This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Verity Wilde
Sam is an editor at a London publishing house – she describes herself as middle aged and middlingly successful. Her biggest problems are that she hates the new manuscript from her star author and that fashion insider Kit Lovell’s latest book – about an industry scandal – is going to need to be checked for libel by the lawyers. Then police Inspector Jake Field turns up at Timmins and Ross asking whether any parcels have failed to appear and suddenly life gets a lot more complicated…
This is a witty and enjoyable mystery novel, that isn’t quite as cosy as the cover might have you believe. I was totally engrossed as Sam chased around high-powered circles in London and Paris trying to find out who was trying to stop Kit’s manuscript from being published. The solution was satisfying and really quite inventive, although I had to read some of the explanations a couple of times to get my head around them (but that may be because I’m not a maths-y, legal-y person).
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I found Sam a breath of fresh air – she is down to earth and self-depreciating and very easy to like. Also, unlike some heroines, she doesn’t get distracted from the fact that one of her friends is in danger by the prospect of a new boyfriend. Here is a great cast of supporting characters – including a reclusive upstairs neighbour and Ben the petulant literary fiction editor – but my particular favourite was Sam’s super-lawyer mum, who constantly seems to be at least one step ahead of everyone else (including the police), all while being beautifully dressed and with immaculate hair and makeup.Amateur sleuths are always tricky to pull off because it is so easy for them to seem meddling and foolhardy, but Judith Flanders manages to keep Sam on the right side of that line. I was thoroughly entertained and am hoping that Sam and Inspector Field will be back for more.