Sunday, June 5, 2016

Book Review: Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon

Author: Donna Andrews
Title: Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publish Date: Feb 16, 2014
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: Poor Meg Langslow. She's blessed in so many ways. Michael, her boyfriend, is a handsome, delightful heartthrob who adores her. She's a successful blacksmith, known for her artistic wrought-iron creations. But somehow Meg's road to contentment is more rutted and filled with potholes than seems fair.

There are Michael's and Meg's doting but demanding mothers, for a start. And then there's the fruitless hunt for a place big enough for the couple to live together. And a succession of crises brought on by the well-meaning but utterly wacky demands of her friends and family. Demands that Meg has a hard time refusing---which is why she's tending the switchboard of Mutant Wizards, where her brother's computer games are created, and handling all the office management problems that no one else bothers with. For companionship, besides a crew of eccentric techies, she has a buzzard with one wing---who she must feed frozen mice thawed in the office microwave---and Michael's mother's nightmare dog. Not to mention the psychotherapists who refuse to give up their lease on half of the office space, and whose conflicting therapies cause continuing dissension. This is not what Meg had in mind when she agreed to help her brother move his staff to new offices.

In fact, the atmosphere is so consistently loony that the office mail cart makes several passes through the reception room, with the office practical joker lying on top of it pretending to be dead, before Meg realizes that he's become the victim of someone who wasn't joking at all. He's been murdered for real.

Donna Andrews's debut book, Murder with Peacocks, won the St. Martin's Malice Domestic best first novel contest and reaped a harvest of other honors as well. This is the fourth book in the Meg Langslow series, which features the intrepid Meg and her cast of oddball relatives. Their capers are a lighthearted joy to read.

Review:  I've read a few of the Meg Langslow Mysteries, mostly as I find them. Totally out of order, of course, but I read them. This book reminded me of a Hallmark Mystery that meets Big Bang Theory. that

Meg is helping out at her brother's computer game firm. When a much hated programmer ends up dead there's a murder to be investigated, because her brother is a prime suspect.

There's a lot to enjoy here and it usually involves the programmers that are all a little bit eccentric/crazy and some of the therapists that work in the same building.

Some of the funniest scenes in the book involve the "affirmation bears" that one of the  therapists created. When you press their bellies they say positive things. Needless to say by the end of the book, the programmers have given them a sort of make over.

But back to Ted, the dead programmer. As Meg starts her own investigation, we find there's a lot of people that might have a good reason to want him dead. He's not a nice guy.  In fact, he's pretty obnoxious and he's blackmailing a lot of the people that he works with or at least trying to.

I really loved the programmers.  Their personality quirks really made the story. You also can't forget the office's mascot, George, the buzzard.

There are some great subplots with the animals and with the therapists.

The best part is you won't guess who did it.  The reveal was a big surprise to me, considering how many people had cause to want Ted dead.

This was a really fun an entertaining mystery. I can't wait to find another book from this series.

Rating: 4 flowers


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