Literature / Meg Langslow Mysteries
The Meg Langslow Mysteries
are a series of comedic mystery novels written by Donna Andrews. Similar to the Stephanie Plum
novels, each features a murder mystery with a heavy dose of humor in the story. Each also features bird-related antics, with these taking a greater role in the plot of some of the novels in the series than others.
To date, the following titles in the series have been either been published or are scheduled:
- Murder with Peacocks
- Murder with Puffins
- Revenge of the Wrought Iron Flamingos
- Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon
- We'll Always Have Parrots
- Owls Well That Ends Well
- No Nest for the Wicket
- The Penguin Who Knew Too Much
- Cockatiels at Seven
- Six Geese A-Slaying
- Swan For The Money
- Stork Raving Mad
- The Real Macaw
- Some Like It Hawk
- The Hen of the Baskervilles
- Duck the Halls
- The Good, the Bad and the Emus
- No Nest for the Wicket
- The Nightingale Before Christmas
- Lord of the Wings
- Die Like an Eagle (August 2016)
- A Murder Hatched (Compilation containing Murder with Peacocks and Murder with Puffins)
- Night Shades (Short story available in an anthology)
- Birthday Dinner (Short story available in an anthology)
The Meg Langslow Mysteries provide examples of the following:
- Beware of Vicious Dog: Spike - Meg Langslow's dog that her mother-in-law forces on her after she turns out to be allergic to him. He turns out to be surprisingly gentle toward and protective of Meg's children once they're born, though.
- Blackmail: The plot of Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon focuses on figuring out who killed Ted, an office practical joker who had secretly compiled a blackmail list and was managing to dig up dirt of some sort on just about everyone at the office of Mutant Wizards, the computer game company founded by Meg's brother Rob.
- Censorship by Spelling: Meg and her family do this when discussing sensitive topics in earshot of Meg's twins in Hen of the Baskervilles. At one point, they spell out i-c-e c-r-e-a-m, only for one of the twins to immediately start babbling about ice cream, but Meg assures the others that the twins are always asking for "ice cream" and it doesn't mean that they're learning to spell.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: The executives of the "Evil Lender," First Progressive Financial, in Some Like It Hawk
- Halloween Episode: Lord of the Wings is an entire book based around a Halloween festival in Caerphilly. Of course, the festival isn't complete without a couple of grisly murders and other dangerous incidents which Meg and her friends / family end up helping to investigate.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each book features a bird of some sort in the title; all titles after Murder with Puffins also reference a popular saying, often one which is the title of a film. Within the books themselves, in Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon, Meg's brother has created a computer game called "Lawyers from Hell" and is now trying to spin off various clones such as "Cops from Hell," "Doctors from Hell" and "Veterinarians from Hell."
- Jurisdiction Friction: This happens in Hen of the Baskervilles when a body ends up splayed across the county line of Caerphilly County and Clay County. Clay County is very much unequipped to do a proper investigation of the murder, but wants jurisdiction anyway. Meg and the Caerphilly County police chief manage to convince them to give Clay County to give the case to them by insinuating that the cost of the investigation will be astronomical, though Clay County still insists on having one of their people on the case as an observer, who turns out to be an interfering idiot. The twist in this case is that he's not simply an interfering idiot, he also happens to be the murderer.
- Like Reality Unless Noted: The books seem to take place more-or-less in the real world, with reference to real world television series such as Thomas the Tank Engine, but are set in the fictional town of Caerphilly, Virginia
- Mystery Magnet: Meg Langslow
- Never Suicide
- Pregnant Badass: Meg Langslow in Stork Raving Mad
- Title Drop: With the name of the book in "Some Like It Hawk," as the name of a service that provides a hawk to chase away nuisance pigeons