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A Cast of Vultures

(Sam Clair #3)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  706 ratings  ·  138 reviews

There was every possibility that I was dead, and my brain hadnt got the memo. Or maybe it was that I wished I were dead. On reflection, that was more likely.

Usually sharp-witted editor Sam Clair stumbles through her post-launch-party morning with the hangover to end all hangovers. Before the Nurofen has even kicked in, she finds herself entangled in an elaborate saga of

Hardcover, 320 pages
Published February 21st 2017 by Minotaur Books (first published 2017)
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  706 ratings  ·  138 reviews

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Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, 2017
I really enjoyed this! For some reason I wasn't expecting to like this as much as I did. I'm happy when something can surprise me!

This is actually the 3rd book in this series but I haven't read the first 2. I didn't find that to be a problem. I never felt like I was coming into the middle of something and feeling lost. So I do think this could be read without the benefit of the other two. Although, since I did enjoy this one, I will go back and read from the beginning:)

I really liked Sam as a
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, arc, thriller
This is an outstanding mystery full of suspense. It is not about birds. The characters are developed, the area descriptions will place you in London and neighborhood. The presentation of how a book is published and the politics involved is delightful. The fact the MC did not do anything too stupid to place herself in danger is pleasing.
Samantha aka Sam is woken one night by the smell of smoke and noise. Going outside she watch the "Empty House" burned to the ground. Sam knew that the house had
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Cast of Vultures is the third book in the Sam Clair mystery series. Sam Clair is an editor for a publishing company. She has a sharp wit when observing situations or interacting with characters. It is very interesting to see how life and work is in a publishing company. Right now the company has hired consultants to interview the workers to restructure the company. It is evident that the consultants don't understand what makes the publishing company work. I think many readers probably have had ...more
Jul 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have enjoyed the previous two books in this entertaining and well written series and this one is even better. Well written, they feature a narrator with an acid tongue and a tendency to poke her nose into things which might be better left alone. In this book editor, Sam Clair, fears for her job as her employer decides to restructure but there are things going on in her neighbourhood which soon serve to take her mind off her troubles at work.

A series of unexplained fires and a missing neighbour
Cathy Cole
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
I've been so busy that I haven't even picked up a book for almost a week. I actually forgot that I had ordered this book from my library, so when it came in, I knew that I had to read it. I love the first book, devoured the second, and the third (this one) was just as good. I can't recommend this series highly enough. Judith Flanders knows how to put all the thoughts that go on in people's minds into print, and, better yet, how to make them hilarious as she goes. Highly recommend!
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This series started strong, and book three may be the best so far. The mystery starts with a missing man and a house fire. Editor Samantha Claire's involvement comes through two sources- an elderly rather bossy woman who chorales her into helping to check on her missing neighbor, and later, the fire displaces squatters that Samantha knows through the odd jobs they do around her London neighborhood.
She opts to investigate when it seems the police are being unfairly close minded about who might be
Brenda Mengeling
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, fiction, 56
This third entry in the Sam Clair series is the strongest mystery so far. I enjoyed it as much as the others. Although Sam is still working as a senior editor for a small publishing house in London, the mystery here hits close to home when people in her neighborhood go missing and there are more fires than normal. Even though this book was more removed from the book world than the first two books, I still really enjoyed it. Sam is a great character, and her relationship with Jake, a Scotland ...more
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a fun read! suspense, lots of possible suspects, a clever narrator with a classy British inflection. I also enjoyed the bits about the publishing industry. the one thing I didn't get was why Sam's in a relationship with Jake, because for the first 70% of the book they had 0 chemistry and he seemed primarily to irritate her. I definitely want to read more of this series :)
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy following the plucky Sam Clair on her (mis)adventures. These mystery novels succeed in smartly entertaining the reader, while not taking themselves too seriously. Fun, lighthearted reads with a panoply of wonderful, well-developed characters, and enough suspense to keep a reader up well past her bedtime to reach the denouement.
Neil Plakcy
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
A very clever, well-written mystery set in the book publishing world in London. A very believable sleuth & lots of interesting secondary characters.
Mar 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a light mystery and an enjoyable read with a London setting.
Samantha Clair awakes with a hangover after her post-book- party to
learn about a fire in the neighborhood, also that there is a body and that
people are missing. Before the news comes out, Sam finds herself in the
center of all the action and mystery. The book is well written with humor,
smart and clever retorts as well as dry wit. You will like Sam and her friends
and characters. Enjoy!!
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I really, really enjoy Flanders' Sam Clair series, about an editor who finds herself mixed up in mysteries. Her writing is just really funny and engaging, and Sam is a likable and entertaining character. Flanders also tooooootally nails the intricacies of the publishing world--and I'm just as interested in her assistant and their office politics as I am in the case of the moment (this one involves a friend's missing neighbor, though things quickly grow
MB (What she read)
3.5 stars. I enjoy this series. This one ended kind of abruptly.
Jan 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an English based cozy about a Canadian living in England. When a local abandoned home, burns to the ground after housing squatters for years the community comes together to support the family that has lived there. The suspicious fire has main character Sam helping to solve the mysteries of the fires and missing neighbor. I loved the talk of gardening and community feelings I got from this book. This book is out February 21st.
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
My favorite in this series so far. Sam Clair is truly my alter ego, even if she and Judith don't know it.
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In this third installment of the series, book editor Sam Clair becomes embroiled in the search for a missing person and a series of arson-caused fires. I love the way that Sam makes totally logical decisions that end up putting her in ludicrous situations - climbing a ladder over a balcony to check on a friend's missing neighbor; a disastrous visit to the greenhouse. The secondary characters continue to be well fleshed out, and the machinations of Sam's career as an editor are interesting and ...more
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Action packed mystery! Sam finds herself climbing over someone's balcony in order to search their neighbor's apartment and she doesn't even know the person! Somehow her editor life becomes interesting when she is caught up in the middle of searching for a missing person, arson, thugs, murder and being social when she really doesn't want to be.

