A Murder of Magpies by Judith Flanders is a debut mystery. Samantha “Sam” Clair is an editor for Timmons and Ross (book publishers) in London. Sam is in her early 40’s, wears drab clothes, and has lived in the same flat since her 20’s. Her best friend is Kit Lovell. Kit is a fashion journalist and author. His latest book is The Gilded Life and Tarnished Death of Rodrigo Aleman. Rodrigo Aleman was a fashion designer for the House of Vernet. When Rodrigo Aleman died everyone knew it was murder (he is hit by a hit and run driver, backed over and hit again), but some higher ups bribed the right officials to have his death declared an accident. Kit also alludes to money laundering taking place through Vernet’s parent company, Lambert-Lorraine.
Sam’s day starts with a visit from Inspector Jacob (Jake) Field. A courier was an accident and his packages taken. The Inspector wanted to know what packages Sam was expecting. It is eventually determined that Kit’s manuscript was missing. Then Kit ends up missing. Sam wants to find out what happened to her friend. The police do not take the case of Kit missing very seriously, so Sam sets out to find out what happened to him. This leads to a convoluted and long story of looking for Kit, accusation of harassment from a student (Kit lectured at a college), money laundering, trip to Paris, and lots of legal mumbo jumbo.
Interspersed throughout the book is the story of Breda McManus and her latest book. Breda usually writes popular romance books. This year she has sent Sam a book that is different and no one knows what to do about it. There is also Helena Clair. Helena is Sam’s mother and a solicitor. Helena is a great character. There is a great scene towards the end of the book with Helena and Sam that had me laughing (involves breaking and entering with a lot of keys). We also have a lackluster romance between Sam and Inspector Jake Field (they greet each other with a kiss on the cheek).
A Murder of Magpies sounded like an interesting book. A mystery, the publishing industry, and it is set in London! However, the reality is a long and very boring book. It was difficult for me to finish it (I kept at it though after a night of rest and some headache medicine). I give A Murder of Magpies 2.5 out of 5 stars (it actually got better towards the end). I really wanted to like this book, but it needs major editing. There is too much technical legal wording in the book and very little about the publishing industry. The book is also written in the first person (fair warning). I was a very disappointed reader (the cover is cute though).
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
If you are interested in A Murder of Magpies it will be out on February 24, 2015. Some other books coming out on Tuesday are:
Flamenco, Flan, and Fatalities by Mary McHugh (Cozy Mystery)
A Healthy Homicide by Staci McLaughlin (Cozy Mystery)
Double Fudge Brownie Murder by Joanne Fluke (Cozy Mystery)
Harvest of Blessing by Charlotte Hubbard (Amish Fiction)
Of Shadow and Stone by Michelle Muto (Paranormal Fiction)
February is passing by so quickly! Downton Abbey is almost over for another year (I wish they made more episodes) and the rumor mill states we will only get one more season. Why do they always end the good shows? I am off to read Of Shadow and Stone by Michelle Muto and then watch Downton Abbey. I hope you have a wonderful evening! Happy Reading!
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