One of my reasons for starting a writing website is so I can write about my favorite books, not the ones I am writing but the ones I am reading. I read five to ten books a week, and while I don’t like them all, I do love a great deal of them. I record the books I read on Goodreads, and I’d love to be your Goodreads friend. On this website I am going to recommend to you “My Must Reads,” those books that I think everyone should read. My first “Must Read” is the Meg Langslow mysteries by Donna Andrews.
As part of a mystery reading challenge I am doing in 2013 I had to read a mystery with an animal in the title. For years I have wanted to read the Meg Langslow mysteries and this was finally the excuse I was looking for. I choose We’ll Always Have Parrots and then immediately started at the beginning of the series and read all the books my library had. When my library ran out after the first seven I went to other libraries so I could read the whole series. Needless to say I am obsessed. I have bought several of the books for gifts.
The obvious question is why? Is it the punny bird titles? (Yes.) Is it the extremely large and quirky family that Meg has to deal with? (Yes.) Is it how calm Michael seems no matter what craziness happens? (Yes.) I think it is everything. Like an ice cream sundae that has just the right amount of ice cream, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and nuts, these mysteries are written with just the right amount of crime solving, character tension, fascinating settings, and fun subplots.
These books are cozies, but that is cool with me. I read the whole spectrum of mystery subgenres. If the sleuth is likable, if the secondary characters are important to the plot, and if the crime is worth solving than the amount of violence is not important. Donna Andrews has written a series that keeps me guessing and keeps me laughing. Thus this series ranks high on “My Must Read” list.
If you would like to read this series I recommend starting at the beginning (not something I suggest with every series) but Murder with Peacocks is excellent. If you buy it here you’ll help support my writing efforts but even if you check it out from the library you’ll be glad you picked this book up.