Great character development! Third book in the series but can be read as a stand-alone and you won't be lost. Funny and towards the middle the action hits!
Laura Sterkel
For those in my book group, it may resonate that I liken this enjoyable, light read to Stacey Ballis writes a Bridget Jones-esque protagonist in a BBC mystery.
Linda Baker
Our solitary and self-sufficient 40-something London book editor, Sam Clair, has seen a lot of changes in her life since we first met her in A Murder of Magpies. She has formed a supportive relationship with her reclusive upstairs neighbor, Mr. Rudiger, gotten closer to her other neighbors, the Lewises and their son Bim, and made other friends in her North London neighborhood. She has also acquired a part-time live-in, Jake Field, a London Police Detective. Sam has never enjoyed the endless ...more
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cozy mystery fans
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 ...more
Auderoy Lin

Crisps are not food. They werent? Id have to revise my whole food pyramid.

Foreigners think that all social interactions in Britain must legally begin with a discussion of the weather. This is not true. We are only required to talk about the weather in certain, very specific, circumstances. When the temperature rises above 22°. When it drops below 10°. When it rains heavily, or there are showers for more than three days in a row. And when it snows. Or hails. Or it looks like any of
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-england
Brava, Ms Flanders! Another delightful, well-written and funny excursion. Book editor Samantha Clair is asked by her elderly friend Viv to help look for Viv's missing neighbor. When a body is found in the latest of a string of arson fires in their London neighborhood, the puzzle is solved. The police believe the dead man was the arsonist, and was also a drug dealer under the guise of neighborhood do-gooder. Despite Sam's lack of knowledge of the case, she seems to be the target for several ...more
Janet Mahlum
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, no! There are no more books in this series. What will I do without Sam Clair? These books fit the definition of "cozy mystery" but are so much more. Sam is reasonably intelligent with quick wit and an awesome sense of humor. While I didn't actually laugh out loud while reading this book, I certainly did the smile and give the inside chuckle. While this was the perfect antidote to the tenseness in the last book I read, it did have some tense moments. Towards the end Sam and her (cop) partner ...more
Nov 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-reads
Someone is setting fires in Sam Clair's neighborhood, and the most recent one is just up the street from her flat. The people who lived there were squatters, but had been there for so long, they were part of the fabric of the place. There was a body found in the ashes, and at first it is assumed it is the body of the arsonist.

Meanwhile, Sam's friend Viv asks her to look into the disappearance of Viv's neighbor, a kind man who is a civil servant.

When the body in the ashes is discovered to be
Jenny Mackinlay
I'm a fan of her nonfiction and picked this up when I saw it on the library shelf; didn't know she wrote mysteries. I'm going to try the first one of the series before I give up, but this one didn't work for me. I kept reading because she does some great one-liners (or one-paragraph-ers) but I found the story bitty and confusing, weirdly paced and with way too many details I didn't buy: The pile of porn mags on the bedside of the bloke the fierce, puritanical old lady is vociferously sure is a ...more
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I think I see myself becoming Sam in 20 years. Which is a good thing, I think Sam's pretty awesome. Though I would like to find my Jake earlier than she did. I like Sam as a character. She's a book-loving, sarcastic badass filled with dry humor, who somehow manages to entangles herself in a murder investigation. I find reading about Jake's not-so-enthusiastic reactions to the things Sam gets into to be the highlight of my day.
The murder mystery was great. The use of fire was something I hadn't
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Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Editor Samantha Clair is back. She has a real talent for investigating murder, much to the consternation of her Scotland Yard detective boyfriend, Jake.

Sam's neighborhood is in an uproar after an arson fire in a deserted home where some families had been living displaces several residents. Sam was already interested because she was looking into the disappearance of a young community minded man who knew a friend of hers. He was highly thought of for his work in helping gang members go straight.
Kimberly Ann
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
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
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Judith Flanders was born in London, England, in 1959. She moved to Montreal, Canada, when she was two, and spent her childhood there, apart from a year in Israel in 1972, where she signally failed to master Hebrew.

After university, Judith returned to London and began working as an editor for various publishing houses. After this 17-year misstep, she began to write and in 2001 her first book, A

Other books in the series

Sam Clair (4 books)
  • A Murder of Magpies
  • A Bed of Scorpions
  • A Howl of Wolves (Sam Clair, #4)

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