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The Night Raven

(Crow Investigations #1)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  2,176 ratings  ·  188 reviews
Meet Lydia Crow...

Lydia has always known she has no power, especially next to her infamous and more-than-slightly dodgy family. Which is why she carved her own life as a private investigator far away from London.

When a professional snafu forces her home, the head of the family calls in a favour, and Lydia finds herself investigating the disappearance of her cousin, Ma
Kindle Edition, 246 pages
Published October 18th 2018 by Siskin Press Limited
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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 ·  2,176 ratings  ·  188 reviews

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K.J. Charles
London urban fantasy with four warring magical families as the setting for a detective plot. A very nice idea with some intriguing characters, which manages to set up a world and a bunch of future plot elements without overwhelming the current story. Lovely cover, too.

Lots of good stuff, but sadly let down by inadequate editing. (If I had a quid for every time I wrote that...) There are plot holes, clunky phrasing with repeated names, grammar errors, stray punctuation marks to the point where I
Jun 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: urban-fantasy
A mix of urban fantasy and a heavy dose of new adult makes a clunky, not totally pleasing read.
The good: the urban fantasy world. Pity that the world building itself wasn't that deep. But it was fresh and interesting at least.
The bad: the new adult theme and heroine. Why would I want to read about a 27 yo woman who is not able to keep a job, doesn't really know what she wants to do or be in life? And of course is hormone driven... (at least it's not the story).
She's not that bright, when not do
So... this was... a hair above ok?

It's got something that rises above the sum of its parts, and to be honest there's a lot to complain about with the parts.

The resolution is unsatisfactory in the same sort of way as if you have a suicide in a mystery novel be an actual suicide and not a murder, yet somehow I didn't really mind, perhaps because I wasn't really invested in the investigation. The investigation that she doesn't really seem to get started with until halfway through the book, or dis
This was good in parts, as it is the first in a series there was some world setting which may be fleshed out more in later books.

Lydia Crow left London, fled more like, for Scotland but now after a disgruntled client threatened her physically she's been put on forced annual leave and has returned to London. Her uncle Charlie Crow has let her stay in a flat above a disused cafe in Camberwell but the first night a strange man tries to kill her and is only stopped by a ghost who somehow materialise
‘You always were sharp.’ Not that sharp, Lydia thought, putting her mobile onto the floor by the bed. I came back to London.

I really did liked this for the most part- but some of the character interactions were a little lacking for moi.


So, the good--I enjoyed the London backdrop, and the mix of historical mystery with modern mysticism. We get information on all of these magical families and how powerful and fear inducing they use to be. While some of that old fear and magic linge
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: f-sf-for-adults
I was lucky enough to read an early copy of this one, and I loved it so much that I blurbed it! This is what my blurb says: "My favourite new urban fantasy series, clever and twisty and deliciously magical, with a shivery sense of wonder that feels utterly grounded in its London setting. Perfect for fans of Ben Aaronovitch, Genevieve Cogman or Robert Galbraith!"

Grab it!
E Varady
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Not for me

I like a good mystery but this story dragged from the first chapter. I was 44% into the book and only 3 days had passed with nothing interesting happening. The MC is too passive for my taste, letting all the men in her life walk all over her. If prefer she step up and take action rather than whinging about things. Her constant reminders of her slack of power screamed woe-is-me.

The love interest was sudden and depthless, both as a character and as a plot point. Side characters needed m
Aug 27, 2020 rated it liked it

Very interesting start to a new to me author.

Very subtle in the story and world building? Going to interesting to see where the author take us to in her story.

