Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
A Murder of Magpies

A Murder of Magpies

A Novel

Sam Clair (Volume 1)

Judith Flanders

Minotaur Books

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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.

EXCERPT

1



"Oh, just kill me now!" I didn't shriek that out loud, just clenched my teeth more tightly. It was eight thirty, and already the day couldn't get much worse. I'm always at my desk by eight, not because I'm so wonderful, although...

Reviews

Praise for A Murder of Magpies

“Hilarious, big-hearted, clever, whip-smart and devious. A truly wonderful crime novel by a brilliant writer... Judith Flanders has found that difficult, magical ground between humour and crime, where the death is never trivialized, but the territory is hysterically pilloried. Brava!” —Louise Penny, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Long Way Home

“Deadly funny. Judith Flanders' wry take on publishing and murder should be on everybody's wish list.” —Donna Leon, New York Times bestselling author of By Its Cover

“Wickedly clever -- and very funny… But like Bridget Jones, the obvious forerunner to her singleton London book editor/detective, Samantha Clair is not just played for laughs. There's some deep social satire in her investigation into the disappearance of a gossip columnist. And, yes, lots of laughs.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Carefully mixed up and served, with a lot of humor… Here's hoping Flanders has more to say and will be back with another book.” —San Jose Mercury News

“The array of delightful and believable characters, as well as a neat turn at the end, will leave readers well satisfied and anticipating the next installment.” —Publishers Weekly

“A layered mystery in which fingers can be pointed in a variety of directions… full of charm and characters worth visiting again.” —Kirkus

“Smart, action-packed…Flanders has applied skilful writing to her knowledge of the London publishing scene, serving up an enjoyable, intricate page-turner.” —Booklist

“A sophisticated and smart mystery… [with a] clever protagonist and entertaining workplace drama.” —Romantic Times

“Wickedly funny… the perfect storm of an entertaining read… Loved it.” —London Times

“From the first page you want Samantha Clair to be your new best friend… [Flanders] keeps the reader intrigued and laughing in equal measure.” —Daily Mail (UK)

“Mordantly funny; at last a novel about the world of fashion that seems to find it as ridiculous as I do.” —Philip Kerr, author of A Man Without Breath

“I had no idea that the publishing world could be so funny--and so dangerous. A Murder of Magpies reminds me of the comic crime novels of Donald E. Westlake, with its own humorous, deadly edge.  Judith Flanders has created one of the most engaging main characters I've encountered in quite a while. Indeed, even the minor characters are memorable. I chuckled while I feared for their safety, and hope to meet them in another novel.” —David Morrell, author of Murder as a Fine Art

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Judith Flanders

JUDITH FLANDERS is the New York Times bestselling author of The Invention of Murder and one of the foremost social historians of the Victorian era. She is a contributor to the Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Spectator, and the Times Literary Supplement. Before turning her hand to writing, Judith worked as an editor for various publishing houses, including the publications department of the National Portrait Gallery, London. She lives in London.

Judith Flanders

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