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Murder with Peacocks by Donna Andrews
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Murder with Peacocks (original 1999; edition 2000)

by Donna Andrews

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832None10,828 (3.86)123
Member:turtlesleap
Title:Murder with Peacocks
Authors:Donna Andrews
Info:Turtleback Books: A Division of Sanval (2000), Library Binding, 311 pages
Collections:Enjoyed and donated, Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:Fiction, mystery

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Murder with Peacocks by Donna Andrews (1999)

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Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
With a hard working but attitude blessed heroine, loads of mostly lovable but idiosyncratic relatives in a small town setting, three back-to-back weddings, witty repartee, and a slowly building romance, Murder With Peacocks is tons of fun--and as an added bonus there are plenty of sequels. Meg Langslow, a decorative blacksmith, is taking the summer off to return to her hometown and shoulder maid of honor duties for all three of the weddings, but misdeeds and murder keep getting in her way. The ingredients add up to a sort of modern day, thoroughly enjoyable Jane Austen meets P. G. Wodehouse mystery. I have high hopes for the rest of this bird-titled series. ( )
  Jaylia3 | Jun 18, 2013 |
The mystery discussion group I sometimes attend at the library was discussing humorous mysteries, and since I don't care for Janet Evanovich's books, this was the suggested author. I enjoyed this tale of a single woman who comes home to help with an over-the-top wedding, solves a murder, and finds romance. I'll probably read some more of the series now and again. ( )
  auntieknickers | Apr 16, 2013 |
While I still like Meg and her crazy family I am very happy that I read "Some Like it Hawk" first because I realized that Meg got much better at dealing with her family and friends. In this first in a series she is trying to do three weddings in a two-week period and is serving as bridesmaid in all of them. The first wedding is her good friend Eileen, the space cadet. The second is her brother's wedding with the ice-queen Samantha. The third is her Mother's to Jake, the shy spooky guy.

I'll admit to grinding my teeth more than once as all of the people involved in the wedding go blithely about their lives doing whatever the hell they want, all the while expecting Meg to do dresses, caterers, ministers, and the thousands of other details involved in a wedding, let alone three of them in two weeks! Even the peacocks from the title fall to Meg to find and deliver.

There is a lot of humor in the book and it is a great way to introduce almost all of Meg's crazy and extended family. Not that I'll remember most of the names. Since most seem to be bit players I'm sure I'll remember the main characters and now can't wait to get to the rest of the books.
( )
  bookswoman | Mar 31, 2013 |
Debut novel in the Meg Langslow series. This is a cute, light read about life and death in the South. In a bevy of languid Southern belles, Meg is a hyperkinetic heroine with boundless energy to arrange multiple weddings and solve murder mysteries. A bit thick, though, since she fails to notice that the studly young hero is not gay and is interested in her. A very light read, but fun. ( )
  turtlesleap | Feb 25, 2013 |
I am sorely tempted to give this five stars, just because. It's a cozy mystery – a young woman who blacksmiths for a living takes the summer off to plan not one, not two, but three weddings (for her best friend, her brother, and her divorced mother, in that order), and when her mother's fiancé's dead wife's sister (still with me?) is found dead it's only the beginning of the mayhem. I have prejudices and whatnot that generally keep me from giving a cozy mystery five stars – it always feels like the perfect score should be saved for the truly superlative: Litrachure. Except when I just couldn't enjoy a book more if there were a twenty dollar bill stapled to the inside cover, and then I throw caution to the winds. And you know? This may be "just" a cozy mystery, but it has no pretensions of being anything but a really fun story really well told, and as a cozy it hits all the right notes and not a single wrong one. There were a small handful of places where the writing hitched slightly – a word used twice in a compound sentence, that sort of thing – but … Abraham Lincoln said "Whatever you are, be a good one". Murder with Peacocks is a cozy, and a very good one, and it deserves credit for that. Consider it four and a half.