It's got my interest .
Jul 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Promising start to a new urban fantasy series with an interesting main character and shadowy magical world set in London.
Although this first book seemed a little rushed and didn't go into much detail about the 4 magical families, the premise is an interesting one and will hopefully develope more in subsequent books which I would definitely read
A quick, entertaining read on a boiling hot day.
Jun 02, 2019 rated it liked it
This book just didn't seem to ever really settle in to any sort of flow; even when it ended I still felt like I was settling in to the locations and the characters and getting my head around the overall premise. The central disappearance of a Crow family member merely serves to introduce us to Lydia's family and, by extension, some of the other London powerful 4 and never really acts as more than a manipulation of the reader to introduce us to Crow family lore and the Fox clan. It provides the o ...more
Julia Mikes
Aug 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book had such a compelling premise. Competing magical mob families in London. Renegade private eye daughter returns to live over a ghostly cafe... gets randomly attacked... than she has to investigate the disappearance of her cousin. It all sounds interesting in theory but none of these story-pieces lead to anywhere interesting. None of it gets explored. Perhaps future books in the series will lead to better stories and more in-depth exploration of an intriguing world... but I found this st ...more
Oct 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
AUTHOR Painter, Sarah
TITLE The Night Raven
DATE READ 10/15/20
GENRE/ PUB DATE/FORMAT/LENGTH Fiction/2018/hoopla audio/6 hr 50 min
SERIES/STAND-ALONE #1 Crow Investigations
CHALLENGE Good Reads 2020 Reading Goal/173/120
TIME/PLACE 2017/England
COMMENTS Lydia is from a family that has magical powers. She thinks she is different and doesn't share these powers and breaks away and becomes a private investigator … and this case involves a family memb
Nicki Rochead
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
With Family loke this, who needs enemies...

A thoroughly enjoyable debut for Lydia Crow. Her world of the four families is original and seems very well thought out. She is an engaging and believable heroine with an interesting foil in Fleet and excellent supporting characters. The protagonist as a PI role is not a new one for urban fantasy readers but Ms. Painter keeps her (just about) within the constraints of a British investigator and the plot rattles along at a pleasing pace. I'm really look
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoy a good supernatural private investigator story! This was a solid introductory book to a series, it resolves enough but still leaves you with some mysteries to chew on. I wasn’t wholly enamoured, it felt somewhat perfunctory at times, but I liked it and I look forward to the next book. 3.75/5 stars
Jan 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
3.5 stars as I enjoyed this London based urban fantasy story that kicks off a new series. It wasn’t perfect, but there was enough in it to make me want to read more in the series. True, I am bored with instalust and hormone-driven female leads, but okay it does seem to be the prevalent meme in so many genres so why not here too.
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
good but felt incomplete

it was going along as a great mystery and then it got mostly magical which detracted from the mystery. the stalemate with fleet was odd too. like the book ended in because it had to but wasn’t done. i’ll try the next one.
Heather W
Feb 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Reasonable, predictable fun that is a good introduction to a series. I really enjoyed it and will probably continue with the rest of the series.

Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a different kind of paranormal mystery and I like it.

In this world there are 4 magical families who have divided up the territory of London and live, mostly, at peace. Over the generations the powers have faded while the lust for power has only grown stronger. The legends seem to indicate that the power was given by gods but the real truth is not the subject of this book.

In this book Lydia Crow returns to Chamberwell to hide out from a client who was threatening her in Aberdeen, Scotland
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
A very nice read. Magical, a little bit mafia but at the same time not quite. It leaves you wanted for more, what is it with Henry Crow, what happens with the Family? There is something that is making instinct itch but I guess we have to read the next book to find out what exactly it is that you feel isn't really quite told. What is going on with Jason? And Amy?
Sue Gill
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this and I'm contemplating going strait into the next one!. Magic, intrigue and mystery
Love some if the descriptions given, the author really sold the characters to me.
I'm not very eloquent right now so not doing the book justice.

A mid 20s woman returns to London whilst trying to avoid entanglement in her dubious family.
Apr 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Lydia Crow has reluctantly returned to London after 5 years in Scotland as a private investigator. Coming home, she wants to hold her own and not be caught up in the family business but Uncle Charlie is having none of that as he needs Lydia’s help to find Maddie. For the family business has been around for a couple of hundred years and is currently involved in a loose truce with three other families, the Foxes, Pearls and Silvers. Each family has their own unique skill set.
Lydia is offered a pl
Aug 30, 2019 rated it did not like it
Had this as an Audible. Have given up. Not for me.

