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Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.

Witty publishing world mystery with intelligent, independent (only occasionally grumpy) midlife female main character

A Murder of Magpies - Judith Flanders

Since Samantha (Sam) Clair is a non-flashy middle-aged woman who works as a book editor and lives a quiet somewhat solitary life with just a few close friends, people tend to seriously underestimate her intellect, her powers of observation, her pointed sarcastic wit, and her won’t be brushed off or appeased determination. When one of her authors goes missing and police seem more interested in his yet to be published tell-all exposé than finding him Sam starts her own investigation.


Readers who enjoy the challenge of puzzles may feel differently, but while I loved this smart, funny book and its good-hearted but sometimes grumpy main character, the solving of the mystery was the least interesting part of the story for me, especially when characters were systematically analyzing the meaning of clues. What I did like was following Sam around to see what she’d say and do next. One moment she’d be flattering an egotistical bigwig, lulling him into thinking this frumpy older woman respects and reveres him, but when that bigwig was dismissive or not forthcoming with information she was hoping to sweet-talk out of him she’d turn on a dime and dish out a devastating faux-innocent put down that would silence the room and then walk out without looking back, no longer interested, with me running along behind her.


I also enjoyed being there for Sam’s interactions with her high-style gossipy author, her whip-sharp ultra-competent lawyer mother, her willing to innovate outside the box editorial assistant, and her reclusive never leaves his apartment neighbor. Sam has a somewhat skeptical attitude toward the nascent romance developing between her and the lead detective that’s refreshing because it’s so non-starry-eyed, and this book’s inside look at the world of publishing can’t help but be entertaining for bibliophiles. A fun book, especially if you’d like a slightly older, intelligent, independent woman as your main character.


I read an advanced review copy of this book given to me at no cost by the publisher. Review opinions are mine.


Source: http://jaylia3.booklikes.com/post/1095771/witty-publishing-world-mystery-with-intelligent-independent-only-occasionally-grumpy-midlife-female-main-character