Antony Horowitz – a prolific writer of mysteries for adults, children, and television – definitely had fun writing this one. He cast himself as one of two main characters; the other is a taciturn, deeply-intuitive, non-communicative, sharply intelligent, ex-dectective, called Hawthorne. Together, Horowitz writing himself as Dr. Watson to Hawthorne’s Sherlock Holmes, they dig about in the case of a woman who arranges her own funeral and is then found strangled to death six hours later. Horowitz’s description of himself falls in the category of auto-fiction, meaning a majority of events and relationships he uses to characterize his life are quite accurate (and the point at which he invents things about himself is unknowable). Nonetheless, Horowitz is a master of misdirection, red herrings, and reliable characterizations. Hawthorne is a terrific detective insofar as he always seems capable of seeing the larger picture, but keeps his cards so close to his chest that as readers we think we know what cards he is holding, but for the most part see nothing until he lays them on the table.