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How the Finch Stole Christmas! by Donna…

How the Finch Stole Christmas!

by Donna Andrews

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Meg Langslow (22)

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9910187,398 (3.91)9
When her husband organizes a full-scale production of A Christmas Carol with a famous veteran actor in the starring role, Meg Langslow finds herself navigating unexpected challenges in the star's baggage and enemies.
Recently added byTanuki.kun, private library, Addams95, RSZambia, capstone, Tanya-D, KCleavely



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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
This is the second book I read in this series and I again say that there are "too many notes". The descriptions could be cut quite a bit and still have the gist of the story. But at least this one made sense in the unveiling of the murderer. ( )
  book58lover | Apr 7, 2019 |
This is the first Meg Langslow book I have read although it is the 22nd book in Donna Andrews’s series. In this Christmas adventure, Michael, Meg’s theater professor husband, is producing "The Christmas Carol" to raise money for various programs in Caerphilly, Virginia. To create an even bigger draw than having Michael star as Scrooge, they have hired a former star who is having issues due to his alcoholism. Michael finds out that the university has allowed the agent to insert language into the contract that makes it virtually impossible to fire Haver, despite the fact that he misses rehearsals, hasn’t learned his lines, and shows up to what rehearsals he does deem worthy of attending quite drunk. Meg decides to help Michael by following Haver to find out who is supplying him with his alcohol. What she stumbles upon was more than she expected.

With murders, rare animals, puppy mills, bootlegging and more, there is more than enough mystery and intrigue in this book. I enjoyed following Meg in her sleuthing, and seeing all the issues she has uncovered. Her family was very interesting and I loved how the town came together in a crisis. Of course the culprit was not anyone who I suspected, although it was a very plausible ending to the story. The pace of the story was well done and the plot was interesting and quite believable. I am probably not going to go back and read all the books in this series, but if the opportunity arises to read another, I certainly will. This book worked find as a standalone and I am assuming the others will as well. ( )
  Carlathelibrarian | Feb 5, 2019 |
The town is putting on a performance of A Christmas Carol and they have hired a slightly over-the-hill actor, Malcolm Haver to play the lead. The problem is that Haver drinks too much is belligerent, and isn't always there for rehearsals. No one in town will sell him booze, but he is getting it somewhere. One night Meg Lagslow follows him out into the county and finds his "bootlegger" and plenty more besides that. It turns out the guy is running a puppy mill, is selling some of the illegal Gouldian Finches that her grandfather's friend from Fish and Wildlife is working on a sting to shut down, a Tiger, and an assortment of other wild animals. She takes pictures and looks in the window of the house and sees a little old lady in a wheelchair with a million cats too.

Meg takes this information to Chief Burke as well as to her grandfather. They plan a dawn raid. Meanwhile, Ekaterina, who came from Russia and runs the Caerphilly Inn, is keeping a close eye on Haver and what is in his room such as alcohol, and his movements within his room. That night Haver doesn't come home and his agent doesn't come back til late. Haver shows up passed out at another Inn so he sort of has an alibi for the murder of his bootlegger whom they find the next morning when they do the raid on his house. His neighbor, though, who hated him for harming his sheep with his dogs is missing. And it's possible the people he was selling the animals to might have killed him.

Meanwhile, the play must go on and it's not looking good for Haver because Meg found a gun in his dressing room that matches the type of bullets that killed the bootlegger. Michael may have to go on in Haver's place and quite frankly with all the absences Haver's has Michael's been filling in any way so he's prepared. But this is Jamie and Josh's, Meg and Michael's kids first play. Will it be ruined? This delightful mystery is perfect for the holidays. There's not much of a murder to solve, but you don't really care because the book is so much fun. Meg and the gang really deliver. I give this book four out of five stars.


I am becoming somewhat anxious. He comes from Los Angeles, you know, California. They do not have snow in California. I suspect he knows even less about driving in the snow than Virginians do.

