11 October 2011

Just finished reading...

The Real Macaw by Donna Andrews.

There are some fictional characters that would make great friends, and Meg Lanslow is one of them. Despite the fact that she's so busy, she always seems to have time to talk over tea.

In this, the thirteenth book in the series, Meg is especially busy because she now has 4-month old twin boys, Jamie and Josh, along with her blacksmithing business, her husband, and her large (and seemingly ever-present) extended family.

For example, the book begins with Meg getting up for a middle-of-the-night feeding. Just as she is dozing off with Jamie in her arms, she hears what sounds like a dog barking. At first, she assumes it's just someone watching television with the sound turned up too loudly, but when it continues, she goes downstairs to find the living room filled with animals.

Her brother, father, grandfather, and the local animal doctor appear, to tell her a convoluted tale of rescuing the animals from a no-kill shelter about to be closed for lack of funds. Apparently the local furniture store owner, Parker Blair, was the only one with a truck large enough to hold all the animals, and he'd missed the "rendezvous". As a result, the men had loaded the animals into various smaller vehicles and brought them to Meg's place temporarily. They'd tried to put them in the barn, they explained, but it was locked.

Just then, police chief Burke arrives on the doorstep, holding Parker's cell phone, which Meg's grandfather has been calling repeatedly. Recognizing Meg's number, Burke comes to see why they've been calling a man who was found murdered behind his store.

Of course, being Meg's life, things only get more confusing after that. Dealing with all the animals, all the people who arrive to help care for them, trying not to wake the babies forces the already-sleep-deprived Meg lose more rest.

Super-organized Meg takes this all in stride, and still manages to retain her sanity. And there's more chaos to come as Burke tries to investigate the murder, and Meg tries subtly to help him while taking care of everything else on her plate.

This is the way most of the Meg Lanslow mysteries proceed, and though the bare bones of all the plots are similar, the books still manage to not feel repetitive.
As always, there's lots of humor, and the reader can only admire Meg's patience and fortitude as she tries to deal with it all.

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