No Nest for the Wicket (Meg Langslow Mysteries)
by Donna Andrews
Review by Paul Haggerty
St. Martin's Minotaur Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 0312329407
Date: 08 August, 2006 List Price $23.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
No Nest for the Wicket is the 7th of Donna Andrew's Meg Langslow Mystery series. Meg and her fiancÚ Michael are having their new home renovated. Or perhaps rebuilt would be a more accurate term. The decrepit farmhouse (with various decrepit outbuildings) needs such serious repairs that Meg and Michael have moved into a stall in the barn so the construction crew can have total access. And since Michael is working, it's up to Meg to supervise everything. So then why is she standing in a pasture, wielding a croquet mallet, and making dire (though completely empty) threats to a cow instead?
Still doing her part in the social milieu to make sure Michael gets tenure, Meg has volunteered for a rousing tournament of eXtreme croquet, which is played like normal croquet but on the most inhospitable terrain the organizers can find. And if anything can be worse than tromping around in muddy bramble-covered fields, it's crawling through the brambles, looking for your ball, and instead finding a dead body at the bottom of a ravine.
So now the game is on hold and the sheriff is questioning everybody in sight. At least neither Meg nor Michael are suspects this time (well at least not serious suspects). But until the murder is solved, the game is on hold. While the game is on hold, everybody is camping at their place. And as long as everyone is there, no work is getting done on the house. So if they ever want to live in peace and quiet ever again, Meg is going to have to roll up her sleeves and solve yet another brutal crime.
No Nest for the Wicket is a mystery of academia, societal bigotry, history, archeology, vendettas, and of course, good old fashioned greed. Like the others in the series, Andrews deftly sloshes the clues in one ladle at a time, each new fact making little sense but gradually reducing the number of suspects until you're complete blindsided by the real culprit, who has a reason poor Meg never considered.
The real joys of the Meg Langslow series is getting to watch Meg try and cope with her insane family and their insane slightly askew (and yet strangely compelling) view of the world. They're just like any other family in America, only more concentrated. Meg's family is crazy, the townsfolk are crazy; in fact her entire world seems just a little off plumb. And yet Meg continues to fight the good fight. In the end, pluckiness and good intentions will win out. There's no doubt that she'll solve this mystery and settle down in peace and quiet with the man she loves. Well, one out of two isn't bad. After all, there's always book eight to look forward to.