Saturday, September 6, 2008

Six Geese A-Slaying-Donna Andrews

Six Geese A-Slaying
Donna Andrews
Dunne, Nov 2008, $22.95
ISBN: 0312536100

With her husband Michael being up for tenure; Meg Langslow has no choice except to put on the Caerphilly Christmas Parade becase someone who could help her spouse asks her. Meg always a trooper has all the people she needs to perform the “Twelve Days of Christmas”. She hides her dissatisfaction of being stuck with the town’s first choice for Santa Ralph Doleson, a mean miser who makes Silas Marner look like a deficit spending Congressman; she believes he got the role because he can fill out the suit so the council need not waste money on alterations or a new costume.

To get him out of the way so the kids won’t see him, she places Ralph in the pig’s sled and forgets about him until her nephew Eric and his pal inform her something is wrong with Santa. Meg checks only to find Ralph dead with a stake through his heart like a bad vampire movie. Meg gets Chief Burke, who is one of the three Wise Men. There are plenty of suspects who wanted odious Ralph dead especially those outraged over Whispering Pines the low rent townhouses and the Spouse Attic where people lease space to place things they conceal from their families Between his two buildings Ralph has a good blackmail business going.. To save Christmas from the odious Grinch who was murdered, Burke and Meg investigate.

SIX GEESE A-SLAYING is a hilarious amateur sleuth tale as Meg struggles with putting on the parade, finding a new Santa who can wear the garb, and solving the homicide of the original Santa. The scenarios are so chaotic that Meg needs Lucille Ball to perform her role. Meg is at her best juggling several balls in the air; although when some drop she just picks them up and tosses them again. Readers will adore her antics and this amusing tale summed up by the Nativity Scene on a flatbed truck.

Harriet Klausner