Read it by yourself because you’ll laugh out loud…
Some mysteries draw you in with the depth of their plot, and others with the intensity of their action. Books in Donna Andrews’ Meg Langslow series, on the other hand, have good plots and plenty of action, but mostly pull you along because you can’t wait to see what outrageous – and hilarious – thing is going to happen next. And Birder, She Wrote is no exception. Whether it’s learning that “hummingbird bullies” are really a thing, or being amazed – and a bit apprehensive – at Meg’s father’s insouciant attitude towards the bees he’s keeping, or trying to imagine the kind of articles that would appear in a magazine called Sweet Tea and Sassafras, there’s plenty of humor to go around.
There’s also a bit of seriousness, though, as Meg helps out in a search for a long-lost Black cemetery – not an easy place to find when the gravestones probably wouldn’t have been anything formal, and would have instead been just now-decayed wood, or at best a pile of fieldstones. And when the group does find the cemetery, unfortunately, there’s a much more recent body to be found too – the body of one of the least liked of the “McMansion” newcomers to Caerphilly. So there are lots of suspects, and along with the humor, Andrews is also a master at dragging red herrings under readers’ noses! In the end, though, of course, Meg and her crew manage to figure things out, and there’s a nice little twist for good measure.
As I’ve mentioned before (here and here), this is one of the series that I have to read by myself, since I never know when I’m going to end up laughing out loud. And that was definitely true of Birder, She Wrote. But although it’s the 33rd in the series, the author does a nice job of filling in the essential backstory, so I think this could easily be read as a stand-alone – and you’d still get probably 95% or more of the jokes. So if you want a fun and funny cozy mystery, Birder, She Wrote, is for you. And finally, my thanks to Minotaur Books and to NetGalley for the advanced review copy.