38. Murder With Peacocks by Donna Andrews
Publication: Minotaur Books; X edition (January 15, 2000), Paperback, 311pp / ISBN 0312970633
Read: February 22-24, 2010
Summary from Amazon:
So far Meg Langslow’s summer is not going swimmingly. Down in her small Virginia hometown, she’s maid of honor at the nuptials of three loved ones–each of whom has dumped the planning in her capable hands. One bride is set on including a Native American herbal purification ceremony, while another wants live peacocks on the law. Only help from the town’s drop-dead gorgeous hunk, disappointingly rumored to be gay, keeps Meg afloat in a sea of dotty relatives and outrageous neighbors.
And, in whirl of summer parties and picnics, Southern hospitality is strained to the limit by an offensive newcomer who hints at skeletons in the guests’ closets. But it seems this lady has offended one too many when she’s found dead in suspicious circumstances, followed by a string of accidents–some fatal. Soon, level-headed Meg’s to-do list extends from flower arrangements and bridal registries to catching a killer–before the next catered event is her own funeral…
So it turns out I had another Donna Andrews book and hadn’t realized it until after I reorganized my shelves. Ha! And while I was kind of expecting Murder with Peacocks to be like You’ve Got Murder, in writing style if nothing else, I was not expecting to like Murder With Peacocks even more than I liked You’ve Got Murder!
Murder With Peacocks is charming, but not charming in that annoying way like, I don’t know. Precious Moments. It’s not Precious Moments charming, it’s Southern family does hilarious things while solving a mystery charming.
I really loved the characters! I liked Meg, who tolerates her family with humor and grace even when they’re driving her insane. She’s also curious about things, something she probably picked up from her Sherlock Holmes-wannabe dad (who is also charmingly funny). I liked how Meg manages to fend off her mother’s matchmaking without going nuclear and without resorting to crazy lying games of the kind you find in chick lit books sometimes. And I liked how she’s unconventional without being over-the-top.
Her family is great, too. They’ve got that Southern kookiness that was such a hit in stuff like Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and so on. Except maybe less annoying. Meg’s family is hilarious and I can’t wait to read more about them in the next book.
The mystery was pretty good, too. It was sort of interwoven with the non-mystery bits in a way that made the whole thing really great, truly enjoyable to read. I’m so glad I kept on reading Donna Andrews books, because I really loved this one!