A Howl of Wolves (Sam Clair) by Judith Flanders

Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

A Howl of WolvesFlanders brings back book editor Sam Clair for a fourth book in A Howl of Wolves. Again there are two plot threads to follow-the major one being a crime involving a murder that Sam’s boyfriend and Scotland Yard detective Jake Fields is assigned to and a minor one involving some aspect of the book publishing industry. Once again, the plot solving the murder is well written with plenty of twists, but it is the insider scoops on publishing the draws me to the series and sets it apart from the many crime fiction series available.

Sam and Jake’s neighbors who are involved in the theater world have a new play opening with the added bonus of their son Bim is also going to have a part. Sam and Jake attend the opening night and while they are a bit taken a back by the thirteen murders written into the script they are horrified when the body opening the second act turns out to not be the stage dummy but the body of the production’s director. Immediately Jake is on the case, and as always he warns Sam to stay out of the investigation. However, she is drawn in because of her relationship with Bim and his parents.

The reason for the murders leads readers on an interesting journey into costume designs, German history and as is often the case, a family riddled with strife over inheritances. I enjoyed the twists along the way a great deal. As in the previous books, Helen, Sam’s mother plays a role in helping Sam gather important information. I have always enjoyed the back and forth between Helen and Sam and this book did not disappoint.

The secondary plot line follows Sam’s cleverness at maneuvering one of her star authors into a better slot at an upcoming book event when her publishing firm pitches books to book buyers. I especially like the way Flanders interjects this plot into the story to lighten the mood and give readers a few chuckles amid the grim murder investigation.

A Howl of Wolves is the fourth book in the series, but readers could easily pick this book up and read it without having read any of the previous books.

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