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Lord of the Wings: A Meg Langslow Mystery…

Lord of the Wings: A Meg Langslow Mystery (Meg Langslow Mysteries) (edition 2015)

by Donna Andrews

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1528114,591 (3.85)13
Title:Lord of the Wings: A Meg Langslow Mystery (Meg Langslow Mysteries)
Authors:Donna Andrews
Info:Minotaur Books (2015), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Book #19

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Lord of the Wings by Donna Andrews



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It is Halloween time in the wacky Virgina town of Caerphilly and they are holding their first ever week long Halloween festival. This time, though, Meg Langslow is not in charge. Mayor Randall Shiffley hired Lydia Van Meter to handle it only she's botching it big time and driving Meg nuts with asking her opinion and doing the opposite or making her come down to her office to talk about something she needs to deal with that Meg already knows about and was on her way to handling. Meg is in charge of the Visitor's Relation Police Liason Patrol or better known as the Goblin Patrol. They handle problems on the ground downtown, at the Haunted House and Fairgrounds, and at the Zoo.

Things begin to go wrong from the start when Dr. Smoot the former coroner who is the resident guy who dresses as a vampire year round. His house is an old Victorian and he has opened a Caerphilly museum in the basement. His house is where the Haunted House is located at. He calls saying people have broken into it the night before but have taken nothing as far as he can tell. Then at the zoo, that day Meg's grandfather, the zoo's owner, finds a severed hand that proves to be fake and inside the dark alligator section a severed foot, also fake, is found by Meg and Michael's twin boys' first-grade class who are touring the zoo that day.

The culprit who put the foot there is caught and confesses something about an "adventure" and a
"quest" and has on him a list of five things to do which leaves them to believe that some sort of scavenger hunt is going on. But the young man isn't saying much more only that he now won't be able to advance to the next level, so there are more pranks to be played and Sherrif Burke says he has reported some odd things going on in town.

These scavenger hunters are causing havoc and worse. A body is found shot in the woods and discovered to be a conman. Is he the man behind the games, and if so who's running the games now? The Chief is welcoming Meg's help on this one since his office is spread thin due to the festival and none of it makes much sense. Andrews delivers on another funny mystery that's a real treat. ( )
  nicolewbrown | Dec 5, 2017 |
I've been saving this one to read for Halloween, and I cracked it open Saturday hoping it would get me in a Halloween frame of mind (harder to do when it's springtime).

It worked - the whole book is soaked in halloween fun as Caerphilly is putting on a Halloween festival that's really two festivals in one: a "day side" for family friendly events and a "night side" when the older people come out to celebrate the slightly scarier side of the holiday. This has Meg doing quite a bit of running around town as the head of the volunteer security force, the "goblin patrol".

Ms. Andrews attention to detail is really quite stunning; I would travel to a festival as well thought out and planned as this one was, but I'll admit this book wasn't the best in the series. I still thoroughly enjoyed every page (because the characters are brilliant), but the mystery itself didn't have a lot of my attention (although I love the scavenger hunt premise).

All of the book titles have so far tied directly to a bird that features prominently in the story; this one is probably the weakest linked book: the ravens have very little page time and don't get to play any significant role in the book, although I sorta kinda want to train a neighborhood raven to say "Nevermore".

"Die Like an Eagle" is the next book - the title alone makes me giggle, and I'm looking forward to its release. ( )
  murderbydeath | Oct 18, 2016 |
Yet another delightful adventure in the busy life of blacksmith and amateur sleuth, Meg Langslow. This time, she's heading up the all-volunteer Goblin Patrol for Caerphilly's Halloween Festival. Sure enough, mischief is afoot and a dead body is found near her grandfather's zoo. Is this somehow related to the secret scavenger hunt which is messing with folks' Halloween decorations and spirit all over town? Perhaps or just maybe there's something even more sinister afoot.

