Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Book Review: "Some Like It Hawk"

"Some Like It Hawk" by Donna Andrews
Book 14 of the Meg Langslow mystery series
First published in 2012
344 pages
My rating: 4 out of 5
(image source)

I've always said that Donna Andrews is like Janet Evanovich-lite. Andrews' books are funny but not vulgar, there's always a murder mystery but it's not super gory or intense, and the earlier novels have a bit of romance but no sex scenes.

All that would make me say Evanovich's books are the better ones, but I was struck by something reading this 14th installment of Donna Andrews' Meg Langslow series: unlike Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books and some other cozy mystery series, Andrews' books and characters have evolved over time. The Meg in book 14 is not the same Meg we met in book 1. Andrews has led us faithful readers along as Meg has grown, changed and experienced many major life milestones. Whereas Stephanie Plum -- nineteen books down the road -- has still not chosen between her two beaus, Meg is now happily married and is the mother of twin boys.

The evolution of the series and the addition of new characters gives way to more unique plots. Building on events from the previous book, in "Some Like It Hawk" the small college town of Caerphilly, Virginia, where Meg and her husband live is under siege by the Evil Lender, which has -- through the fault of the corrupt former mayor and council -- foreclosed on all the town's government buildings. It's Fourth of July week and the town is hosting Caerphilly Days, where tourists can check out "The Town that Mortgaged Its Own Jail" while enjoying food, drink, artisans and entertainment. When an Evil Lender employee is murdered during the festival, Meg must help Chief Burke and Mayor Shiffley find the killer before a huge secret the town is harboring is revealed.

Donna Andrews bird-themed books are quick, fun, lighthearted and smartly written reads with just the right sprinkling of kooky characters, humor and suspense, and I've thoroughly enjoyed each one.

Happy reading!

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