Bestseller Andrews’s exceptional 26th Meg Langslow mystery (after Terns of Endearment) offers a snowbound version of a locked room mystery. Shortly before Christmas in Caerphilly, Va. , a blizzard traps everyone at the Caerphilly Inn, which is hosting Owl Fest 2019, a gathering of ornithologists from the academic community. The attendees are a rowdy bunch, given to an overabundance of owl hooting, arguing, and fistfights. Meg’s grandfather, J. Montgomery Blake, the event’s headliner, does his best to keep them under control with help from Meg and the rest of the extended family. A few guests are particularly obnoxious, and Meg has named argumentative Oliver Frogmore her least favorite by a mile followed by his toady minion, Edward Czerny. When a body turns up, Meg and local law enforcement are faced with a whodunit that takes plenty of twists and turns en route to the satisfying ending. As always, spending time with Meg and her wonderful family is a delight. Andrews reinforces her place at the top of the cozy subgenre. Agent: Ellen Geiger, Frances Goldin Literary. (Oct.)
A freak storm buries Caerphilly, Virginia, in snow, knocking out all lines of transportation and communication, just in time for the holidays and the annual Owl Fest convention.
Meg Langslow (Terns of Endearment, 2019, etc.) has agreed to help her grandfather Dr. J. Montgomery Blake with the logistics for this year's conference. The highlight, or lowlight, is a fierce battle between members of SPOOR, Stop Poisoning Our Owls and Raptors, who want to save the spotted owls threatened with extinction, and the champions of the barred owls who are muscling in on their turf. The leading partisan of the latter camp, Dr. Oliver Frogmore of Oregon's Buckthorn College, is whiny, selfish, and racist, and it's an unmitigated pleasure to watch him drop dead in the middle of a particularly self-serving public speech. Despite the awkwardly continued adulation of his lackey, Dr. Edward Czerny, Frogmore's death spotlights a wide range of old grievances against him, from African American graduate student volunteer Melissa McKendick's tale of her rejection to Buckthorn's program to Dr. Vera Craine's story of the hostility that drove her from Buckthorn to lowly Cornell. But nosing around for clues to the manner and author of Frogmore's death has to compete for Meg's time and energy with such mundane but suddenly urgent questions as what unflappable Caerphilly Inn manager Ekaterina Vorobyaninova should serve the snowbound guests for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Pancha Ganapati. The laughs come more slowly than usual, especially after hateful Frogmore's death, but the payoff is the climactic revelation of an unusually clever and deep-laid motive for this best of all possible murders.
One of Andrews' most successful balancing acts between creating a brand-new whodunit and showcasing her zany regulars.
From the Publisher
"Exceptional....[with] plenty of twists and turns en route to the satisfying ending. As always, spending time with Meg and her wonderful family is a delight. Andrews reinforces her place at the top of the cozy subgenre." Publishers Weekly
"Andrews manages her large cast with dexterity and drops clues to the culprits’ identity, but the ending will catch most readers by surprise." Publishers Weekly on How the Finch Stole Christmas!
"[A] satisfying, humorous entry in the long-running series." Booklist on How the Finch Stole Christmas!
"Intrigue...amusement...Andrews reliably delivers. She also manages to slip in profundities and sentiments that warm the heart."New York Journal of Books on Nightingale Before Christmas
The small town of Caerphilly, VA and its inhabitants provide a charming backdrop for this Christmas cozy.Library Journal on Nightingale Before Christmas
"Meg, as well as her quirky extended family, makes this humorous cozy a holiday treat."Booklist on Duck the Halls
"Andrews leavens the action with her trademark humor, including dueling Christmas dinners and an extravagantand extravagantly funnylive nativity scene."Publishers Weekly on Duck the Halls
"Produces at least one chuckleand sometimes a guffawper page. Joy to the world, indeed."Richmond Times-Dispatch on Six Geese A-Slaying
"Andrews . . . scores points for her witty writing and abundance of Yuletide tinsel and tradition."The Columbia, SC State on Six Geese A-Slaying
"Firmly in the grand tradition of Agatha Christie's Christmas books."Toronto Globe and Mail on Six Geese A-Slaying
"If you long for more fun mysteries, a la Janet Evanovich, you'll love Donna Andrews's Meg Langslow series." Charlotte Observer
"A long-running series that gets better all the time. A fine blend of academic satire, screwball comedy, and murder." Booklist on Lord of the Wings
"With its well-spun plots and distinctive characters, Andrews’s amusing avian-named series shows no signs of growing stale." Publishers Weekly on Die Like an Eagle
Meg's family is gathered at the Caerphilly Inn for her grandfather's scientific conference on owls, but it's right before Christmas, which surely means a guest-stranding blizzard. And that surely means there will be a murder.