Synopsis (from front flap of book's cover):
The brilliantly funny Donna Andrews delivers another winner in the acclaimed avian-themed series that mystery readers have come to love. The nineteenth book in her New York Times best-selling series continues to surprise and delight in this next knee-slapping adventure featuring Meg Langslow and all the eccentric characters that make up her world.

It's another holiday and Mayor Randall Shiffley has turned Caerphilly, Virginia into Spooky City, USA. The residents are covering every window with cobwebs and roaming the streets in costume to entertain the tourists, and Meg's grandfather is opening a new "Creatures of the Night" exhibit in the zoo.

When a suspicious fire burns the Haunted House and a body is found, Meg Langslow surrenders her home as a safer party venue. But all too soon a real body mars the town's creepy fun, and it's up to Meg to save Halloween. ( )
  KateBaxter | Nov 14, 2015 |
Not my usual reading, it was suggested for the book club this month. Not a bad mystery and a good writer. What I would probably call a cozy mystery. Not gruesome and no foul language. ( )
  libraryclerk | Oct 29, 2015 |
I've loved the Meg Langslow mysteries since I first checked out Murder With Peacocks, and Lord of the Wings is no exception.

It's about time that Ms. Andrews involved the Langslow-Waterston household with Halloween, my favorite holiday. Caerphilly is having a festival and Meg is not having to organize it. Lydia Van Meter, special assistant to Mayor Randall Shiffley, is getting paid to do what Meg did for free. Is the town getting its money's worth? (Feel free to snicker knowingly.)

Although trouble-shooting for the festival is Lydia's job, she has no problem involving Meg. Worse, she's a Mistress of Misdirected or Incomplete Information. Before chapter three it's obvious that Lydia would be an understandable candidate for murder, or at least having her ankles savaged by Spike, the Waterstons' dog (aptly nicknamed 'the Small Evil One').

Meg and her beloved Michael's twin sons, Josh and Jamie, are six years old and first graders. (Why am I remembering that Calvin of 'Calvin and Hobbes' fame is also a first grader? *whistles with unconvincing innocence*) Their class is being taken to see the new attraction at the Caerphilly Zoo. There was already a report of a problem with the haunted house attraction. Now the zoo is a target.

There are plenty of fun descriptions of decorations, activities, tourists, and locals to keep the reader chuckling if not laughing aloud. Mrs. Paltroon of the local Daughters of the American Revolution chapter is one of the residents who aptly deserves what happens to her. (Oddly enough, no one seems to have joked that her name is one vowel away from an old term for a coward.) Messrs. Griswald


Langslow-Waterston residence, outside of Caerphilly proper

Creatures of the Night exhibit, Caerphilly Zoo
Louisiana Swamp exhibit, Caerphilly Zoo
Bat Cave, Caerphilly Zoo
Westlake, the Caerphilly neighborhood where persons who want others to know they're rich live
Caerphilly College's Agricultural Science Department's demonstration barn


Chapter 1: learn more about Michael's role on the Porfiria, Queen of the Jungle show that played such a big part in book 5, We'll Always Have Parrots.

See chapter two for how Caerphilly is dealing with festival protesters, as well as a description of changing the town from its family-friendly daytime decor to the Night Side and vice-versa.

See chapter three for a description of the exterior of Dr. Smoot's Haunted House, Dr. Blake's costume, why he scowled at the fourth raven, his alternative punishment for misbehaving children, (the Oriental Trading Company catalog is real by the way), and one of the task lists

There are 11 alligators (the 5 crocodiles are in the Australian Bush habitat), at the zoo.
Meg met Thor Larson in book 17, The Good, The Bad, and the Emus.

Chapter 4: We also met Blake's Brigade in The Good, The Bad, and the Emus. This is also the chapter where Dr. Blake refers to the Goblin Patrol as the 'Gargoyle Patrol' by mistake.

