Wednesday, February 20

We'll Always Have Parrots - Donna Andrews

Meg Langslow and her now-fiancé Michael are comfortably ensconced in a hotel - if you don't count the fans on the balcony outside their room, that is. Drama professor Michael has a popular role on the schock series Porfiria, Queen of the Jungle and they're attending a con. When Meg finds a parrot in their room and her call to the desk about removal is rebuffed she's not pleased, but then she discovers there really are parrots everywhere. The bigger problem, though, is the aging and temperamental leading lady, Miss Wynncliffe-Jones. When she's found dead, Meg's detecting skills are required once more.
Andrews clearly has a fondness for cons (conventions of like-minded, usually FSF, folk) - the loving attention to detail and amusing bits sprinkled through the book speak of familiarity and affection. And the book in general is light-hearted and amusing. Meg's family make their by now expected appearance, and it's a tribute to her writing that this feels less like a plot device than a welcome addition to the narrative. Part of the charm of this series is the return appearances of favourite characters, and We'll Always Have Parrots doesn't disappoint. I also like the gaps between books, which often include significant off-screen action, rather than continuing each new book from where the last one left off. That's a detail I've been meaning to mention in the series but kept forgetting. - Alex

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