Skip to main content

A Howl of Wolves


A Howl of Wolves

Prepare yourself for smart characters and witty dialogue in A HOWL OF WOLVES, the fourth and latest book in Judith Flanders’ critically acclaimed mystery series.

Samantha Clair, also known as Sam, is a book editor for a publishing house in London who loves research and how stories unfold. She shares a flat with her boyfriend, Jake Field, and her neighbors are a host of characters who readers will know from previous books. A HOWL OF WOLVES revolves around two of these neighbors: Anthony and his wife, Kay, who are actors. Their current gig is a modern production of a 16th-century play, and their son, Bim, also has a part in it.

Sam and Jake attend the opening night. The play is a particularly grizzly one, and they count up the murders as the action progresses. Theater can be macabre, but there turns out to be an actual dead body on stage. The victim is Campbell Davison, the director of the production. Jake, who works as a Detective Inspector in London, is on the scene and begins his investigation.

"Flanders provides insightful moments about working with creative people that are endearing and charming, and delivers a twisty plot that would make book editor Sam smile."

Despite her busy work life, Sam can’t seem to shake her curiosity about the murder. After all, the actors are her friends. When visiting the theater as she accompanies Bim to a rehearsal, Sam notices sketches on a wall that includes the costume drawings on display for the play. She takes pictures with her phone but is asked to stop. Sylvia Sanders, the set designer, has ordered that no photos be taken of any of the drawings.

Sam, who has a knack for research, asks for help from a friend who is a fashion journalist.  They discover that the drawings may belong to a German designer, Richard Maurer, who died in 1971. How did they become part of the play, and how did Sylvia obtain them? Did Maurer know Campbell? When Sylvia is found dead, Sam begins to wonder if and how the deaths are linked. She reaches out to her mother, who happens to be a solicitor, for more information about the heirs to Maurer’s work. The investigation leads Sam to details about Campbell’s past that shed light on the murders, but there are still too many unanswered questions.

Things take another turn when Bim is kidnapped, and Sam’s focus and talent are tested as she sets out to find him. She does. However, Sam cannot rest as she must understand the plot behind the murders and the abduction. Little does she know that her determination to figure out the motive could be putting her own life in jeopardy.

Murder and mayhem often go hand in hand, and this story handles it all with a sense of humor. The art world --- from literature to theater to fashion --- is a clever part of the backdrop. Flanders provides insightful moments about working with creative people that are endearing and charming, and delivers a twisty plot that would make book editor Sam smile. I cannot wait for the next installment in this fun series.

Reviewed by Jennifer McCord on May 25, 2018

A Howl of Wolves
by Judith Flanders

  • Publication Date: May 15, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books
  • ISBN-10: 125008783X
  • ISBN-13: 9781250087836