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The Good, the Bad, and the Emus: A Meg Langslow Mystery by Donna Andrews
Cover Artist: David Baldeosinhj Rotstein
Review by Paul Haggerty
Minotaur Books Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781250009500
Date: 08 July 2014 List Price $24.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

Meg Langslow's family has come a long way since her debut in Murder with Peacocks back in 1999. In these years she's acquired a husband and two boys, reunited her father and mother, and discovered her long lost grandfather. Now, in The Good, the Bad, and the Emus, word as come of her grandmother. Unfortunately, it comes paired with the news that her grandmother, Cordelia, just recently died. And if Cordelia's cousin, Annabel, is to be believed, her death was nothing short of murder.

More by Donna Andrews:
Meg Langslow Mysteries:
* No Nest for the Wicket
* The Penguin Who Knew Too Much
* Cockatiels at Seven
* Six Geese A-Slaying
* Swan for the Money
* Some Like it Hawk
* The Hen of the Baskervilles
* Duck the Halls
* The Good, the Bad, and the Emus
* Lord of the Wings

Now that he's been reunited with his granddaughter, Meg, Dr. Montgomery Blake has hired a private detective to find the love of his life, and Meg's grandmother. Seventy years before, Dr. Blake headed off on an expedition to the Galapagos Islands, and lost touch with Cordelia. And although saddened when he couldn't find her when he returned, got on with his life until he accidentally stumbled across Meg. It's just horrible luck that Cordelia passed away before they could reunite.

Still, Meg wants to find out what she can about her, and heads off to Riverton, Virgina to meet with Annabel. Unfortunately, Annabel is a known recluse, and doesn't take to strangers. Only her resemblance to Cordelia gets Meg through the front door. And once there, Meg finds herself having to make a deal. Annabel is convinced that Cordelia was murdered by the next door neighbor, using a faked shed fire to conceal the deed, and demands that Meg help her bring the scoundrel to justice. Only then will she share what she knows of Cordelia.

As an amateur sleuth, this is not exactly a bad deal for Meg. Under the cover of an Emu rescue that Cordelia had been asking for, given that these birds have escaped from an abandoned farm and now infest the town, and given that Dr. Blake is a world famous zoologist, Meg, her grandfather's animal rescue team, and most of Meg's friends and family are quickly pressed into service and descend on Riverton with army-like precision.

The remainder of the book is typical Donna Andrews. Meg and her friends must ferret out the secrets and sift through everybody's stories to separate the truth from the lies. And with so many people to talk to, both townsfolk and visitors combined, there's a lot of information to deal with. And while doing so, there's still the fact that, if Annabel is to be believed, a killer walks among them. Someone who so far has gotten away with the crime, and doesn't want the truth to come out. And once you've covered up one murder (most fowl) there's little to stop you from silencing folks that insist on sticking their noses where they don't belong.

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