Here are the reviews of the two Christmas stories I finished last month. Sorry it took so long to get these to you! Enjoy!
Meg and Michael’s house is serving as the marshaling point for the annual Caerphilly Christmas parade. The theme is “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” and it features twelve drummers from the school marching band, eleven bagpipers, ten leaping lords costumed in medieval finery from the college drama department, etc. There are also assorted Christmas-themed floats, a live nativity scene on a flatbed truck, the Three Wise Men on Caerphilly zoo camels, and Santa Claus in a bright red horse-drawn sleigh (eight reindeer were beyond the zoo’s scope). Meg has been volunteered to organize the parade, which is to proceed from her house to the local campus, where Santa will take up residence to hear the Christmas wishes of the town’s children. Of course, getting all the camels, pipers, leapers, and drummers in order is proving every bit as difficult as Meg feared it would be. Then her nephew Eric, wide-eyed and ashen-faced, whispers, “Meg, something’s wrong with Santa.” The local curmudgeon, whose beard and belly made him a natural for the role, has been murdered. Now Meg and Chief Burke, who is playing one of the wise men, are faced with the two-fold mission of solving the murder and saving Christmas!
Meg is the Mistress of the Revels, the woman in charge of the Caerphilly Holiday Parade. This means that she is responsible for wrangling the town, and most of her family, in order to deliver the perfect parade. All is surprisingly working out until Santa Claus, played by the rather unsavory Mr. Doleson, is murdered in the pig barn. Meg’s farm is now a crime scene. To make matters worse, it turns out that that Mr. Doleson has been blackmailing most of the town. Everyone in the parade is a suspect, so Meg does her own snooping while keeping a big city reporter at bay. It’s just a typical Caerphilly Christmas!
I always enjoy Andrews’ cozy-mysteries. The curious and brutally honest Meg is a kindred spirit! Just remember, these are cozy-mysteries, so don’t worry about how many murders occur on Meg’s farm over the series; just go with it!
Six Geese A-Slaying is the tenth book in the series and was just not as funny as I had expected. The first novel in the series, Murder with Peacocks, had me crying I was laughing so hard. This installment was good but I didn’t laugh until I peed myself. Instead, I giggled some, smiled, and enjoyed a pleasant chapter or two each night. The writing felt a tad rushed and the novel had a difficult time holding my attention with all the holiday craziness happening around me. Also, the e-book version that I read had numerous continuity errors when it came to spelling, but I am sure this is not an issue for the printed copy.
I love the cast of characters, and that folks, is the reason why I keep coming back to this series. The characters are wonderful and I feel like I am meeting up with old friends each time I read one of these books. I adore Meg’s crazy family and her sweet husband. My favorites are Meg’s dad and stubborn Meg! These characters are real, funny, and just sincere through the entire series. Here is one of my favorite excerpts (so much funnier in context):
“I was still standing on the back porch, adjusting to the cold and looking around for Clarence, when I heard Michael’s voice.
“This is Ernest,” Michael was saying. “Our first llama.”
First llama? I’d been referring to him as ‘the’ llama.”
This was the perfect Christmas cozy-mystery. I enjoyed the description of the parade preparations and what could be better than the police chief riding a camel, Santa on a motorcycle, and 36 geese a-laying? Are you a fan of Donna Andrews? Which book is your favorite?