Swan for the Money: A Meg Langslow Mystery
by Donna Andrews
Review by Gayle Surrette
Minotaur Books Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780312377175
Date: 21 July 2009 List Price $24.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
You know several things when you see there's a new Meg Langslow mystery by Donna Andrews on the shelves: it will be funny, it will be filled with weird and wacky characters, the mystery will be convoluted and fair, and you're in for hours of great entertainment. Andrews' newest Swan for the Money lives up to all my expectations. This time Meg's parents are growing roses for competition and, of course, they talked Meg into running the Caerphilly Garden Club annual rose show.
How much could go wrong trying to run a rose show? Well, lots if you're Meg. She had no idea that rose growers were so competitive and sneaky. Someone has sabotaged her parents roses and they expect Meg to find the culprit. Meg isn't feeling so well and suspects -- well, you can imagine what she suspects and of course she can't check it out in Caerphilly.
As usual while Andrews peoples her mysteries with eccentric characters, they're believable eccentric characters, mostly because if you look closely at your own relatives -- well, they may not be as off-the-wall as Meg's but a push here and there and they could be. So, let's hope they don't read this series -- it might give them ideas.
This is the eleventh book in the series, and yet Andrews manages to keep the series fresh, though I don't think I want to live in the vicinity of the Langslow's because there's usually a body and I don't want it to be me. But her characters do grow and change over the course of the books -- they don't simply reset to the beginning at the end of each book. Instead, they change and grow based on the experiences they have in each book with the next book adding to their character, skill sets, and psychological growth. This character growth is a factor that I look for when choosing a series.
So, if you've read other books in this series and enjoyed them, you're going to love this one. If you've never given the Meg Langslow series and try but like books with strong, independent women characters, chances are you'll enjoy Meg and her eccentric family.