Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon by Donna Andrews

Donna Andrews

I recently discovered a new mystery writer and I have been enjoying her books immensely.  Donna Andrews has written a series of books with bird-themed titles.  There are 20 books in the series so far and I hope there are many more to come.  “Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon” is #4 in her Meg Langslow series.

Meg Langslow is a blacksmith artist in her 30’s.  She is very close to her family which includes her retired physician father, a mother who is always sending her books and articles, and a brother with a successful business developing online games.  Her boyfriend, Michael is an actor and theater professor.  Her mother has a large, boisterous, extended family which figures prominently in most of the books.

Meg is the solid center of a quirky family.  She organizes her life and the lives of people around her.  Meg has a great deal of common sense.  Consequently people talk to her and follow her advice.  Meg is also insatiably curious and can’t let a mystery go until she solves it.  She gains a reputation as someone who figures things out and her family often asks for her help.  One of the things I like best is that she shares what she knows with law enforcement and is quick to call the police (as she should).

Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon” is the funniest mystery I have ever read.  Meg is working as the receptionist at her brother’s company because something strange is going on.  Her brother thinks she can figure it out.  And then one of the people working at the company ends up dead.  Meg, of course, is going to learn who the real killer is.  The scene where the killer collects over a dozen people, thinking they all must be killed to cover up the original crime, had me laughing out loud.

I love screwball comedies and it seems like “Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon” is the perfect script for a screwball comedy.  All of Donna Andrews books have this element of comedy.  The heroine is strong, smart and resourceful.  Meg also loves her boyfriend and her large, odd family who help her in various ways.  The birds in the stories are all peripheral characters and just give Donna Andrews an excuse for fun titles.

If you enjoy mysteries and want to read a series that is funny as well as loving and clever, check out the Meg Langslow series.  Start with the first book in the series, “Murder with Peacocks,” so you understand the relationships between all the characters.  I’m sure by the time you get to “Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon” you won’t want to stop.