by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Owl Be Home for Christmas. We also have a link to order it from Amazon, and from an indie bookstore where a portion goes to help support KRL. A CHRISTMAS MYSTERY SHORT STORY BY DONNA, THAT FEATURES HER MAIN CHARACTER MEG LANGSLOW, IS FEATURED IN THE LATEST MYSTERYRAT’S MAZE PODCAST. YOU CAN FIND THE LINK TO LISTEN, AND THE PLAYER TO LISTEN RIGHT HERE ON KRL, AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST.
It’s Owl Fest 2019 in Caerphilly, Virginia, and for once Meg Langslow’s home is not the center of her grandfather’s well-intentioned chaos. Instead, J. Montgomery Blake has selected the Caerphilly Inn for the Blake Foundation’s December Owl conference of professors, scientists, and many unapproved owls. An uncharacteristic, record-breaking blizzard has knocked out telephones and electricity throughout the town, with roads unsafe even for snowplows. Meg is thankful to have her husband and twin sons trapped with her and relying on the hotel’s generator, but it also means that she and two hundred aggressively opinionated biologists are locked in together for the holiday. While Meg’s massive “notebook that tells her when to breathe” has her managing presentations and owl-themed performances, it doesn’t mark out time to deal with the poisoning death of the most detested attendee, Dr. Oliver Frogmore.
Egotistical, sexist, and not a little racist, Dr. Frogmore dominated Meg’s time with his demands for top billing and special treatment. Now he’s going to take up even more of her attention as she must orchestrate the investigation and preserve evidence for the murder of man whom no one has any interest in mourning. Fortunately, Meg’s large contingency of relatives are on hand, and conveniently they also happen to be legitimate, official investigators. Her father happens to be the town’s medical examiner, while her Horace is a deputy with forensic experience. It quickly becomes apparent that Dr. Frogmore was poisoned by an embarrassing combination of Viagra and nitroglycerin, and having offended all of the hotel staff along with his contemporaries there are nearly three hundred suspects with the means to have done him in. Only the deceased’s assistant/toadie Dr. Edward Czerny displays any remorse over the death, as owl advocates believed that Frogmore’s extremism was a cover for his being a shill for the lumber industry. Keeping suspects distracted and happy throughout the Christmas confinement is a task eagerly taken on by Meg’s mother, who wastes no time dispersing troops to create nostalgic holiday meals for the Owl Fest attendees.
This sixth of the Christmas-themed Meg Langslow mysteries and an astounding twenty of the avian-titled series overall, delivers all of the hilarious family shenanigans and creative investigations one expects. Characters have grown and evolved since the debut novel in 1999, with blacksmith Meg becoming the head of her own family that delightfully blends into the massive Langslow contingency. Meg’s grandfather’s advocacy for wildlife – often over humans – introduces readers to a surfeit of avian information concerning their welfare and preservation. What continues to be a standout are the exchanges and witty banter between logical Meg and the well-intentioned but lacking-common-sense scientists, who may not always consider the practicality of their ideas. The pace of mystery ramps up while the laughs never stop, with the author successfully balancing the humor with the locked-room investigation. Wildlife conservation, owl advocacy, academic competition make this a thrilling novel that fully embraces the Christmas holiday spirit.
To enter to win a copy of Owl Be Home for Christmas, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “owl,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 14, 2019. U.S. residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. We delete all emails after the contest is over.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Be sure to check out our new mystery podcast too with mystery short stories, and first chapters read by local actors. A new episode went up this week featuring a Christmas mystery short story with the character Meg Langslow, written by Donna Andrews.
Click on this link to purchase this book & a portion goes to help support KRL & an indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:
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