Top positive review
10 people found this helpful
on 22 March 2014
Judith Flanders is a well known author of history books about the Victorian period but, with this novel, she has changed direction completely, writing a contemporary crime story. Having enjoyed her previous works, I was interested to see whether this change would be a success and, I am happy to say, that she is obviously as talented as a novelist as she is as a historian.
Samantha Clair is a "middle aged middling-ly successful" editor at Timms & Ross. She is, in fact, the kind of woman who run successful publishing offices. Her authors are not generally the kind of literary successes who win awards, but those who write `women's fiction' or gossipy books. In other words, the kinds of books which pay for all those respected literary works to be published, usually at a loss. When we meet Sam, she is having problems with two of her most popular authors and their new books. Her bestselling, and star author, Breda McManon, has changed direction and Sam hates her new novel . She also has concerns about the legal implications of Kit Lovell's (fashion journalist, author and friend) highly contentious new manuscript about a Spanish fashion designer; including financial irregularities and the possible cover up of his murder.
Sam likes a quiet life. She has recently broken up with her partner and enjoys living in her North London apartment, the company of her neighbours and her work. She muses that, "I only feel great when I'm lying on the sofa reading a book, possibly while simultaneously eating biscuits," which is a point of view I can sympathise with totally. In fact, Sam is an extremely likeable heroine who, despite her unwillingness to enter into an adventure is a loyal friend. When Kit goes missing, she is determined to discover his whereabouts, along with her intelligent and super efficient mother, Helena, and Inspector Jake Field. What lengths will someone go to to make sure that Kit's novel does not make it to print?
This is a fun, intelligent and witty crime novel. It has a great plot, excellent characters and a setting which will appeal to all readers, with a sharp and satirical look at the publishing industry, plus a humorous side trip to a Paris fashion show. I sincerely hope that Judith Flanders will make this a series , as I would love to see Sam involved in some more crime solving.