Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cozy Time: Murder with Puffins

Author: Donna Andrews
Publisher/Format: St. Martin's Paperbacks (2000), 311 pages
Subject: more murder, different birds
Setting: Matinicus Island, off the coast of Maine
Series: Meg Langslow Mysteries
Genre: cozy mystery
Source: my own shelves (years ago - book sale?)

I can't believe I've waited so many years to enjoy the adventures of Meg Langslow.  I now know that I can grab one of these delightful Donna Andrews cozies at any time, settle down for a few hours, and emerge from any kind of bad mood, reading funk, headache, fight with the family, etc., in a much better mood.

I normally dislike amateur sleuths who put themselves in harm's way, who dismiss competent law enforcement's efforts, and who think only they can solve the case.  Meg Langslow can demonstrate all of these unprofessional attributes, but even while she's getting herself into a mess, her brain is at least kicking in to say "BAD IDEA- GET OUT OF HERE" and she has the soothing help of her developing romantic interest -- the handsome Michael.  I just wish her ditzy father has more of the same impulse control----but then----it wouldn't be a good story.

This one has everything I need for escapist lit....a great setting (can you beat a lighthouse, a Maine Island, and those darling cute puffins?), some more of the same loonie-toon characters (including her parents!!), a cast of possible suspects with just enough doubt cast on each to keep you guessing, and good writing.  The dialogue is realistic, and while I realize that not everyone has the option of seemingly unlimited financial resources so they can just take off for an entire summer to traipse around to various venues on vacation, the plot itself is also reasonably believable, particularly if you live in coastal Maine and are familiar with stories of life on Matinicus.

While this one was published over 10 years ago, the entire series is standing up well, and the newest one has just come out.  I'm glad I finally got to them, and can't wait to sprinkle several others into my reading life for the foreseeable future. 


  1. I love puffins and loons more than any other bird, and that's saying something. I'll bet I would like this series because of the Maine connection too.

  2. "more murder, different birds" really cracked me up! I love puffins was thrilled to finally see some on a trip several years ago. We have loons on the lake nearby, have been hearing them a lot this summer.

  3. ok, I am not a big cozy fan, but lighthouses and puffins! how can I pass this up?


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