Thursday, July 28, 2022

ARC Review: Round Up the Usual Peacocks by Donna Andrews

Round Up the Usual Peacocks

Donna Andrews
Series: Meg Langslow Mysteries (Book 31)
Publication: Minotaur Books (August 2, 2022)

Description: New York Times bestselling author Donna Andrews first introduced us to Meg Langslow as a crime-solving bridesmaid. In her 31st mystery, Round Up the Usual Peacocks, Meg returns to her roots, juggling cold cases and wedding guests.

Kevin, Meg's cyber-savvy nephew who lives in the basement, comes to her with a problem. He's become involved as the techie for a true-crime podcast, one that focuses on Virginia cold cases and unsolved crimes. And he thinks their podcast has hit a nerve with someone . . . one of the podcast team has had a brush with death that Kevin thinks was an attempted murder, not an accident.

Kevin rather sheepishly asks for Meg's help in checking out the people involved in a couple of the cases. "Given your ability to find out stuff online, why do you need MY help?" she asks. "Um . . . because I've already done everything I can online. This'll take going around and TALKING to people," he exclaims, with visible horror. "In person!" Not his thing. And no, it can't wait until after the wedding, because he's afraid whoever's after them might take advantage of the chaos of the wedding at Trinity or the reception at Meg and Michael's house to strike again.

So on top of everything she's doing to round up vendors and supplies and take care of demanding out-of-town guests, Meg must hunt down the surviving suspects from three relatively local cold cases so she can figure out if they have it in for the podcasters. Could there be a connection to a musician on the brink of stardom who disappeared two decades ago and hasn't been seen since?

My Thoughts: Meg will do almost anything to get out of assisting her mother with her brother Rob's way over-the-top wedding preparations. So, when her nephew Kevin comes to ask for help, Meg is all-in.

Computer nerd Kevin and his friend Casey have started a true crime podcast. Someone isn't pleased. In fact, Casey was almost hit by a car when he was walking back to campus one evening. The main problem is that the two don't know which of their podcasts stirred someone up. 

After some discussion, they decide to focus on three of the more local crimes. The first has to do with a man perhaps wrongly accused of murder in the death of a convenience store clerk. The second has to do with a twenty-six-year-old cheating scandal in the Business Department of the college where Meg's husband teaches. The final case has to do with a disappearance of an up-and-coming young singer who disappeared without a trace two decades ago.

As Meg looks for suspects and witness to these crimes, she's also running errands for her mother. One of the errands includes borrowing some non-molting peacocks to provide ambience at the wedding reception. What she gets is chaos as the peacocks are very aggressive and attack relatives trying to get the yard ready for the festivities. The solution relies on a herding sheep dog who gathers them up and then trains a bunch of Pomeranians to herd. 

This was a fun addition to a long-running series. I really like Meg and all of her crazy relatives. 

Favorite Quote:
He wore his hair in a shaggy mop reminiscent of the early Beatles, but I suspect it was less a style decision than a form of camouflage. The way he peered over his wire-rimmed glasses and through his long bangs made me think of a shy forest creature peeking out from a thicket. 
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.


  1. I do love a good mystery and I may add this to my list of books to read.

  2. I too like mysteries and family dynamics specially. Thanks for this update.


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