Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Review: Murder With Peacocks

Murder With Peacocks by Donna Andrews
4.5 stars

Reasons for reading:
I've read several positive reviews of the series in the book blogosphere; Mystery for Triple 8 Challenge, Agatha Award (for best first novel) for Book Awards Challenge

Book description:
"So far Meg Langslow's summer is not going swimmingly. Down in her small Virginia hometown, she's maid of honor at the nuptials of three loved ones--each of whom has dumped the planning in her capable hands. One bride is set on including a Native American herbal purification ceremony, while another wants live peacocks on the law. Only help from the town's drop-dead gorgeous hunk, disappointingly rumored to be gay, keeps Meg afloat in a sea of dotty relatives and outrageous neighbors.And, in whirl of summer parties and picnics, Souther hospitality is strained to the limit by an offenseive newcomer who hints at skeletons in the guests' closets. But it seems this lady has offended one too many when she's found dead in suspicious circumstances, followed by a string of accidents--some fatal. Soon, level-headed Meg's to-do list extends from flower arragements and bridal registries to catching a killer--before the next catered event is her own funeral..."

First line:
"I had become so used to hysterical dawn phone calls that I only muttered one halfhearted oath before answering."

My thoughts: What a fun book! Thanks to the bloggers who have been posting about the series lately, I don't think I'd have come across it otherwise. I liked everything about it, here are just a few things:
- I think it's very cool that Meg was a decorative blacksmith (the upper body strength it gives her comes in handy when people are trying to kill her!).
- The three weddings were a hoot, particularly her friend Eileen's Renaissance-themed one (I was at a Ren Fest recently, so I could really visualize everything!). I felt Meg's exasperation with the brides who were either flaky, lazy, or way too demanding.
- I liked all the crazy relatives and that the Langslows are basically related to the entire town of Yorktown. Meg's retired doctor/wannabe CSI agent is particularly funny - he doesn't care how many people don't want to hear about dead bodies at the supper table and he still loves Meg's mother dearly.
- The titular peacocks are hilarious and are featured prominently throughout the book.
- I liked the little Vietnamese ladies who work at the bridal store and are constantly around stuffing women into dresses and are either giggling or fierce if their work is questioned.
- The love interest, Michael, is hunky and sweet (that's maybe my only small qualm, that it took him the whole book to tell her he wasn't gay, although that was the point, I guess, that she was so distracted he couldn't get a word in edgewise).

I'm really looking forward to the rest of this series!

(If you've reviewed this book, leave a link in the comments!)

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