A Line to Kill

Anthony Horowitz is plotting a murder.

That’s typical. After all, Horowitz has authored more than 40 mystery novels including several James Bond novels commissioned by the Ian Fleming Estate. Oh, and did we mention he’s also screenwriter, adapting mysteries such as Midsomer Murders into a long running English television series.

That’s a lot of homicides and this week he’s adding a few more to the tally with the release of A Line to Kill, the third in his Hawthorne and Horowitz series–think former police detective Hawthorne as Sherlock Holmes with Horowitz writing himself into the role of the bumbling Watson.

Little wonder he’s always thinking of murders particularly when taking his dog for long walks, something he does several times a day.

Unfortunately, the murder under consideration right now is mine.

“I start with a bullseye,” he says explaining how he produces his plots. “That’s the murder.”

It turns out I’m the bullseye.

“Think about it, you say you’re in the U.S. and I say I’m in England, but we really don’t know where either of us really is,” says Horowitz during a Zoom call.

In other words, at any minute Horowitz could appear behind me while I’m thinking he’s an ocean away.

“But why would you want to kill me or why would I want to kill you?” he muses noting that takes him to the next step in his writing process—motive. “The secret for me is the motive. It needs to be original, beautiful, striking, and something out of the usual.”

“Maybe you think I’m going to write a critical review of your book,” I respond, foolishly offering a reason for the crime.

Murder is definitely Horowitz’s business and obsession but when he was ten and living at a boarding school, it was a way to survive.  

“Are those English boarding schools really as bad as everyone says?” I ask.

“They were back then, now they’re stricter laws,” he says. “At the time it was a horrendously damaging place.”

To escape the harshness Horowitz delved deep into reading and began to spin yarns to keep his school mates entertained—many of which were about heroic kids escaping from the school. From there, he says, it wasn’t a big jump to write his tales down.

A Line to Kill takes place during a literary festival on Alderney, one of the Channel Islands off the coast of England. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that Horowitz discovered the island when he attended a literary gathering there.

“It’s a beautiful small island with an awful past,” he says, noting that the Germans controlled it during World War II and built prisoner of war camps. For the fictional Horowitz, it’s a bloody place because of the many murders that occur while he and Hawthorne are staying there.

As for me, not to worry. Horowitz was in England while we were Zooming and I definitely recommend reading his book.


Author: Jane Simon Ammeson

Jane Simon Ammeson is a freelance writer who specializes in travel, food and personalities. She writes frequently for The Times of Northwest Indiana, Mexico Connect, Long Weekends magazine, Edible Michiana, Lakeland Boating, Food Wine Travel magazine , Lee Publications, and the Herald Palladium where she writes a weekly food column. Her TouchScreenTravels include Indiana's Best. She also writes a weekly book review column for The Times of Northwest Indiana as well as food and travel, has authored 16 books including Lincoln Road Trip: The Back-road Guide to America's Favorite President, a winner of the Lowell Thomas Journalism Award in Travel Books, Third Place and also a Finalist for the 2019 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards in the Travel category. Her latest books are America's Femme Fatale: The Story of Serial Killer Belle Gunness and Classic Restaurants of Northwest Indiana. Her other books include How to Murder Your Wealthy Lovers and Get Away with It, A Jazz Age Murder in Northwest Indiana and Murders That Made Headlines: Crimes of Indiana, all historic true crime as well Hauntings of the Underground Railroad: Ghosts of the Midwest, Brown County, Indiana and East Chicago. Jane’s base camp is Stevensville, Michigan on the shores of Lake Michigan. Follow Jane at facebook.com/janesimonammeson; twitter.com/hpammeson; https://twitter.com/janeammeson1; twitter.com/travelfoodin, instagram.com/janeammeson/ and on her travel and food blog janeammeson.com and book blog: shelflife.blog/

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