Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Book Review: Die Like an Eagle by Donna Andrews (Meg Langslow #20)



Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Plenty of conflict, lots of characters
Cons: Mystery in the background at times behind other plots
The Bottom Line:
Murderous baseball
Marks return visit with Meg
Always a delight




Three Strikes You’re Dead

Jumping into a long running series intimates me.  However, when it’s a series I’ve been reading and loving for years, the number can creep up on me.  That was the case with Die Like an Eagle.  As I was reading it, I realized this is the twentieth book in the series.  20!  And yet the latest in the series doesn’t disappoint at all.

If you haven’t met Meg Langslow yet, you are in for a real treat.  These books are a ton of fun.  We always join her as she is getting involved in some activity with lots of passionate participants.  This time, it’s baseball, specifically youth baseball.  And really, who is more passionate than sports people and sports parents.

Meg’s twin boys Josh and Jamie are joining the local youth baseball league, much to the delight of Meg’s husband Michael, who is very passionate about the sport.  However, Meg has quickly learned that the local league is under the thumb of Biff Brown, a man with his own set of extra rules that he enforces strictly – on the other teams.  Things like no unscheduled practices and only coaches he has approved.  Meanwhile, the field is in a state is disrepair because he claims there isn’t enough money to do anything about it.

None of this seems to dampen the twin’s enthusiasm for opening day, and even the rest of the town is in a baseball fever, partially brought on by a four day weekend.  However, before the first game can even begin, Meg makes an unfortunate discovery – a dead body located in the single porta potty at the field.  What is going on?

Sometimes, I complain when a book has a weak mystery.  This is not one of those times.  Yes, the mystery was sometimes in the background, with Meg’s investigation being more subtle.  As you would expect, the book is filled with suspects and there were even some nice surprises at the end.  However, there were times it didn’t feel to me like the focus of the book.

The focus instead was on small town politics or more particularly the politics of this baseball league.  Honestly?  I was so caught up in that drama, I didn’t care.  I sped through this book in two days because I didn’t want to put it down; here were so many great scenes and I was having so much fun.  And these scenes allowed Meg to learn a bit more about the mystery without being in your face about it.  That’s actually a change from the normal books I read that I loved.

Meg has a very large family, and some of them have become permanent fixtures in the series.  It’s always a joy to see them again.  Over the course of the series, we’ve made some friends in town as well, and I just love it when they show up.  In fact, I’ve realized one thing I love about this series is the sense of community.  When someone or something needs help, everyone pitches in to get the job done.  There is a character I’ve been complaining we hadn’t seen for a couple of books who shows up here again as well, which delighted me.  Naturally, we get great suspects that keep us guessing until the end.

This series is also known for its humor.  I had to laugh at some of the lines and situations Meg got into along the way.  At times, the humor is subtle, but it adds another layer of delight.

With each book it gets harder to say goodbye to these great characters, and I’m already looking forward to my next visit with them.  Pick up Die Like an Eagle today and get ready for a delightful read.

Looking for more laughs with murder?  Check out the rest of the Meg Langslow mysteries in order.

4 comments:

  1. I've read a few of these and own a few more but for some reason it isn't a series I've been reading regularly. I have no idea why as I've enjoyed the ones I've read. Great review! You've got me wanting to dig out the ones I own.

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    Replies
    1. Dig them out. You'll love them, I'm sure.

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  2. Yeah, 20 is quite a lot and to see 5 stars! WOW!

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