-Donna Andrews (The Finch That Stole Christmas! p 89) ( )
  nicolewbrown | Dec 4, 2018 |
What a fun and lighthearted installment in the Meg Langslow Mystery series. Exotic animal smuggling and a long-in-the-tooth tippling actor playing Scrooge in the Civic presentation of, "A Christmas Carol". What could go wrong with all of that? Care to cleanse the palate after a heavy serious read; this book worked for me and I enjoyed every moment. ( )
  KateBaxter | Feb 25, 2018 |
There is no place I’d rather spend Christmas than in Caerphilly with Meg Langslow. Donna Andrews’ latest Meg Langslow mystery has the town in the throes of another Christmas season with Meg this time acting as assistant director to her husband’s production of A Christmas Carol.

Of course nothing goes smoothly as the college has hired a has-been actor who proves to be both difficult and a rather determined alcoholic. Add in Meg’s grandfather trying to house a bunch of illegally imported finches related to a big federal fish and wildlife animal smugglers ring, a determined stalker of the actor, and assorted problems big and small that only Meg can solve and you’ve got another wonderful Caerphilly Christmas.

A murder and an animal hoarding situation add to the chaos making Meg determined to get to the bottom of things so that production of A Christmas Carol can go on. Her multi-talented extended family and a large cast of helpful locals will draw you into a hilarious and deeply satisfying mystery.

Andrews writes books that allow new readers to jump in at any point in the series, and she manages to delight long-time readers with revisiting familiar characters. One character who gets a lot of page-time in this outing is Ekaterina who runs the Caerphilly Inn. She steals scene after scene and is a significant part of solving the mystery. I look forward to seeing even more of her in the future.

Find your most comfortable reading spot, crack open this book, and prepare to spend a few hours with a smile on your face. Donna Andrews has done it again. Highly recommended.

I was fortunate to receive an advance copy of this book from the publisher. ( )
  tottman | Dec 25, 2017 |
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» Add other authors

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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'Shakespeare was right.
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...Mother sounded torn. On the one hand, she was always delighted at the opportunity to boast about her family's accomplishments. But she wasn't entirely sure what to make of Horace's growing reputation for being able to fingerprint corpses thought to be too far gone for identification. (chapter 4)
[Chief Burke and Deputies Vern and Aida have gone ahead to secure the premises before the animal rescue raid. Dr. Blake gets impatient]
'We should go in there,' he said. Who knows what's happening?'
'The Chief said to stay here until he radioed,' Horace said.
What if they've been ambushed by bloodthirsty finch smugglers with semi-automatic weapons?'
'We'd have heard the semi-automatic weapons,' Horace pointed out.
'Bloodthirsty finch smugglers with machetes.'
Horace looked stumped.
'We'd have heard the screams,' I said. (chapter 14)
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Due October 24, 2017.

As in her previous Christmas mysteries, Six Geese a-Slaying, Duck the Halls, and The Nightingale Before Christmas, Andrews continues to write “firmly in the grand tradition of Agatha Christie’s Christmas books” (Toronto Globe and Mail).

New York Times bestselling author Donna Andrews takes us home to Caerphilly for the holidays in her new hilarious Christmas mystery How the Finch Stole Christmas!

Meg's husband has decided to escalate his one-man show of Dickens' A Christmas Carol into a full-scale production with a large cast including their sons Jamie and Josh as Tiny Tim and young Scrooge and Meg helping as stage manager.

The show must go on, even if the famous—though slightly over-the-hill—actor who's come to town to play the starring role of Scrooge has brought a sleigh-load of baggage and enemies with him. And why is Caerphilly suddenly overrun with a surplus of beautiful caged finches?

How the Finch Stole Christmas! is guaranteed to put the "ho ho hos" into the holidays of cozy lovers everywhere with its gut-bustingly funny mystery. [retrieved 8/3/2017 from Amazon.com]
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