Anthony Horowitz

Anthony Horowitz, OBE (born 5 April 1955) is an English novelist and screenwriter specialising in mystery and suspense.

Anthony Horowitz

Born (1955-04-05) 5 April 1955 (age 66)[1]
Stanmore, Middlesex, England
OccupationNovelist, screenwriter, children's author & adult author.
Alma materUniversity of York
GenreAdventure, Mystery, Thriller, Horror, Fantasy
Notable works
Jill Green
(m. 1988)
  • Nicholas Mark
  • Cassian James

His works for young adult readers include The Diamond Brothers series, the Alex Rider series, and The Power of Five series (known in the U.S. as The Gatekeepers). His work for adults includes the play Mindgame (2001); two Sherlock Holmes novels, The House of Silk (2011) and Moriarty (2014); two novels featuring his own detective Atticus Pund, Magpie Murders (2016) and Moonflower Murders (2020); and three novels featuring himself paired with fictional detective Daniel Hawthorne, The Word Is Murder (2017), The Sentence is Death (2018) and the upcoming The Line to Kill (2021). He was also chosen to write James Bond novels by the Ian Fleming estate, starting with Trigger Mortis (2015), and followed up with Forever and a Day (2018) and a third Bond novel to be released in 2022.

He has also written for television, contributing scripts to ITV's Agatha Christie's Poirot and Midsomer Murders. He was the creator and writer of the ITV series Foyle's War, Collision and Injustice and the BBC series New Blood.

Background and personal lifeEdit

Rugby School

Horowitz was born in Stanmore, Middlesex, into a Jewish family, and in his early years lived an upper middle class lifestyle.[2][3][4] As an overweight and unhappy child, Horowitz enjoyed reading books from his father's library.

Horowitz started writing at the age of 8 or 9 and he instantly "knew" he would be a professional writer. This was because he was an underachiever in school and was not physically fit, and found his escape in books and telling stories. In a 2006 interview Horowitz stated "I was quite certain, from my earliest memory, that I would be a professional writer and nothing but."[5]

At age 13 he went to Rugby School, a public school in Rugby, Warwickshire. Horowitz's mother introduced him to Frankenstein and Dracula. She also gave him a human skull for his 13th birthday. Horowitz said in an interview that it reminds him to get to the end of each story since he will soon look like the skull.[6] He graduated from the University of York with a lower second class degree in English literature and art history in 1977, where he was in Vanbrugh College.[7][8]

In at least one interview, Horowitz claims to believe that H. P. Lovecraft based his fictional Necronomicon on a real text, and to have read some of that text.[9]

Horowitz's father was associated with some of the politicians in the "circle" of prime minister Harold Wilson, including Eric Miller.[10] Facing bankruptcy, he moved his assets into Swiss numbered bank accounts. He died from cancer when Horowitz was 22, and the family was never able to track down the missing money despite years of trying.[4]

Horowitz now lives in Central London with his wife Jill Green, whom he married in Hong Kong on 15 April 1988. Green produced Foyle's War, the series Horowitz wrote for ITV. They have two sons. He credits his family with much of his success in writing, as he says they help him with ideas and research. He is a patron of family support charity, Home-Start in Suffolk and child protection charity Kidscape.[11]

Politically, he considers himself to be "vaguely conservative".[12] Ahead of the 2010 United Kingdom general election, Horowitz stated he would vote for the Conservative Party in response to the then policies of the governing Labour Party but "with little enthusiasm."[13] In 2017, Horowitz expressed criticism of the notion of cultural appropriation after a publisher had allegedly tried to dissuade him from creating a black character as a central figure in one of his novels, and supported fellow author Lionel Shriver's critiques on the same issue. He also criticised the social phenomenon of cancel culture and "mobbing" of figures for expressing different opinions, stating "There is a rigidity in the way we have begun to think and speak. If we step outside certain lines on certain issues, we find not just people disagreeing, but disagreeing to the extent of death threats. When somebody says something untoward in the press, and I am not saying this about myself, people don’t just say that was a stupid thing to say. They say, Lose your job. They want you to never ever have an income again.”[14][15]

Writing careerEdit

Anthony Horowitz's first book, The Sinister Secret of Frederick K Bower, was a humorous adventure for children that was published in 1979[16] and later reissued as Enter Frederick K Bower in 1985. In 1981 his second novel, Misha, the Magician and the Mysterious Amulet was published and he moved to Paris to write his third book.[17] In 1983 the first of the Pentagram series, The Devil's Door-Bell, was released. This story saw Martin Hopkins battling an ancient evil that threatened the whole world. Only three of four remaining stories in the series were ever written: The Night of the Scorpion (1984), The Silver Citadel (1986) and Day of the Dragon (1986). In 1985, he released Myths and Legends, a collection of retold tales from around the world.

