When Meg Langslow is roped into being a bridesmaid for the nuptials of her mother, her brother’s fiancee, and her own best friend, she is apprehensive. Getting the brides to choose their outfits and those of their bridesmaids (and not change their minds three days later), trying to capture the principals long enough to work out details, and even finding peacocks to strut around the garden during the ceremony – these are things Meg can handle. She can brush off the unfortunate oaf who is smitten with her, and take philosophically her disappointment when she learns that the only eligible man in her small Virginia town (and a delightful hunk he is) is of questionable sexual preference. But even Meg is taken aback when the unpleasant former sister-in-law of Meg’s soon-to-be stepfather disappears and is later found dead.
Lets start this review off with a disclaimer: I am not a wedding person. Period.
So you can understand how odd it is that I love a book whose plot works through THREE weddings. I first read Murder with Peacocks while planning my own wedding, and it was the perfect escape from the stress that comes from a mixture of excitement surrounding the pending nuptials and the pain of pleasing all family members involved in the ordeal. Meg Langslow and I were struggling through similar situations and her humor throughout the story kept me grounded and laughing for hours.
Meg’s unique family members are what makes this book so enjoyable. I find myself waiting for them all to march through my front door with food and ice tea with each turn of the page. Andrews is a master at taking the faults of each character and making them enduring traits. Readers feel like they are reconnecting with old friends when they open the next book in the series. I am still giggling at Dr. Langslow, Meg’s father, staking out Jake from a dogwood tree; I am exasperated at the missed ‘love connections’ experienced by Michael, the hunky dress store manager. I am left cheering for Meg, who is somewhat of a kindred spirit, as she fights off the advances of the burly Barry and struggles to wrangle the flighty brides! Add a few dead bodies and sabotage to the mix and it makes for an interesting summer for our heroine.
Just a few things to keep in mind: There are a lot of details about weddings, so be prepared to read about cakes, flowers, and dresses. Luckily, Andrews’ writing is far from tedious for readers. There is not a lot of detecting; Murder with Peacocks is less like a detective story and more a tale of life with a few dead bodies thrown in. The end ‘who-dunnit’ announcement may seem too abrupt for some people, but those who focus on the small details while reading will realize the characters were investigating throughout the entire story. At times the family’s craziness can seem unbelievable for some; I suggest reading something else if this is an issue for you. The Langslow family personalities are what makes these novels so entertaining and they only get wilder as the series progresses!
I picked Murder with Peacocks up for a second time specifically for this review, and it was just as enjoyable as the first time! I am actually sending a copy of the book to my mom for her birthday; she requested a book that would leave her laughing! Expect to see more Meg Langslow books on Sand Between the Pages! Take the time to visit Donna Andrews website at http://www.donnaandrews.com and let me know what you think of Murder with Peacocks or this review!