First Line: "Oh, just kill me now!"
Samantha Clair is an editor for the London publishing house Timmins and Ross. Until Inspector Field shows up at the office, Sam had been having a normal day, but when he's very insistent about the receipt of a package addressed to Sam, she knows something is wrong. That something wrong has been caused by one of her favorite authors, Kit Lowell, whose gossipy books focus on the world of fashion. Kit's latest is all about a recent fashion industry scandal, so there's all the usual legal prep to insure against libel, but someone out there really doesn't want that book to be published and will go to any lengths to stop it.
Reading A Murder of Magpies will make you feel as though you've just been dished some of the juiciest dirt on the publishing business, and author Judith Flanders has found the perfect character to tell us all about it. Sam Clair has an infectious snarky wit that's almost impossible to resist. She is a very self-contained character who, for some reason, has chosen to live her life on the outside. It can't have everything to do with her annoyingly perfect lawyer mother Helena, and I'd love to know more. (Yes, that means I hope we'll be hearing more from Sam.)
As clever as she is, she doesn't always get it right, and one of the funniest threads in the book concerns the trials and tribulations she has with her bestselling author and the author's latest book, which Sam believes is a total disaster. This editor thinks she has an inside edge on almost everything-- like when she goes to question someone because she thinks she-- as a middle-aged woman-- will get more out of the person than the police ever would. (She just may have something there.)
Flanders really ups the ante on readers' sleuthing skills because what is originally thought to be a missing persons case morphs into something much larger and complex. Something that the police are going to have difficulty in handling but is perfect for the sharp eyes and minds of Sam and her mother. Watching these two women dig for the truth is worth the price of admission, and as I've already said, I'm definitely looking forward to reading more about Samantha Clair.
A Murder of Magpies by Judith Flanders
(APA Writer's Block)
Minotaur Books © 2015
eBook, 286 pages
Source: Net Galley