The Real Macaw
Minotaur, Jul 19 2011, $24.99
Four months ago Meg Langslow gave birth to twin boys. Her sons are on different sleep cycles so she feels sleep deprived. Thus during a graveyard feeding, she assumes she is hallucinating when she hears assorted animal noises downstairs. She looks only to find a horde in her home. She asks her father, grandfather and other animal lovers what is going on; they explain the formerly no kill shelter they rescued the animals from was going to murderer them due to a lack of funds.
They were brought to Meg’s living room because the transporter Parker Blair failed to show up. Police Chief Burke arrives at Meg’s home to find out why her zoologist grandfather kept calling Parker who he explains was murdered. Meg promises to stay out of the investigation though she has a history of involvement (see Stork Raving Mad). She becomes upset when Mayor Pruitt wants to seize her house and other homes under eminent domain to sell to a developer in order to pay off the finance company that upgrades the Pruitt section of town. He used county buildings as collateral and the firm is ready to take possession. Someone attacks Meg’s grandfather and a blue macaw is replaced by another macaw. Meg assumes the assaults are linked to the Parker homicide. She begins to ask questions while helping the county by letting them using her barn to house the library, but almost gets killed for her efforts.
Donna Andrews has written another laugh out loud cozy. The heroine deals with the twins and her husband who remains in the background with relative but sleepy ease; she handles the animal kingdom guests with calm. However, her dad and granddad are over the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains with their caring lunacy encouraged by the eccentric Caerphilly townsfolk. The whodunit is fun to follow as Meg investigates, but it is the jocularity that makes the Langslow amateur sleuths super.