Thursday, July 24, 2014

Book Review: The Good, the Bad, and the Emus by Donna Andrews (Meg Langslow #17)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Great characters, plenty of fun, final chapter
Cons: The mystery is a little underdone
The Bottom Line:
Emus run amok
With a killer on the loose
Meg must track them both

Hunting Emus…and a Killer

It’s been quite a few books since Meg’s adventures have taken her outside of Caerphilly, the Virginia college town that she and much of her family call home.  That’s changed for The Good, the Bad, and the Emus since we relocate to a town about an hour away for an emu hunt.  Fans will be thrilled even if it isn’t the strongest in the series.

It's been a couple of years now since Meg's long lost Grandfather surprised everyone by finding them and becoming part of the family.  Now, Grandfather, aka Dr. Montgomery Blake, has hired local PI Stanley Denton, to track down his one time love, Cordelia, aka Meg's Grandmother.  However, Stanley finds that Cordelia died six months ago in a town not that far away from Meg's family, and her surviving cousin is a recluse.  This cousin will only share memories of Cordelia if Stanley and Meg can find Cordelia's killer.

Fortunately, Dr. Blake comes up with the perfect cover for the investigation.  The town has a feral emus population thanks to a failed emu farm just outside of town.  With a TV crew and a bunch of volunteers, knows as Blake's Brigade, they hope to track down the emus. Meg and her family join Burke’s Brigade, partially to find the birds and partially to find a killer.  But when a member of the brigade is struck down by poison, is there a new killer in the mix?  What about the murder six months ago?

The books in this series are always a combination of wacky antics from a cast of fun characters and a mystery thrown in.  Sometimes, the mystery takes a back seat to the other goings on, and that was definitely the case here.  Meg never completely forgets about it, but she is often distracted by the emu round up.  There is an exciting climax and a logical resolution, but on the whole the mystery was a tad underdone.

However, we do have the emu round up as a pleasant distraction.  I found a couple of scenes laugh out loud funny, and most of the time it was very amusing.  Between the volunteers and the birds, we have quite a bit of the usual crazy antics that have made this series so popular.

And the cast of characters is strong.  We have a few of the usual characters here, but mostly this book is filled with new comers.   That wasn’t an issue for me since I felt like I knew them all very well by the end and I’m sorry they won’t be back in future books.

Which brings us to the last chapter.  Series fans will absolutely love it.  That’s all I’m going to say, but do know it won’t be as special if you don’t already know the characters.

So if you are a fan, don’t hesitate to pick up The Good, the Bad, and the Emus.  If you are new to Meg, back track and get to know the characters before you tackle this book.  This may be book seventeen, but you’ll be reading it before you know it.

And if you are missing a few of Meg's adventures, here are the Meg Langslow Mysteries in order.


  1. I like it that you include a list of the mysteries in order. Nice idea, Mark!

    1. Thanks. Since I love to read a series in order, I figured something like this would be helpful to others, especially with a long running series like this one.