A Murder Hatched: Murder with Peacocks and Murder with Puffins (Meg Langslow Series #1 & 2)

A Murder Hatched: Murder with Peacocks and Murder with Puffins (Meg Langslow Series #1 & 2)

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by Donna Andrews
     
 

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Catch the first two books in Donna Andrews's award-winning laugh-out-loud Meg Lanslow series: this ebook bundle contains Murder with Peacocks and Murder with Puffins.

From ducks to penguins to peacocks to parrots, Donna Andrews knows her birds! And she's channeled all her skill and winning humor into one of the most accomplished, entertaining

Overview

Catch the first two books in Donna Andrews's award-winning laugh-out-loud Meg Lanslow series: this ebook bundle contains Murder with Peacocks and Murder with Puffins.

From ducks to penguins to peacocks to parrots, Donna Andrews knows her birds! And she's channeled all her skill and winning humor into one of the most accomplished, entertaining cozy series around. It all began with Murder with Peacocks, which won the St. Martin's Minotaur/Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition. Upon learning that her novel had won, Donna acquired a copy of the Peterson Field Guide to Eastern Birds and settled herself down with her zany heroine, blacksmith Meg Langslow. The fun has not stopped since. Murder with Peacocks scooped up the Agatha, Anthony, and Barry Awards, along with the Romantic Times award for best first novel and the Lefty award for the funniest mystery.

See how this stunning, laugh-out-loud series all began and meet Meg Langslow, one of the most dynamic and hilarious characters ever to grace the mystery shelves.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“If you long for more ‘fun''mysteries, á la Janet Evanovich, you'll love Donna Andrews's Meg Langslow series.” —The Charlotte Observer

“Andrews's talent for the lovably loony makes this series a winner; to miss it would be a cardinal sin.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Death by yard sale epitomizes the ‘everyday people' humor that Andrews does so well.” —Rocky Mountain News

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312541903
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
09/30/2008
Series:
Meg Langslow Series
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
624
Sales rank:
510,454
Product dimensions:
8.26(w) x 10.90(h) x 1.06(d)

Read an Excerpt

 

Murder with Peacocks

Tuesday, May 24

I HAD BECOME SO USED TO HYSTERICAL DAWN PHONE CALLS THAT I only muttered one half hearted oath before answering.

“Peacocks,” a voice said.

“I beg your pardon, you must have the wrong number,” I mumbled. I opened one eye to peer at the clock: it was 6:00 A.M.

“Oh, don’t be silly, Meg,” the voice continued. Ah, I recognized it now. Samantha, my brother, Rob’s, fiancée. “I just called to tell you that we need some peacocks.”

“What for?”

“For the wedding, of course.” Of course. As far as Samantha was concerned, the entire universe revolved around her upcoming wedding, and as maid of honor, I was expected to share her obsession.

“I see,” I said, although actually I didn’t. I suppressed a shudder at the thought of peacocks, roasted with the feathers still on, gracing the buffet table. Surely that wasn’t what she had in mind, was it? “What are we going to do with them at the wedding?”

“We’re not going to do anything with them” Samantha said, impatiently. “They’ll just be there, adding grace and elegance to the occasion. Don’t you remember the weekend before last when we all had dinner with your father? And he was saying what a pity it was that nothing much would be blooming in the yard in August, so there wouldn’t be much color? Well, I just saw a photo in a magazine that had peacocks in it, and they were just about the most darling things you ever saw …”

I let her rattle on while I fumbled over the contents of my bedside table, found my notebook-that-tells-me-when-to-breathe, flipped to the appropriate page, and wrote “Peacocks” in the clear, firm printing I use when I am not in a very good mood.

“Were you thinking of buying or renting them?” I asked, interrupting Samantha’s oration on the charms of peacocks.

“Well—rent if we can. I’m sure Father would be perfectly happy to buy them if necessary, but I’m not sure what we would do with them in the long run.” I noted “Rent/buy if necessary” after “Peacocks.”

“Right. Peacocks. I’ll see what I can turn up.”

“Wonderful. Oh, Meg, you’re just so wonderful at all this!”

