Every good detective needs a good partner or sidekick and Hawthorne's sidekick is..... Anthony Horowitz himself , albeit a fictionalised version. the two characters are hilariously mismatched but i think that's the reason it works so well. Hawethorne is the genius detective and the fictionalised Horowitz is comically out of his depth.
Horowitz putting a fictionalised version of himself in his own book works rather well the idea being that the fictional Horowitz follows Hawthorne around while he tries to solve one of the most baffling murders i've ever read about.
I consider it a badge of honour that i can read crime novels and try to guess who the murderer was and getting it completely and utterly wrong, happily with the word is murder i got it wrong my money was on the father of the children that Diana Cowper mowed down in a tragic accident , killing one and leaving the other severely disabled. Or was it the famous son ? Or even the funeral director himself? Hawthorne soon realises that Diana Cowper had no shortage of enemies.
There is a fair bit of name dropping in the word is murder but it hasn't been overdone, the scene where Horowitz takes a meeting with stepehen spielberg, only for Hawethorne to barge in is particularly amusing, as is the scene at Cowpers funeral where an alarm clock playing a children's nursery rhyme goes off from inside the coffin, i may be going to hell for laughing at that as much as i did.
Overall the word is murder is the most original and ridiculously entertaining thriller i've read in a long time and i cant wait to see what Horowtiz has in store for the next book in the series.
Also worthy of a mention is the brilliant Narration from Rory Kinnear .
Verdict : Cracker