Initially premise reminded me of Diana Wynne Jones' Archer's Goon, which I still have a soft spot for as an adult. Night Raven, 4 families with different paranormal controlling powers and lots of history between them, plus an investigation, cracking!

Sadly it just did not grab me.

Narrator sounds like she's reading for Jackanory and some of the character voices sound totally dopey, Uncle Charlie for example and Aunt I've forgotten her name.

Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, kindle
Review to come
Karen Taylor
Oct 18, 2020 rated it liked it
I'm a fan of urban paranormal, and was willing to give this series a try. The world-building had a lot of potential, but our lead character, Lydia Crow, does not bring me into her view of the world in a satisfactory way.

Lydia is part of a magical Crow family (there are four, we learn: Crow, Fox, Silver and Pearl), who was raised away from the family to have a "normal" life. She is now returning to London and thus, being forced to have more interaction with her magical relatives.

Mind you, I don't
Rosie Wylor-Owen
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is my first time reading Sarah Painter and I had no idea what I’d be in for. This book really was a page turner.

Lydia Crow has been put on leave from her job as a private investigator thanks to an ungrateful client who is talking about repercussions for her. She decides to take up the offer of a rent-free flat from her uncle Charlie, the patriarch of the Crow organisation *ahem* family. In exchange, he wants her to do him a favour: find what happened to her missing cousin, Madeleine.

May 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: i-own, e-books
Ooh London and magic; my faves.
The four magic families have kept an uneasy truce for nearly eighty years. Lydia is a Crow but she sowed her wild oats with a Fox years ago, and actually got out of the family clutches, moving to Scotland and training as a private investigator. But circumstances force her back to London, and her Uncle Charlie - head of the capital F family - has an empty cafe with a flat upstairs. It’ll cost her, she knows it will. Soon enough, she is asked to put her new skills to
Mar 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Lydia Crow- we don’t know if she’s precious or useless. But either way her family is important enough in the magical crime world that her movements and choices have impact. Having escaped the family business, Lydia’s on unpaid sabbatical and return home after years away. Her protective parents have kept her in the dark about most family details, and it’s proving to be a disadvantage when she’s immediately thrown into the middle of a family mess.

Ugh, I don’t know about this book. I was pretty ex
Betsy Shaver
Jul 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I chose this book on a whim. I often pick new books like I do race horses - because they have an intriguing title, an interesting name. I had not read any books by this author before so this was completely new and unexplored territory for me. I also rarely if ever write a review of a book.

I am delighted I took a chance on this title because I definitely picked a winner. The premise is unique and fresh. The characters are well-developed and compelling, the action is smooth and the plot is not pr
As the opening book in an urban fantasy series, this novel has a lot to do - setting up characters and establishing the world and its rules as well as delivering a plotline that keeps the reader's attention. It didn't fully succeed in this.

I like Lydia Crow, the fledgling private detective who arrives back home in London to escape briefly from a threatening client. Unfortunately for Lydia, she's in hot water the minute she sets foot in her bolthole. Although she's a member of the most powerful
Dec 17, 2019 rated it liked it
If this had been the first episode of a TV show I would have been very interested in seeing what came next, but as a book, it was just a bit flat. There was nothing really bad about it, but there was nothing really stand-out about it either. Start to finish was just kind of even-keeled; very few tense or exciting moments.
The Crows are one of four magical Families (capital F) that control the London criminal world, but the magic has pretty much gone away, so there is very little magic in the stor
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Sarah Painter's novels span contemporary fiction with a touch of magic to historical fiction mixed with psychological thriller. Yes, she finds it difficult to stick to one genre!

Her bestselling debut novel, The Language of Spells, introduced the quirky town of Pendleford, and was followed by a sequel, The Secrets of Ghosts and a prequel novella, The Garden of Magic.

Sarah's latest novel, In The Li

Other books in the series

Crow Investigations (4 books)
  • The Silver Mark (Crow Investigations, #2)
  • The Fox's Curse (Crow Investigations, #3)
  • The Pearl King (Crow Investigations, #4)

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