In between writing these novels, Horowitz turned his attention to legendary characters, working with Richard Carpenter on the Robin of Sherwood television series, writing five episodes of the third season. He also novelised three of Carpenter's episodes as a children's book under the title Robin Sherwood: The Hooded Man (1986). In addition, he created Crossbow (1987), a half-hour action adventure series loosely based on William Tell. This era in Horowitz's career also saw Adventurer (1987), a thriller about a convict stuck on a prisoner ship with his sworn enemy, and Starting Out (1990), a collection of screenplays by the author himself, published.

In 1988, Groosham Grange was published. Its central character is a thirteen-year-old "witch", David Eliot, gifted as the seventh son of a seventh son. This book went on to win the 1989 Lancashire Children's Book of the Year Award.[18] Some similarities were made between this book and J. K. Rowling’s newer Harry Potter series, but Horowitz did not choose to take action because of this.[19]

Despite this, the most major release of Horowitz's early career was The Falcon's Malteser (1986). This book was the first in the successful Diamond Brothers series, and was filmed for television in 1989 as Just Ask for Diamond, with an all-star cast that included Bill Paterson, Jimmy Nail, Roy Kinnear, Susannah York, Michael Robbins and Patricia Hodge, and featured Colin Dale and Dursley McLinden as Nick and Tim Diamond respectively. It was followed in 1987 with Public Enemy Number Two, and by South by South East in 1991.


Horowitz wrote many stand-alone novels in the 1990s. His 1994 novel Granny, a comedy thriller about an evil grandmother, was Horowitz's first book in three years, and it was the first of three books for an audience similar to that of Groosham Grange. The second of these was The Switch, a body swap story, first published in 1996. The third was 1997's The Devil and His Boy, which is set in the Elizabethan era and explores the rumour of Elizabeth I's secret son.

In 1999, The Unholy Grail was published as a sequel to Groosham Grange. It was later renamed Return to Groosham Grange in 2003, possibly to help young readers understand the connection between the two books. In 2021, Horowitz revealed to a fan on Twitter that he had plans to write a third book, but was dissuaded after the success of the Harry Potter series.[20]

Horowitz Horror (1999) and More Horowitz Horror (2000) saw Horowitz exploring a darker side of his writing. Each book contains several short horror stories aimed for young adults. Many of these stories were later repackaged in twos or threes as the Pocket Horowitz series. A third collection of similarly short horror stories entitled More Bloody Horowitz (later reissued as Scared to Death) was released in 2009. One of the short stories in More Bloody Horowitz served as Horowitz’s opportunity to get even with fellow author Darren O'Shaughnessy, more commonly known as Darren Shan. In 2008, the pair had gotten into a joke dispute over O'Shaughnessy’s use of Horowitz’s name for an objectionable character (Antoine Horwitzer) in Wolf Island.[21] In retaliation, Horowitz chose to plot a gruesome literary revenge in the short story The Man Who Killed Darren Shan.[22]

Horowitz began his most famous and successful series in the new millennium with the Alex Rider novels. These books are about a 14-year-old boy becoming a spy, a member of the British Secret Service branch MI6. As of 2021, there are eleven books where Alex Rider is the protagonist, and another connected to the Alex Rider series: Stormbreaker (2000), Point Blanc (2001), Skeleton Key (2002), Eagle Strike (2003), Scorpia (2004) Ark Angel (2005), Snakehead (2007), Crocodile Tears (2009), Scorpia Rising (2011), plus Russian Roulette (2013).[23] Horowitz had stated that Scorpia Rising was to be the last book in the Alex Rider series prior to writing Russian Roulette about the life of Yassen Gregorovich,[24] but he has returned to the series with Never Say Die (2017) and Nightshade (2020) and is in the midst of writing a new Alex Rider novel that is due to be published sometime in 2022.

