A Murder with Peacocks – Donna Andrews
Winner of the Anthony-1st Novel award(2000), the Barry-1st Novel award(2000), and the Agatha–1st Novel award(1999).
“I had become so used to hysterical dawn phone calls that only muttered one halfhearted 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.”
“For the wedding, of course.”” (page 1)
Meg Langslow was having a hectic summer before the murders started occurring in Yorktown. As maid of honor for three weddings, the last thing she needs is for the body of her mother’s fiancé’s sister-in-law to be found at the back of the Langslow property. At first, the sheriff chocks up the death to an accident but Meg’s father refuses to believe it. He goes about trying to prove the death is a homicide and in doing so, he and Meg become the targets of a ruthless killer. Poisonings, explosions, and general mayhem ensue all while Meg tries to pull off three elaborate weddings with three temperamental brides.
Despite the fact that there were some inappropriate scenes and lots of swearing, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It’s witty, has a wonderful “small-town-charm” to it that I’m a sucker for, and the main character does blacksmithing for her day job which is original, and just plain cool.
I have to hand it to Donna Andrews for coming up with such a crazy idea for a murder mystery series and sticking with it. Not very many people would be able to pull off twenty-plus bird themed murder mystery books (the twenty-third scheduled to release August, 2018) with a sub-genre of Meg Langslow being in charge of something – be it three weddings, (A Murder with Peacocks) a parade, (Six Geese A-Slaying) or the second annual Caerphilly County Virginia Un-fair. (The Hen of the Baskervilles) These books are charming, funny, and well thought-out. I’m not one for gory, or inherently violent murder mysteries, and Donna Andrews delivers fabulously. Not to mention that the whodunit mysteries actually have a satisfying ending. So, despite the negative elements in these books I highly recommend them to any older reader who enjoys a cozy mystery.
For More Information about the Book and Author Click: HERE
Age Range: 14 and up
Cautions – *Contains Slight Spoilers*
Violence: Four people are murdered. Dad talks excessively about poisons, funerals, and injuries (nothing graphic). People get bitten by Spike, Michael’s dog. The bluff keeps collapsing. The electrician is injured in an electrical accent.
Sensuality: There are three weddings. Berry makes several inappropriate advances on Meg. Scottie hides naked in Meg’s closet and jumps out with a bouquet of flowers. A man at the weddings romantically pursues Meg. Rob is found at his own wedding-rehearsal party about to make love with a bridesmaid. Meg wears low coverage dresses. Meg and Michael share a kiss then head to his house.(however, nothing happens there)
Profanity: Lots – almost every page has some form of swearing on it.
Other(drugs/alcohol): Meg interacts with the town drunk, and the calligrapher who is close second. Lots of people drink champagne, and the old ladies get drunk on the “Episcopalian Punch”. A woman runs away with a man who isn’t her husband. Dad takes the ashes of great aunt Sophie from her urn and carries them around for a while. Michael is thought to be gay. Meg bribes her nephew to be in Eileen’s wedding with a trip to the amusement park. Everyone lies to Mother to keep her away from the house so they can surprise her with a wedding gift. Michael lies to the whole town to cover up for his mother.
Personal Rating: 4 ½ out of 5 stars
Cleanness Rating: 2 ½ out of 5 stars