lewis deliberately hid in the text.
  • SPOILERS IN ROT13 – ONLY READ IF YOU HAVE READ THE WHOLE CHRISTIE CANON – V ybir ubj raqyrffavtug vf ersreraprq ol fhfnaelrynaq nf bar bs nynapbajnl’f uvqqra wbxrf qrfpevovat gur ivyyntr ol avtug jura npghnyyl V oryvrir vg vf ubebjvgm’f sberfunqbjvat gur snpg gung nvqra znparvy vf nf urnegyrff n xvyyre naq fpurzre nf zvpunryebtref jnf va gung obbx. 
  • My nitpicking mind did notice that Susan says that when they were designing the covers for the  Pünd books they wanted them to stand apart from vintage editions such as my beloved British Library Crime Classics range. However they only started in 2014 whereas the third of Conway’s books is copyright 2009!
  • I don’t know whether all editions have Alan Conway’s interview with Richard and Judy at the end in which we are told that he has hidden anagrams of ten named Golden Age writers in his responses. It’s great fun so if you don’t have it, please contact me and I’ll try to send you a copy.




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