I let her gush for a few more minutes. I wondered, not for the first time, if I should feel sorry for Rob or if he was actually looking forward to listening to her for the rest of his life. And did Rob, who shared my penchant for late hours, realize how much of a morning person Samantha was? Eventually, I managed to cut short her monologue and sign off. I was awake; I might as well get to work.

Muttering “Peacocks!” under my breath, I stumbled through a quick shower, grabbed some coffee, and went into my studio. I flung open all the windows and gazed fondly at my unlit forge and my ironworking tools. My spirits rose.

For about ten seconds. Then the phone rang again.

“What do you think of blue, dear?” my mother asked.

“Good morning, Mother. What do you mean, blue?”

“The color blue, dear.”

“The color blue,” I repeated, unenlightened. I am not at my best before noon.

“Yes, dear,” Mother said, with a touch of impatience.

“What do I think of it?” I asked, baffled. “I think it’s a lovely color. The majority of Americans name blue when asked their favorite color. In Asian cultures—”

“For the living room, dear.”

“Oh. You’re getting something blue for the living room?”

“I’m redoing it, dear. For the wedding, remember? In blue. Or green. But I was really leaning to blue. I was wondering what you thought.”

What I thought? Truthfully? I thought my mother’s idea of redoing the living room for the wedding had been a temporary aberration arising from too much sherry after dinner at an uncle’s house. And incidentally, the wedding in question was not Rob’s and Samantha’s but her own. After the world’s most amiable divorce and five years of so-called single life during which my father happily continued to do all her yard work and run errands for her, my mother had decided to marry a recently widowed neighbor. And I had also agreed to be Mother’s maid of honor. Which, knowing my mother, meant I had more or less agreed to do every lick of work associated with the occasion. Under her exacting supervision, of course.

“What sort of blue?” I asked, buying time. The living room was done entirely in earth tones. Redoing it in blue would involve new drapes, new upholstery, new carpet, new everything. Oh, well, Dad could afford it, I suppose. Only Dad wouldn’t be paying, I reminded myself. What’s-his-name would. Mother’s fiance. Jake. I had no idea how well or badly off Jake was. Well, presumably Mother did.

“I hadn’t decided, dear. I thought you might have some ideas.”

“Oh. I tell you what,” I said, improvising. “I’ll ask Eileen. She’s the one with the real eye for color. I’ll ask her, and we’ll get some color swatches and we’ll talk about it when I come down.”

“That will be splendid, Meg dear. Well, I’ll let you get back to your work now. See you in a few days.”

I added “Blue” to my list of things to do. I actually managed to put down my coffee and pick up my hammer before the phone rang a third time.

“Oh, Meg, he’s impossible. This is just not going to work.”

The voice belonged to my best friend and business partner, Eileen. She with the eye for colors. The he in question was Steven, since New Year’s Eve her fiance, at least during the intervals between premarital spats. At the risk of repeating myself, I should add that I was, of course, also Eileen’s maid of honor.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“He doesn’t want to include the Native American herbal purification ceremony in the wedding.”

“Well,” I said, after a pause, “perhaps he feels a little self-conscious about it. Since neither of you is actually Native American.”

“That’s silly. It’s a lovely tradition and makes such an important statement about our commitment to the environment.”

I sighed.

“I’ll talk to him,” I said. “Just one thing … Eileen, what kind of herbs are we talking about here? I mean, we’re not talking anything illegal, are we?”

“Oh, Meg.” Eileen laughed. “Really! I have to go, my clay’s ready.” She hung up, still laughing merrily. I added “Call Steven re herbs” to my list.

I looked around the studio. My tools were there, ready and waiting for me to dive into the ironwork that is both my passion and my livelihood. I knew I really ought to get some work done today. In a few days, I would be back in my hometown for what I was sure would be a summer from hell. But I was already having a hard time concentrating on work. Maybe it was time to throw in the towel and head down to Yorktown.

The phone rang again. I glared at it, willing it to shut up. It ignored me and kept on ringing. I sighed. and picked it up.

Eileen again.

“Oh, Meg, before you go down to Yorktown, could you—”

“I won’t have time to do anything else before I go down to Yorktown; I’m going down there tomorrow.”

“Wonderful! Why don’t you stop by on your way? We have some things to tell you.”

