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Lord of the Wings (Meg Langslow) by Donna Andrews
Review by Paul Haggerty
Minotaur Books Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781250049582
Date: 04 August 2015 List Price $25.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

The town of Caerphilly, Virginia, isn't known for taking their celebrations lightly. And neither is Meg Langslow. But for Halloween this year, Meg is finally catching a break. Instead of having the planning and execution of the holiday mysteriously fall on her shoulders while she's not looking, the town has hired a professional planner instead, ostensibly making her life easier.

Technically, Meg only needs to lead the Goblin Patrol, which is the shorter and catchier name for The Visitor Relations and Police Liaison Patrol, a volunteer band that watches out for people misbehaving during a holiday known for pranks and tricks. But with the Expert Organizer calling on her every time she turns around, Meg wonders if this isn't actually more stressful than doing it herself. And, of course, as the saying goes: all's fun and games until someone loses an eye. Or in this case, ends up shot to death.

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

It's Halloween in Caerphilly. And in addition to her celebration duties, Meg is looking forward to being able to take her twin sons trick or treating. But there are a thousand and one details swirling around that need to be taken in hand.

It doesn't help that Caerphilly is having a bit of a split personality over the holiday, with some demanding that the pagan aspects be minimized or eliminated, and that it should be a more pure harvest festival. The other half wants every window, porch, and yard festooned with black cats, witches, and anything that can go bump in the night. Naturally, the town attempts to do both, with day mode and night mode festivities, sure to attract every tourist (and their tourist dollars) for miles around, including a haunted house, fun fair, zoo tours, and nightly rock and roll concert.

What no one could have anticipated is an outside group deciding to use the Caerphilly festival as a backdrop for a scavenger hunt game, where each turn involves mischief, mayhem, and a good deal of law-breaking. Which is where Meg and her Goblin Patrol are dragged into yet another mystery.

Lord of the Wings could be called a typical Meg Langslow mystery if, by typical, you mean a tangled web of misdirection, seemingly unrelated events, a menagerie of reoccurring characters, and a small handful of new characters for you to try to pin the crime on, if anyone can actually figure out why the crime was committed in the first place.

How are fake body parts at the zoo, anonymously emailed game instructions, multiple break-ins at the historical museum, a couple of society mavens with family histories to protect, a retired rock legend, a live action role-playing troupe, and a couple of murdered tourists all related? Well, that's what Meg has to figure out before anyone else gets killed. Fortunately, she has the help of her eccentric, but highly talented extended family and friends, and a competent and effective police force, that's just a little over-extended at the moment.

If you've read the other books in the Meg Langslow mysteries, you know what to expect, and Donna Andrews delivers. Fun times, wacky hi-jinks, bizarre characters, and a mystery that is not easy to see through. If you haven't read anything else in this series, you don't need to in order to get yourself immersed, but I promise you that you'll want to.

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