Sunday, May 26, 2013

Book Review: Stork Raving Mad by Donna Andrews (Meg Langslow #12)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great characters and mystery
Cons: Not as funny as some in the series
The Bottom Line:
Little light on laughs
But the characters are great
As is the story

A Very Pregnant Meg Takes on College Politics

You can always count on Donna Andrews to deliver a highly entertaining mystery.  And readers seem to love them since Stork Raving Mad is the twelfth book in her series about Meg Langslow and her wacky extended family.  And it's another fun romp.

It's the beginning of December, and Meg is due to give birth to twins any day.  And her house is anything but restful.  The heat has failed at nearby Caerphilly College where husband Michael teaches, and Meg and Michael are hosting a smattering of drama department students since they can't live in the dorms.

One of these students, Ramon Soto, is days away from putting on a play as part of his doctoral thesis.  That is until Dr. Jean Wright and Dr. Enrique Blanco arrive, saying Ramon never got the approval for his thesis.  In the midst of the confusion this sets off, one of them is killed.  Now a very pregnant Meg is caught between trying to rest while still finding important pieces of the puzzle.  Can she solve this mystery before she gives birth?

This series is often laugh out loud funny, and I did laugh at this book several times.  However, after twelve books, many of the antics of Meg's family are familiar by now, so they don't really make me laugh out loud.  However, they do still make me grin.  So this book was definitely still amusing.  Since Michael and Meg haven't even settled on names for their twins, the constant nicknames Meg gives them amused me.  And Meg's take on events in the first person narration continued to provide some chuckles.

The plot starts quickly and continues to move forward at a great pace.  I never had time to get bored since we were quickly moving on to the next suspect, clue, or red herring.  The killer was a surprise to me, although he or she was also the only person who made sense.  And I loved how the climax played out.

This series has always had great characters, and this book is no exception.  Meg and Michael are the normal, sane ones while the rest of the cast has their eccentricities.  Even then, they seem normal and believable and never cross the line into caricature.  This is true for the returning cast as well as the new characters in the book.  And all these characters are strong.  I especially loved Dr. Wright.  She was so much fun to hate over the course of the entire book.

For seer enjoyment, you can't go wrong with a Donna Andrews book.  While reading them in order does help, each stands well enough on its own.  So whether you start with Stork Raving Mad or an earlier book in the series, be sure to check out these light, fun mysteries.

Looking forward to more, you'll want to check out the Meg Langslow Mysteries in order.

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