I've read several "bridezilla" cozies; with so many of the heroines of the subgenre working as caterers, it's inevitable that weddings will crop up here and there. And they've been my least favorite of their respective series, usually. The women are always rich, entitled, anorexic, vicious, and beyond unreasonable, and usually have mothers to match, and they harry the poor caterer day and night and into the weekend until she wants to frost their cakes with white lead icing and the reader hopes for a funeral instead of a wedding. Here, though, the author pulls off as remarkable a feat as her Meg does: three brides who are thoughtless, demanding, and frazzled, and the only one I hated was the one I was meant to hate. Moreover, I believed this brand of thoughtlessness and heedless mind-changing as I never did in those other cozies.

A little while back I complained bitterly about a book which was advertised as madcap, with which descriptor I disagreed strongly. This? This was madcap. One of the quotes the book used promised the reader she would "laugh heartlessly" – and I sighed, because usually when a book promises to make me laugh it fails miserably. It tries too hard, and before long I picture it as the little man in the bad suit up on stage, sweating and stammering and repeating himself in the spotlight as a drunk heckles him from the second row. Donna Andrews, however, used a light and deft touch, and this book did make me laugh. Not uproariously; not on every page; I wouldn't necessarily agree with "heartlessly" (there was no cruelty in this book beyond that any thoroughly hassled person might express toward her tormentors). But I laughed, and smiled more than I laughed, and wanted to know what was going to happen, and in the end that's all I'm looking for in my day to day reading. With the weddings, the murders, frequent power outages, the almost-derailed-before-it-started romance for Meg, and not only a little boy with a pet duck but also the title peacocks, it's all frothy as a meringue – and I know firsthand how hard a meringue can be. It's well managed.

On the one hand, I'm pleased that this launched a series: I enjoyed the characters, Meg and David and her family, and I enjoyed the heck out of the writing, and I enjoyed the storytelling. But this was a book about a young woman dropped into a bizarre chain of events, with theft and murder and blackmail, poison and explosives and sabotage suddenly rife as weeds in her small hometown. The plotline is frenetic, and what keeps it from stretching suspension of disbelief to its limits is the skill with which Andrews handles her blacksmith main character's reactions to the mayhem: in part, with her duties as unpaid and unthanked planner for three ever-changing weddings within weeks of each other, with an attitude of I don't have time for this. The book adeptly threw flaming torch after chainsaw after live chicken into Meg's juggling act, and it was fun to watch her grit her teeth and adapt. I don't know if this will get old over the course of the series, as Meg inevitably becomes one of those cozy mystery heroines who would be utterly alarming to know in reality – "Have you ever noticed that wherever she goes bodies begin to stack up?" We'll have to see. I liked the characters, and their writer, more than enough to give them some slack. ( )
1 vote Stewartry | Jan 10, 2013 |
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I had become so used to hysterical dawn phone calls that I only muttered one halfhearted oath before answering.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312970633, Mass Market Paperback)

Three Weddings...And a Murder

So far Meg Langslow's summer is not going swimmingly. Down in her small Virginia hometown, she's maid of honor at the nuptuals of three loved ones--each of whom has dumped the planning in her capable hands. One bride is set on including a Native American herbal purification ceremony, while another wants live peacocks on the law. Only help from the town's drop-dead gorgeous hunk, disappointingly rumored to be gay, keeps Meg afloat in a sea of dotty relatives and outrageous neighbors.

And, in whirl of summer parties and picnics, Souther hospitality is strained to the limit by an offenseive newcomer who hints at skeletons in the guests' closets. But it seems this lady has offended one too many when she's found dead in suspicious circumstances, followed by a string of accidents--some fatal. Soon, level-headed Meg's to-do list extends from flower arragements and bridal registries to catching a killer--before the next catered event is her own funeral...

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:32 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

While trying to manage being the maid of honor in three weddings, Meg Langslow finds herself in the midst of a mystery when her former sister-in-law's soon-to-be stepfather is found dead.

(summary from another edition)

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