Thursday, January 24

Murder with Peacocks – Donna Andrews

Meg Langstow’s in for a dire summer – somehow shanghaied into being not only her best friend’s chief bridesmaid but also her mother’s and her brother’s fiancée’s, the last few months have been a dizzying whirl of demands, and the wedding’s haven’t even started yet. When she returns home to the small Virginian town where she grew up, the only bright spot terminally single Meg can see is the son of the dressmaker. Michael’s tall, dark, handsome… and gay. He’s also the only voice of sanity in Yorktown.
When freak accidents start occurring, Michael’s the first person to accept Meg’s idea that it’s more than coincidence – someone’s trying to knock off members of the bridal parties, and it’s up to Meg (and Michael) to stop them before all of Meg’s careful planning’s ruined.
I so enjoyed Andrews’s first AI mystery (You’ve Got Murder) that I set out to see what else she’d written, and I was not disappointed. I also thoroughly enjoyed this first in an avian-themed murder series. The plot was believable enough, but what sets this apart is the characters - funny and beautifully drawn, it’s Meg’s wacky extended family that are dragging me to the next in the series.
Well, that and the romance, which was sweet and tender. The oddly coincidental interruptions every time Michael tries to tell Meg that he’s… were a little contrived but I was prepared to overlook that, and the payoff when he finally does have an uninterrupted conversation was worth it.
I was reminded of the film 27 Dresses, not only because of the wedding theme but also because of Meg’s ready self-sacrifice, dependability, organization and gumption. If Andrews can keep Meg as interesting throughout the series I’m in for a fun few weeks. – Alex

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