In 2003, Horowitz also wrote three novellas featuring the Diamond Brothers: The Blurred Man, The French Confection and I Know What You Did Last Wednesday, which were republished together as Three of Diamonds in 2004. The author information page in early editions of Scorpia and the introduction to Three of Diamonds claimed that Horowitz had travelled to Australia to research a new Diamond Brothers book, entitled Radius of the Lost Shark. This claim was further backed up when a new Diamond Brothers novella entitled The Greek who Stole Christmas! was released in 2007, where it is hinted at the end that Radius of the Lost Shark may turn out to be the eighth book in the series.[25] Anthony Horowitz was asked in 2012 on Twitter by a fan when this book would be released, to which Horowitz replied that he had not started on the book yet, so certainly not for another three years.[26] In 2015, Horowitz stated in a newspaper interview that there would be at least another six books written by him before continuing the Diamond Brothers series.[27] However, the next novel in the series is instead called Where Seagulls Dare, and is unrelated to the Australian-based adventure that was previously announced. Horowitz published the first six chapters unedited on his website throughout 2020, and intends for the full, edited novel to be published sometime in 2021, with all profits going to support the NHS.[28]

Sometime in the new millennium, Horowitz attempted to reach out to an adult audience with a novel called Poisoned Pen. The novel is based around Martin Holland, who is a childhood friend of a 21st century incarnation of William Shakespeare. In the novel, William Shakespeare is reimagined as a Hollywood screenwriter who is murdered in a set of circumstances that Martin Holland finds rather odd, despite attempts from a Los Angeles detective to dissuade him. The novel follows Martin’s attempts to solve the ever-growing mystery through a series of rather unusual circumstances and a number of people who seem rather glad that Shakespeare was murdered. The novel has never been published in the UK or even in English, but copies in Spanish and Dutch have been released (retitled as El asesinato de Shakespeare and William S. respectively).[29] As of June 2021, there are no plans to get the novel republished.

In 2004, Horowitz again branched out to an adult audience with The Killing Joke, a comedy about a man who tries to track a joke to its source with disastrous consequences. Horowitz's second published adult novel, Magpie Murders, is about "a whodunit writer who is murdered while he's writing his latest whodunit".[30] Having previously spoken about the book in 2005, Horowitz expected to finish it in late 2015,[31] and it was finally published in October 2016.[32] A follow-up novel, Moonflower Murders, was released in 2020. A third and final novel in the series is expected to be released as well.

In August 2005, Horowitz released a book called Raven's Gate which began another successful series entitled The Power of Five (The Gatekeepers in the United States). Based heavily on his earlier novel The Devil's Door-Bell, each of the first four entries of the The Power of Five subsequently ended up being a rewritten and expanded version of their respective counterpart from the Pentagram series. The second book in the series, Evil Star (based on The Night of the Scorpion), was released in April 2006. The third in the series is called Nightrise (based on The Silver Citadel), and was released on 2 April 2007. The fourth book Necropolis (based on Day of the Dragon) was released in October 2008. The fifth and final book, the only one not based on an earlier Pentagram novel, was released in October 2012 and is named Oblivion. Horowitz describes this series as "Alex Rider with devils and witches".[33]

In October 2008, Anthony Horowitz's play Mindgame opened Off Broadway at the SoHo Playhouse in New York City.[34] Mindgame starred Keith Carradine, Lee Godart, and Kathleen McNenny. The production was the New York stage directorial debut for Ken Russell.

In March 2009 he was a guest on Private Passions, the biographical music discussion programme on BBC Radio 3.[35]

On 19 January 2011, the estate of Arthur Conan Doyle announced that Horowitz was to be the writer of a new Sherlock Holmes novel, the first such effort to receive an official endorsement from them and to be entitled The House of Silk. It was both published[36][37][38] in November 2011 and broadcast on BBC Radio 4.[39] A follow-up novel, Moriarty, was published in 2014.

In October 2014, the Ian Fleming estate commissioned Horowitz to write a James Bond novel, Trigger Mortis, which was released in 2015. It was followed by a second novel, Forever and A Day, which came out on 31 May 2018.[40] A third Bond novel was announced in May 2021 and is expected to be released sometime in 2022.[41]

Horowitz was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to literature.[42]

Writing for television and filmEdit

Horowitz began writing for television in the 1980s, contributing to the children's anthology series Dramarama, and also writing for the popular fantasy series Robin of Sherwood. His association with murder mysteries began with the adaptation of several Hercule Poirot stories for ITV's popular Agatha Christie's Poirot series during the 1990s.