See chapter 8 for the Habakkuk Paltroon & family portrait description, among other museum exhibits.
This is also where we find the statement that Mrs. Langslow is an active member of the Yorktown DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution. I guess Mrs. Langslow found another ancestor who wasn't a Tory, because that was the reason she dropped out of the DAR. (See chapter 21 of book book 7, No Nest For the Wicket for the Isaiah Hollingworth story. The missing 's' is no typo. The Hollingworths didn't become the Hollingsworths until book 10, Six Geese a-Slaying. As for the not-yet-wax museum tableaux, one is from book 8, The Penguin Who Knew Too Much. The trunk on exhibit is from book 6, Owl's Well That Ends Well. See book 15, The Hen of the Baskervilles, for the chicken stealing incident.

Chapter 9 mentions three afternoon classes that Michael teaches and that the police's cybercrime resources are Horace and Aida. 'Blast!' is about as bad as Chief Burke's language gets these days.

See the beginning of chapter 10 for a description of Mutant Wizards' current office. (See book 4, Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon for the early days of Mutant Wizards). Later in the chapter is a description of the ironwork Meg did for their Vampire Colonies II posters and packaging. That's followed by an idea for a new game. (Part of the plot for 'Groundhog Day Halloween' refers to a Bill Murray movie called 'Groundhog Day')

Randall Shiffley talks about bootlegging during the days of Prohibition in chapter 11. The scene with the Griswolds is where there's mention of decorators magazines Mrs. Langslow reads and what she scorns, as well as Grace Episcopal Church. (That's Trinity a few pages later, in ch. 27, and later books. I guess that mistake was missed.) We learn that the pumpkin pie Trinity is serving is from Meg's family's recipe.

Dr. Blake explains about his ravens in chapter 13. There's mention of Security Wizards in that chapter, too. That's where we find out what costumes Noah's cat and Mason's dog will be wearing. The Congregational Cemetery is the oldest in town. This is also where librarian Ellie Draper and Meg correct a radio news report by shouting 'Care-FILLY!'. According to chapter 14 of book 12, Stork Raving Mad, the correct pronunciation is 'car-FIL-ly'.

Chapter 13's description of the library's Ray Bradbury exhibit doesn't mention Something Wicked This Way Comes Tsk.

Chapter 14: Check here find out how two enterprising farmers are making money off the Halloween festival. There's also a description of costumes and the Fun Fair.

Chapter 15: Michael and Rob became volunteer firemen a week before the first chapter of book 16, Duck the Halls.

Chapter 16: 'Jackboots' are an insult because they're what Nazi soldiers wore. We'll find a description of Dr. Cavendish here as well as his explanation of pentimenti ('pentimento' in singular) in paintings Randall's Aunt Bessie's tiny bungalow is on 1510 Pruitt Avenue The hair oil that antimacassars were used to protect furniture from was macassar hair oil, hence the name. I still think of antimacassars as doilies.

Chapter 17 Data Wizards handles computer forensic work 'APB' = 'All Points Bulletin' See book 14, Some Like it Hawk, for how Festus Hollingsworth helped Caerphilly fight the Pruitts.

Chapter 18 has a description of the photo of William Henry Harrison Brimfield and his brother, John Tyler, that was taken during World War I.

Chapter 19: another list from the scavenger adventure

Chapter 20: more costume descriptions, including Tinkerbell's and Spike's.

Chapter 23: See book 11, Swan for the Money, for why Ragnar Ragnarsen's farm was once Mrs. Winkleson's old place.

Deputy Aida Butler's aunt, Niobe Butler, is considered one of the best cooks in Caerphilly County. Here's where Chief Burke uses 'Hail, Columbia' as a euphemism for hell.

There's a photo of the Caerphilly Police Bowling Team on the wall of Chief Burke's office. Ragnar has an enormous black Lexus SUV [Sport Utility Vehicle]. He calls his estate 'Niflheim'.

