Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Book Review: The Twelve Jays of Christmas by Donna Andrews (Meg Langslow #30)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Meg, regular characters, Christmas, fun
Cons: A few niggles, but minor overall
The Bottom Line:
Annoying artist
Creates Meg’s Christmas chaos
Always enjoy these

Demanding Artist Underfoot at Christmas

While I always try to have one or two Christmas themed mysteries to read during December, a Christmas visit with Meg Langslow has almost become a tradition all by itself because of the high number of Christmas mysteries we’ve gotten in this series.  This year’s addition to the tradition is The Twelve Jays of Christmas.

It’s a few days before Christmas, and Meg Langslow is ready for the holiday and the invasion of family that it brings.  What she isn’t dealing with well is Roderick Castlemayne.  Roderick is a wildlife artist in town to paint birds for Meg’s grandfather’s newest book.  Roderick has taken over the library in Meg’s house and is acting like a jerk in every way imaginable.  Meg has finally had enough and is ready to kick him out, but someone takes care of the problem for her when they kill him.  Once again, Meg finds herself involved in the investigation.  Will she find the killer before Christmas?

Those familiar with the series know that there is a large cast of supporting players, and author Donna Andrews often sends some of them out of town each book because she has enough else she is already juggling.  I’ve got to admit, I was disappointed to find that some of my favorite supporting players were the ones written out for this book.  Ironically, they still probably got as much page time as they would have if they’d been in town, but I still missed them.

Of course, that still leaves a large cast of regulars to get to visit.  They are their usual charming selves, and they made me smile multiple times over the course of the book.

The mystery is intriguing with a few fresh complications for Meg to figure out.  I got caught up in the story, as I always do, along with the sub-plots that keep Meg hopping.  I did have the plot figured out a little before Meg did as the other complications began to iron themselves out, but I still enjoyed reading to the end to see if I was right.

One reason I love visiting Meg as Christmas is because these books are filled with the Christmas spirit.  It’s in the decorations and snow and Christmas carols and other details.  I will admit, I missed a few of the traditions that have popped up in the other books, but that’s minor and I still felt the Christmas spirit as I read.

And I laughed.  I’ll admit, I laughed mainly at the animal antics in the book, but these books are always good for a laugh or two.

There are still a couple of days left before Christmas, so if you have time to squeeze in a Christmas cozy, you’ll definitely be glad you picked up The Twelve Jays of Christmas.

Enjoy the rest of the Meg Langslow Mysteries.

1 comment:

  1. This is absolutely one of my favorite series and I enjoyed this one too! I am glad I'm not Meg. Her life sounds exhausting - especially in this one with all the loose birds! I came to the series really late which I'm glad of because that means I have more to read while I wait for her to come out with her next book.


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