Often his work has a comic edge, such as with the comic murder anthology Murder Most Horrid (BBC Two, 1991) and the comedy-drama The Last Englishman (1995), starring Jim Broadbent. From 1997, he wrote the majority of the episodes in the early series of Midsomer Murders. In 2001, he created a drama anthology series of his own for the BBC, Murder in Mind, an occasional series which deals with a different set of characters and a different murder every one-hour episode.

He is also less-favourably known for the creation of two short-lived and sometimes derided science-fiction shows, Crime Traveller (1997) for BBC One and The Vanishing Man (pilot 1996, series 1998) for ITV. While Crime Traveller received favourable viewing figures it was not renewed for a second season, which Horowitz accounts to temporary personnel transitioning within the BBC. In 2002, the detective series Foyle's War launched, set during the Second World War.

He devised the 2009 ITV crime drama Collision and co-wrote the screenplay with Michael A. Walker.

Horowitz is the writer of a feature film screenplay, The Gathering, which was released in 2003 and starred Christina Ricci. He wrote the screenplay for Alex Rider's first major motion picture, Stormbreaker.

Horowitz is adapting his novel The Magpie Murders into a television miniseries, to air on BritBox in the UK and on the PBS series Masterpiece Mystery! in the US.[43]


Children's novelsEdit

Alex RiderEdit

Short storiesEdit

  • Alex Rider: Secret Weapon (2019)

Related worksEdit

  • Alex Rider: The Gadgets (2005)
  • Alex Rider: Mission Files (2008)

The Power of Five (The Gatekeepers)Edit

The Diamond BrothersEdit

Short storiesEdit

  • The Double Eagle Has Landed (2011; published Guys Read: Thriller)


  • Battles and Quests (2010)
  • Heroes and Villains (2011)
  • Beasts and Monsters (2010)
  • Death and the Underworld (2011)
  • Tricks and Transformations(2012)
  • The Wrath of the Gods (2012)

Groosham GrangeEdit


Standalone children's novelsEdit

  • The Sinister Secret of Frederick K. Bower (republished in 1985 as Enter Frederick K. Bower) (1979)
  • Misha, the Magician and the Mysterious Amulet (1981)
  • Robin of Sherwood: The Hooded Man (1986) (with Richard Carpenter)
  • Adventurer (1987)
  • New Adventures of William Tell (1987)
  • Starting Out (1990)
  • Granny (1994)
  • The Switch (1996)
  • The Devil and His Boy (1998)

Adult novelsEdit

A Hawthorne and Horowitz MysteryEdit

  • The Word Is Murder (2017)
  • The Sentence Is Death (2018)
  • A Line to Kill (2021)

Susan Ryeland seriesEdit

James Bond novelsEdit

Sherlock Holmes novelsEdit

Standalone adult novelsEdit

  • Poisoned Pen (2002; never published in the UK but released as El asesinato de Shakespeare in Spanish and William S. in Dutch)
  • The Killing Joke (2004)


  • Vermeer to Eternity (2015)


  • Myths and Legends (1985)
  • Horowitz Horror (1999)
  • More Horowitz Horror (2001)
  • The Kingfisher Book of Myths and Legends (2003)
  • Three of Diamonds (2004)
  • More Bloody Horowitz (titled Bloody Horowitz in the United States and later re-released as Scared to Death) (2009)[44]
  • Groosham Grange - Two Books in One! (2011)

Edge: Horowitz Graphic HorrorEdit

  • The Phone Goes Dead (2010)
  • Scared (2010)
  • Killer Camera (2010)
  • The Hitchhiker (2010)

