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by Judith Flanders
Minotaur, February 2017
320 pages
ISBN: 1250087821

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

A vacant house in Sam's neighborhood burns in what is at first considered an act of arson. When a body, presumed to be the arsonist, is found inside, the emphasis of the investigation turns to an arson gone wrong. However, Sam, and pretty much everyone else in the neighborhood, knows the supposedly vacant house was in fact inhabited by several squatters who were well known and well liked by the neighbors. So when the body is identified and the police realize the man was acquainted with the squatters, their investigation shifts to include a harder look at those people.

In a second plot thread, Sam is asked by a friend to help her find out where her neighbor has gone. He seemingly disappeared without taking anything with him. When the friend suggests a way they could break into his apartment to look for any clues, Sam is hesitant knowing her boyfriend Jake, a police officer, is not going to be pleased if he finds out. But when she weighs out the pros and cons of helping, she realizes if the missing person was her neighbor she would absolutely break in tho the apartment. I liked that the author gave readers the chance to see Sam reason this action out rather than just rushing blindly into a situation that most probably will lead to trouble.

Meanwhile at work things are strained for Sam as her company brings in a company to streamline operations - people who are not in any way connected to publishing and have no idea how manuscripts turn into published books. This part of the book is one of the things I like most about Flanders' work. I love the peek inside the world of publishing the author gives readers.

A CAST OF VULTURES brings readers their third mystery with protagonist Sam Clair, a senior editor in the London publishing industry. Readers should be fairly comfortable with Sam and her supporting cast of characters by now, leaving us more time to focus on just how well crafted the plotting of these mysteries is. This is a wonderful addition to the series.

Caryn St.Clair resides in University City, Missouri and is a former elementary school media specialist, President of the Parks Commission and a docent at the St.Louis Zoo.

Reviewed by Caryn St Clair, February 2017

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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