Finished Books: A Murder of Magpies

A Murder of Magpies by Judith Flanders

22240071

  • Published: February 2015
  • Pages: 277

Summary from Goodreads

A whip-smart, impeccably crafted debut mystery, A Murder of Magpies takes readers on a whirlwind tour of London and Paris with an unforgettably original new heroine

It’s just another day at the office for London book editor Samantha “Sam” Clair. Checking jacket copy for howlers, wondering how to break it to her star novelist that her latest effort is utterly unpublishable, lunch scheduled with gossipy author Kit Lowell, whose new book will dish the juicy dirt on a recent fashion industry scandal. Little does she know the trouble Kit’s book will cause-before it even goes to print. When police Inspector Field turns up at the venerable offices of Timmins & Ross, asking questions about a package addressed to Sam, she knows something is wrong. Now Sam’s nine-to-five life is turned upside down as she finds herself propelled into a criminal investigation. Someone doesn’t want Kit’s manuscript published and unless Sam can put the pieces together in time, they’ll do anything to stop it.

With this deliciously funny debut novel, acclaimed author Judith Flanders introduces readers to an enormously enjoyable, too-clever-for-her-own-good new amateur sleuth, as well Sam’s Goth assistant, her effortlessly glamorous mother, and the handsome Inspector Field. A tremendously entertaining read, this page-turning novel from a bright new crime fiction talent is impossible to put down.”

This humorous book was easy to pick up at the end of the day to cleanse my palate after work.  From the first page, Sam’s sarcasm drew me in.  Plus, she would rather stay at home reading a book than go to a party filled with people with whom she didn’t want to interact.  Clearly she is a woman after my own heart.  She struggles with work issues and neighbors and mothers just like the rest of us.  And, unfortunately, she has to deal with them in much the same way the rest of us do: just put up with it and keep going.

In addition to finding her friend, Kit, perhaps it is a bit of ennui that sparks Sam’s interest in pursuing an investigation that Inspector Jake Field explicitly discourages her from exploring, primarily because it puts her in danger.  Her tenacity and curiosity demonstrates a rebellious (or stubborn) side that may not have had much opportunity to emerge thus far in her life.

Readers who enjoy amateur detective stories with smart, sarcastic female characters will enjoy this book.  It is not violently graphic, nor is there much cursing (although a few swear words are thrown in occasionally).  There is a budding romance that is not addressed much and whose intimate details are left primarily to the imagination of the reader.  I’ll be interested to see where this series goes.

Rating: 3 stars

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