On my way. Yorktown, where my parents and Eileen’s father lived and where all the weddings were taking place, was three hours south of Washington, on the coast. Steven’s farm, where Eileen was now living, was three hours west, in the mountains. I was opening my mouth to ask if she had any idea how inconvenient stopping by was when I suddenly realized: if I went to Steven and Eileen’s, I could force them to make decisions, extract lists and signatures. I would have them in my clutches. This could be useful.

“I’ll be there for supper tomorrow.”

I spent the day putting my life on hold and turning over my studio to the struggling sculptor who’d sublet it for the summer. I went to bed feeling virtuous. I intended to spend the next several days really getting things done for the weddings.

A MURDER HATCHED: MURDER WITH PEACOCKS © 1999 by Donna Andrews and MURDER WITH PUFFINS © 2000 by Donna Andrews. All rights reserved. For information, address St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.

Meet the Author

Donna Andrews is the author of the Meg Langslow mysteries, including Stork Raving Mad and Swan for the Money. She has won the Agatha, Anthony, and Barry awards, a Romantic Times award for best first novel, and two Lefty and two Toby Bromberg Awards for funniest mystery. When not writing fiction, Andrews is a self-confessed nerd, rarely found away from her computer, unless she's messing in the garden. She lives in Reston, Virginia.

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Murder Hatched 3.8 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 28 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you're looking to start a new cozy series - this is a great place to start! These are well-written with fun, quirky and excentric characters who we get to know better with each book. Good story lines, clever mysteries, likeable characters. No sex, swearing or violence. Better when read in order.
RobertDowns More than 1 year ago
MURDER WITH PEACOCKS MURDER WITH PEACOCKS probably had about two too many weddings for me. Sure, this novel was entertaining, and it’d be hard not to be with a cast of zany characters and enough murder and mayhem to bring down an entire forest. But it felt like Ms. Andrews tried a bit too hard. I certainly applaud her for her effort, but there was enough craziness for two or three novels compacted in a little over 300 pages. And the weddings. I understand that women have the entire ceremony planned out from the time they are twelve years old down to the church, flowers, hors d’oeuvre, and possibly even the minister. But three weddings in about three weeks? That seemed about as crazy as a group of peacocks and peahens camped out in the middle of the desert. Or maybe I just needed a bit more focus on the murder and mayhem, since it seemed to catch on about as well as the flu. I did enjoy the back and forth between Meg and Michael; I would have preferred a bit more of that as well. More relationship and more sleuthing would have made for a better tale. I have high hopes that the second novel will be an improvement over the first. MURDER WITH PUFFINS While MURDER WITH PUFFINS did have more of Meg and Michael, I still had to deal with a smaller scale version of the Langslow clan. On a positive note, there was nary a wedding to speak of, after having endured three from MURDER WITH PEACOCKS, all of which had their share of hiccups. The Maine locale proved to be a nice change of pace. The zaniness still felt a bit forced to me. More often than not, the antics seemed a bit too cute, a bit too over-the-top, and probably even a bit forced. While the relationship and the sleuthing did improve, it still felt like this series was missing something. Robert Downs Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator
Avid-readerKS More than 1 year ago
Typical of all of Andrews works, mystery, family and well craziness. A nice way to spend part of your day.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The characters will keep you laughing and the story line is quirky. A great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very entertaining
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These two books are a great introduction to the series. They are well-written and well-edited. The characters are fun and predicaments are unusual. This is not sweeping literature; it is simple, completely (perhaps overly) chaste entertainment. ?...wjj
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't usually write reviews but I must say that I love the writing. The charachters, the similies, the metaphors and most of all, the storyline :)
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m2j2013 More than 1 year ago
I am hooked on Donna Andrews' Meg Langslow Series. So much so that I have purchased 8 more series. Ms. Andrews has a great sense of humor and there's enough going on the stories that it's hard to put down. I am only on the 2nd series. I hope Meg and Michael stay together.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An ok story with ok characters and an ok plot...just way too long.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So glad to discover this series. I really enjoyed it! Thanks! Reminded me of English cozies with all the quirky characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
starts out fairly witty but quickly gets repetitive.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Easy cute read
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Thoroughly enjoyable.
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