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A Cast of Vultures by Judith Flanders

A Cast of Vultures

by Judith Flanders

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534313,394 (3.61)15



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Another entry into the series (and I'm hoping not the last) sees Sam Clair, getting pulled into a murder and arson in her neighborhood between some new trials at her publishing house. I quite enjoyed the mystery portion of the story but found that there were other aspects I enjoyed much more. Any and all appearances by Sam's mother and her upstairs neighbor rank pretty highly with me as they're such neat characters. All things book publishing also hit high points for me and if I'm honest, that B-story of impending corporate restructuring was my favorite and had me more worried for Sam than the murderer/arsonist on the loose. Also, this time around, there's a teenager, Sam, who is part of a local group of boys who are a bit at risk, that Sam (our book publisher heroine) gets to know and help and he really comes through in a big way in the end. I do have to admit to not being very invested in Sam's love life and found much of that bit tedious. I barely care about her detective boyfriend (his name escapes me) so I surely didn't care about his ex-paramour and her attitude. Still, I understand why the thread was necessary to the storyline.

I'd recommend this for fans of the series or even just cozy fans looking for a good read. Now that I've read all three, I think I'd advise reading them in order so that you know a bit about the established characters. It's an easy read and worth being your weekend read. ( )
  anissaannalise | May 13, 2018 |
Flanders delivers again - with the exception of one scene that asked too much suspension of disbelief, I had a great time with this book.

Helping a neighbour check on her missing friend, Sam is sucked into a well-intentioned case of B&E, but when that friend turns up dead in an arson-related house fire down the street, Sam can't resist wondering: how does a man who worked with at risk boys, dined with elderly neighbours, and helped squatters negotiate the law end up setting fires and selling drugs?

The mystery surrounding all of this is deliciously complex, and even though I correctly picked out the guilty party early, I had no earthly idea why that person was guilty (sometimes it's obvious by the story's construction - the dog that doesn't bark, so to speak), and finding out was fun and a little bit... if not surprising, interesting. And a little bit sad.

Most of all, I love the scenes that are played out in the publishing house Sam works for - the politics of the job, the editing process (the part that isn't all about the grammar), and the office interactions are all some of my favourite bits. (Miranda is awesome.)

This is one of those cozy mysteries I can recommend without reservation; it's not the fluffy stuff being pumped out in droves; it's smart, funny, real, and highly relatable in just about all aspects (save that scene I mentioned at the beginning). These are the ones I buy in hardcover - bring on #4! ( )
  murderbydeath | Apr 5, 2018 |
I'm really not sure what to say, I marked this down because of all the "chatter", 1st person narrative, which could have been less.

In this book of the series (see, I don't even remember her name) is helping a friend search for a missing man (from the city planning commission) who turns up dead (coshed in the back of the head) in a fire. The fire is one of many that have been lit is a particular area of town.

Her b.f. is a policeman, he is semi-involved in the case, and she is a witness of sorts... then she become a target, as does her b.f.

She is also an editor @ a publishing house that has brought in an outside firm to "streamline"... but when questioned about what it is they are actually doing, they have not a clue about publishing & what it takes to be a successful publishing company. ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 21, 2018 |
There's no simpler way to put this: I love Judith Flanders' Samantha Clair mysteries! Sam and I agree on meetings, shopping, and socializing. Now if I were only one-tenth as witty as she....

The mystery is a good one in A Cast of Vultures, even though the reader quickly learns the identity of the killer. The trick is in deducing why. In addition, Sam's impromptu investigation has some very scary moments in her home and at Kew Gardens-- and they showed me the importance of having a flashlight app on my smartphone.

Flanders also serves up another brilliant glimpse into the world of publishing. This time Sam's publishing house is restructuring in order to save money. The problem is, the experts that have been brought in have no clue what Sam and her co-workers actually do. Sound familiar?

The author (who is also one of the foremost social historians of the Victorian Era) has served up what is, to me, the perfect blend of mystery, the world of books, characters with whom you want to be best friends, wit, and humor. I don't want her to ever stop writing them. They are a delight, and if you haven't read any of them, I urge you to do so as quickly as possible. ( )
1 vote cathyskye | Feb 20, 2017 |
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"There was every possibility that I was dead, and my brain hadn't got the memo. Or maybe it was that I wished I were dead. On reflection, that was more likely. Normally sharp-witted, book editor Sam Clair stumbles through a post-launch party morning with the hangover to end all hangovers. But before the Nurofen has even kicked in, she finds herself entangled in an elaborate saga of missing neighbors, suspected arson and an odd, unidentified body. By the time the grizzly news breaks that the fire has claimed another victim, Sam is already hot in pursuit. Armed once again with her biting commentary, her boyfriend Inspector Jake Field, and her stalwart Goth assistant, Sam must track down the murderer and face a pair from Thugs 'R' Us in this uproariously funny and fast-paced mystery in this critically acclaimed series from New York Times bestseller Judith Flanders"--… (more)

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