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.
Usually clear-headed editor Samantha Clair stumbles through her post-book-party morning with the hangover to end all hangovers. But before the ibuprofen has even kicked in, she finds herself entangled in an elaborate saga of missing neighbors, suspected arson, and strange men offering free tattoos.
By the time the grisly news breaks that the fire has claimed a victim, Sam is already in pursuit. Never has comedy been so deadly as she faces down a pair from Thugs ’R’ Us, aided by nothing more than a Scotland Yard boyfriend, a stalwart Goth assistant, and an unnerving knowledge of London’s best farmer’s markets.
From the acclaimed bestselling author Judith Flanders, A Cast of Vultures continues the sharp-witted series starring book editor and amateur sleuth Samantha Clair.
Near the start of Flanders's engaging if convoluted third novel featuring London book editor Samantha Clair (after 2016's A Bed of Scorpions), Sam agrees to help an elderly friend, Viv, locate a missing neighbor of Viv's, Dennis Harefield. Days after she and Viv break into Dennis's flat, his body is discovered in an abandoned building that caught fire and was home to a group of squatters. When the police accuse the dead man of arson and drug dealing, Sam resolves to help Viv prove his innocence, disregarding the concerns of her boyfriend, police detective Jake Field. Claire's quest soon puts her in jeopardy. Flanders adroitly avoids chick-lit clich s, opting for nuanced, multidimensional characters, including Sam's high-powered attorney mother, Helena, and her reclusive upstairs neighbor, Mr. Rudiger. Insights into the fraught culture of publishing, where editors balance publicity demands with interference by corporate management consultants who refer to books as "product," lend interest. Readers will look forward to seeing more of smart, successful, self-deprecating Sam.