Friday, June 27, 2008

Cockatiels at Seven-Donna Andrews

Cockatiels at Seven
Donna Andrews
St. Martin’s, Jul 2008, $23.95
ISBN: 0312377150

Recently married to Michael, Meg Langslow makes her Dad and Grandpa swear her baby sitting of their reptiles is short and temporary as she fears she will soon be bailing them and Dr. Blake out of some jail. Reluctantly she agrees to host the reptilians on her Caerphilly, Virginia farm though her guests give her the creeps.

At the same time her friend Karen leaves her toddler Timmy with Meg to baby-sit the child; a bit concerned as the boa dad left eats squirrels while Meg compares mentally little Timmy to the rodent. However, Karen fails to return to pick up her two years old infant. Not sure if Karen is in trouble or deserted Timmy, Meg, having solved cases before like THE PENGUIN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, investigates. She soon learns that Karen's sleazy former husband Jasper was a computer programmer at the same college where Karen works and Michael teaches. As Meg digs deeper, she uncovers Jasper's corpse and much more.

This is a zany amusing amateur sleuth as Meg’s family, the snakes, and Tom the terrible two bring much humor to the heroine’s frantic inquiry. What happened to Karen and why provides the suspense. Readers will appreciate the latest Langslow tale as snakes on the farm is a fun lighthearted frolic.

Harriet Klausner