“A Murder of Magpies” is a light mystery set against the backdrop of the British publishing industry. Author Judith Flanders creates strong characters and an okay plot in the debut novel of this series.
Sam Clair, the main character and amateur sleuth, is a 40-year-old book publisher. When one of her authors, known for writing juicy tell-alls, disappears, Sam launches her own investigation to find out what happened and who is responsible. Most of her investigation focuses on who might have been hurt by the book, which includes allegations of murder and illegal money laundering. The plot is decent, although not remarkable. It’s hard to make money laundering exciting.
The characters really made the novel for me. “A Murder of Magpies” is written in Sam’s voice and she is really funny. She provides witty commentary on just about everything in her life – the publishing business, her colleagues and authors, and herself. She often had me laughing. Ms. Flanders also creates good supporting characters, including Sam’s mother, her reclusive neighbor and an attractive police inspector. This cast of characters should do well together in future books of this series.
Kari, when she recommended this book, described it as “for when you need to veg for a few hours”. I think that sums it up well. It’s a nice, light read that will do the trick when you don’t feel like tackling anything heavier. Thanks for the recommendation, Kari!
Read any good mysteries lately?