Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Funny yet puzzling mystery
The Bottom Line:
A fan convention
With a murdered TV star
So many great laughs
Murder at a Fan Convention
For We'll Always Have Parrots, the fifth entry in the Meg Langslow humorous mystery series, author Donna Andrews takes us to the wacky world of fandom for some gentle teasing, lots of humor, and a puzzle of a mystery.
Meg isn't thrilled to be spending the weekend at the annual convention for Porfiria, the fantasy TV show that boyfriend Michael co-stars in. Still, she's trying to make the best of it by selling some of her blacksmithing wares. The swords especially seem to be selling well.
Adding to the festivities are monkeys and parrots. They seem to have escaped from their cages and are wandering the hotel at random, causing havoc wherever they appear.
Obviously, there's plenty of mayhem before the star of the show is murdered. Nicknamed the QB (which doesn't stand for Queen Bee), there isn't a person who works on the show who didn't have some beef with her. Specifically, Michael wanted a less demanding shooting schedule so it wouldn't interfere with his day job, teaching at a college. Since he was using the weekend to attempt to win her over, he's one of the top suspects. Despite protests that she's not going to get involved, Meg begins collecting clues. But can she follow them back to the real killer before the convention ends?
If you are at all familiar with the books in the Meg Langslow series, you know to expect plenty of funny antics along with your mystery. This book is no exception. Donna Andrews pokes gentle fun at fandom with some of the funniest over the top antics in the series. I grinned and laughed my way through the entire book. Yet the book doesn't ridicule fandom, either. It walks the fine line of finding the humor without mocking.
At the same time, the book never looses site of the fact that it's a mystery. While it takes a little while to get going, it is a cleverly plotted story with several nice twists before the ending.
And, of course, there are great characters. The series regulars are at their strongest. Meg's parents are also attending the convention, and their bits are hilarious as well. Meg continues to be strong. And the other members of the cast and crew (you know, the suspects) are very well developed.
Meg narrates the book. Her insights into the events are almost as funny as the events themselves. The narration is so well written I flew through the book.
Donna Andrews continues to set the bar high for herself. How she manages to juggle everything she puts in these stories is beyond me. But they are a fun ride none-the-less. If you love humorous mysteries, be sure to check out We'll Always Have Parrots.
And if you are looking for more fun, here are the Meg Langslow Mysteries in order.