Chapter 24 is where the twins show Grammy their llama costume closet. Randell's cousin Peewee owns the meadow where a Rancid Dread concert will be held. He raises beef cattle. The llamas have been used as pack animals on several camping trips. Groucho will do anything for cantaloupe. Harpo loves cucumbers just as much. Chico, Gummo, and Zeppo's favorites aren't given. Jamie calls Groucho, 'Grouchy'. Michael doesn't enter the llamas in the costume competitions at llama shows, but Rob seems to enjoy them. See chapter 31 of The Hen of the Baskervilles for one such competition.

Chapter 25 gives Grammy Waterston's solution to keep the twins from devouring their treats on the way home. Here is where we learn that Caerphilly has an ordinance against trick-or-treating after age 12.

ch. 27 Reverend Robyn Smith's costume solution is one my own church uses for November 1st Mass. Josh and Jamie's costumes sound good. Trinity Episcopal appears to fund the local women's shelter. That shelter was one of the subplots in book 18, The Nightingale Before Christmas. ( )
  JalenV | Oct 2, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Donna Andrewsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Henson, JoeAuthor photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parr, MaggieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rotstein, David BaldeosinghCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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'Somebody's broken into the Haunted House!'
[Meg and Dr. Blake are discussing a bit of news about the zoo's lions]

'Eaten a tourist?' Was he serious? 'You're remarkably calm about the tourist's fate.'

'I take a Darwinian view of it,' Grandfather said. 'We do what we can to keep the tourists out and the lions in. But if some fool tourist figures out a way to circumvent all our precautions -- well, there you have it.' (chapter 4)
'Junior Goblin Rob here,' my brother answered. 'What is your will, O mighty queen of the Goblin Tribe?' (chapter 9)
[Meg is worried about whether her cousin Rose Noire is too tired]
'Yes, I'll be fine,' she said. 'In fact, it will do me good to spend some time with pure, innocent, loving children.'

'I thought you were babysitting Josh and Jamie,' I said. 'Who are these paragons you're watching instead?' (chapter 13)
[Meg is asking Rob if Mutant Wizards' Vampire Colonies game has a powerful goblet in it.]

'Yeah, the Goblet of Sorrow,' he said. 'Any vampire who drinks from it can walk in sunlight unharmed for the next twenty-four hours.'

'Why is it called the Goblet of Sorrow, then?' I asked. 'Why not something like the Goblet of Joyfully Biting People in Broad Daylight?' (chapter 22)
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Book description
The brilliantly funny Donna Andrews delivers another winner in the acclaimed avian-themed series that mystery readers have come to love. The eighteenth book in her New York Times best-selling series continues to surprise and delight in this next knee-slapping adventure featuring Meg Langslow and all the eccentric characters that make up her world.

It's another holiday and Mayor Randall Shiffley has turned Caerphilly, Virginia into Spooky City, USA. The residents are covering every window with cobwebs and roaming the streets in costume to entertain the tourists, and Meg's grandfather is opening a new "Creatures of the Night" exhibit in the zoo. When a real body at the zoo and a suspicious fire at the Haunted House threaten to mar the town's creepy fun, it's up to Meg Langslow to save Halloween.

Like Meg Langslow, the blacksmith heroine of her series, Donna Andrews was born and raised in Yorktown, Virginia. She introduced Meg to readers in her Malice Domestic Contest-winning first mystery, Murder with Peacocks, and readers are still laughing. This novel swept up the Agatha, Anthony, Barry, and a Romantic Times award for best first novel, and a Lefty for funniest mystery.

With Lord of the Wings, readers can look forward to another zany Meg Langslow mystery--this one filled with Halloween spirit and suspense. [retrieved 5/15/2015 from Amazon.com]
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Reluctantly volunteering her home after a haunted house exhibit burns down during her town's over-the-top Halloween festival activities, Meg Langslow is challenged to save the day upon discovering a real murder victim among the creepy displays.

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