Monday, 7 September 2015

A Murder of Magpies

Finished September 6
A Murder of Magpies by Judith Flanders

This delightful mystery takes place in London. Samantha Clair is an experienced book editor. Most of her authors fall into the category women's fiction, but she also has a gossipy writer in the fashion industry. Kit Lowell has recently sent her his latest book which is an expose on the death of a fashion designer and the fraud around him. There is a high possibility of libel accusations, so Sam is careful to get her firm legal advice before publication. Sam's star author has also just sent her newest piece in and it is a departure from her normal genre. Sam is thrown for a loop and doesn't know what to make of it, or how to approach the author with her reaction.
When a police inspector shows up to question Sam about a murder, she finds herself involved in a criminal investigation and when Kit goes missing, she is determined to follow all leads to find him. Luckily, Sam's lawyer mother is highly intelligent and well-connected and commands respect, and she is willing to jump in and help.
Sam is highly intelligent herself, and not willing to be relegated to the sidelines by the police in charge. There are many other interesting characters here too: Sam's conflict-avoiding boss, her capable Goth assistant, her young know-it-all fellow editor, her upstairs neighbours, not to mention Kit.
This book is a page-turning, highly entertaining read, containing lots of intelligent humour. Here is one example:
"I was sure plenty of people disliked him, or were jealous - he was successful, and he didn't suffer fools gladly. Although who did? Were there fool sufferers who lined up, panicked there might not be enough fools to go around? Focus! I shouted at myself."
I will have to seek out her earlier book now and look for anything else she writes.


  1. I thought this book wasn't bad when I read it, but I wanted the story to be more about her work as an editor than about solving the murder. But that's just me. :)

    1. I understand why you'd feel that way. Have you read The Accident by Chris Pavone or Blind Submission by Debra Ginsberg. They both have more publishing industry content, in fiction genres.