Friday, 11 March 2016

A Murder of Magpies

Author: Judith Flanders
Genre: Mystery
Type: Hardcover
Pages: 288
Source: Local Public Library
Publisher: Minotaur
First Published: February 24, 2015
First Line: "Oh, just kill me now!"

Book Description from GoodReads: 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.

My Review: I had heard quite a bit of praise for this book so I decided to take it out from the library to see what all the fuss was about.  Immediately I loved Sam's sense of humour - dry with a side of sarcasm.  Just how I like it.  I also liked that she was a forty-something professional who worked in a book publishing company as an editor.  Is that a dreamy job or what?

I found Flanders writing to be light ... for the first part of the book anyway.  I thought that the idea of fashion journalist Kit's disappearance intriguing but as the story progressed my interest waned until it was a mere trickle by the end of the book.  The problem for me is that the story was too focused on business dealings, law and financial deals -- subjects that don't interest me.  There was also a multitude of secondary characters, many from the numerous companies, who seemed to blend into each other and I had a hard time keeping track of them all.

Not all of the secondary characters were a blur.  Some, like Sam's mother Helena stood out.  Helena was a force to be reckoned with and I wish that she, as well as Sam's mysterious neighbour Pavel would have been used more.  There is a love interest but honestly it was so rushed, not romantic and didn't add anything to the story line that I wish it had been omitted.  Not every mystery needs a romance.  Just sayin'.

With all of the praise regarding this book I was expecting to be blown away and while the humour was excellent, the mystery was less than satisfying and overall I finished this book feeling disappointed.  On a side not, I'm still not sure what magpies have to do with this mystery.  Perhaps that's the biggest mystery of all.

My Rating: 2/5 stars

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