Graphic novelsEdit


Television seriesEdit



  1. ^ "Horowitz, Anthony, 1955–". Library of Congress. Retrieved 1 May 2015. (Anthony Horowitz) CIP data sheet (b. April 5, 1955)
  2. ^ Purdon, Fiona (14 November 2008). "Anthony Horowitz has lost his role models for Alex Rider". The Courier-Mail. Archived from the original on 30 December 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2008.
  3. ^ Horowitz, Anthony. "Anthony Horowitz – About Anthony". Archived from the original on 16 December 2008. Retrieved 6 December 2008.
  4. ^ a b Elkin, Michael (12 October 2006). "Horowitz ... Anthony Horowitz - After a childhood shaken and stirred, the writer bonds with film fans". The Jewish Exponent. Archived from the original on 12 January 2008. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  5. ^ "An Interview With Anthony Horowitz | Scholastic". Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  6. ^ "Anthony Horowitz: 'I don't have breakfast. If I can hold off eating, I work better'". The Guardian. 22 October 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  7. ^ Nouse (13 October 2009). "From booze to books".
  8. ^ "York honours contributions to society". Grapevine. Alumni Office, University of York (2010 Autumn/Winter): 6. 2010. Archived from the original on 4 June 2015. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  9. ^ "Anthony Horowitz Q & A: ''Did you make up the Old Ones?''". Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  10. ^ Horowitz, Anthony (23 March 2013). "Loose Ends" (Interview). BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
  11. ^ Kidscape Staff, Trustees, Patrons, Volunteers Archived 24 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Kidscape, UK.
  12. ^ Horowitz, Anthony [@AnthonyHorowitz] (21 March 2014). "@griffsimon Not sure I support any of them but vaguely conservative, I suppose" (Tweet). Retrieved 4 January 2021 – via Twitter.
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ Anthony Horowitz. The Sinister Secret of Frederick K. Bower (London: Arlington Books, 1979)
  17. ^ Anthony Horowitz. Misha, the Magician and the Mysterious Amulet (London: Arlington Books, 1981)
  18. ^ "Lancashire Children's Book of the Year". Archived from the original on 26 June 2007.
  19. ^ "YOZONE : Anthony Horowitz sur la Yozone - (Cyberespace de l'imaginaire". Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  20. ^ "". Twitter. Retrieved 15 May 2021. External link in |title= (help)
  21. ^ "Wolf Island - Darren Shan - Author". Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  22. ^ "NECROPOLIS, NEW YORK AND A QUESTION: SHOULD I SUE DARREN SHAN? | News". Anthony Horowitz. 28 October 2008. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  23. ^ "News – Nightrise, Walker Books and Snakehead". Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  24. ^ Scorpia Rising[dead link] Horowitz official site
  25. ^ The Greek Who Stole Christmas Archived 9 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine by Anthony Horowitz, Red House Books Archived 3 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine, UK.
  26. ^ Anthony Horowitz on Twitter, 8 July 2012
  27. ^ "Anthony Horowitz: The more adventures Alex Rider had, the more I found myself compelled to take this darker edge", The Guardian, 16 March 2015. Accessed 31 January 2017
  28. ^ "WHERE SEAGULLS DARE - Diamond Brothers - Read the first Chapter Now! | News". Anthony Horowitz. 26 April 2020. Retrieved 13 April 2021.
  29. ^ "". Twitter. Retrieved 7 June 2021. External link in |title= (help)
  30. ^ "Anthony Horowitz, author of The Killing Joke, answers our questions". Orion Publishing Group. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 12 October 2006.
  31. ^ "First Sherlock, now Bond: Why Anthony Horowitz is on a roll". 16 October 2014.
  32. ^ "Author of MORIARTY and TRIGGER MORTIS, Anthony Horowitz offers up a whodunit like no other in this fiendishly clever new novel". Orion Publishing Group. Archived from the original on 12 March 2017. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  33. ^ "News - January 2005". Archived from the original on 23 March 2006.
  34. ^ Isherwood, Charles (9 November 2008). "Journalist in Asylum Lacks Exit Strategy". The New York Times Theater Reviews. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  35. ^ "Private Passions". BBC Radio 3. 1 January 1970. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  36. ^ "Alex Rider Author, Anthony Horowitz to Write New Sherlock Holmes Novel". Orion Books. 17 January 2011. Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 10 June 2012. Copy at Anthony Horowitz site
  37. ^ "Sherlock Holmes brought back to life by writer Anthony Horowitz". BBC World Service. 19 January 2011. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  38. ^ Kennedy, Maev (12 April 2011). "New Sherlock Holmes novel by Anthony Horowitz out in November". The Guardian.
  39. ^ "The House of Silk". Book at Bedtime. BBC Radio 4. 18 November 2011. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  40. ^ "Forever and A Day". Ian Fleming Publications. 8 February 2018.
  41. ^ "A third Bond novel by Anthony Horowitz to come in 2022". Ian Fleming. 28 May 2021. Retrieved 28 May 2021.
  42. ^ "No. 60728". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2013. p. 12.
  43. ^ Halleman, Caroline (23 July 2020). "Anthony Horowitz's bestselling novel is being adapted for Masterpiece PBS". Town & Country. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  44. ^ Walker Books. ISBN 978-1-4063-1700-8.

External linksEdit