I don’t remember exactly when I started reading Donna Andrews novels. I do know that it was after we moved here so sometime after spring of 2001. I do remember that it was my husband who first found the books. We didn’t start with the Meg Langslow Mysteries though. We started with Ms. Andrews’ other series: Turing Hopper. With titles like You’ve Got Murder and Delete All Suspects we were hooked. While we waited for book 4 to published we started in on the Meg Langslow series.
These mystery novels are not my favorite just because I enjoyed them but rather because of how we discovered them and the memories created of my husband and I enjoying them together. When the girls were younger we spent many evenings doing family read alouds. These were mostly the read aloud selections for whatever level of Sonlight we were using at the time. Once the children were in bed my husband and I would maybe watch something on DVD from Netflix (nowadays it is more streaming than DVD) or we would sit together with books.
As he read the first book, he would start laughing and then immediately want to read bits and pieces to me. I didn’t want him to give me spoilers because I wanted to read the books too. So we decided that we would read the books aloud. This would allow us to enjoy them together. We could laugh and talk. We found that we had to take turns reading because otherwise I would fall asleep. I was less likely to fall asleep if we read on the couch. Reading out loud together in bed did not work for me. It didn’t matter if I read or he read, I would fall asleep.
Sometimes we would read the books separately and then as the second person read the book we would share bits. If he read it first, he would continually ask me “where are you at? Have they done x,y or z yet? Did you get to the part about the [fill-in-the-blank]?” I have such a warm happy feeling when I think of the Meg Langslow books because there were so many of those that we attempted to read more of together.
After we figured out that the books were part of a series and that the series moved in chronological order we decided to read them in order. They *can* stand alone but are much more fun to read in order because each book makes some reference to previous books. It feels like having some inside secret knowledge when I read a book and think “oh yes, that must be cousin Horace they are talking about.” and then the next sentence would be “what happened to be my cousin Horace”.
All of the titles in the Meg Langslow series include a punny fowl. Owls Well That Ends Well, Swan for the Money, No Nest for the Wicked or the one I just finished, Some Like It Hawk.
That last book that I read years ago, ended with Meg discovering she was pregnant. We were, by then, caught up and had to wait for the next book. While waiting, life moved on and I stopped checking for them. This fall I re-discovered the series and to my delight, I discovered that there were at least 3 I had not read.
Turns out it was 4 but I didn’t know that until two days ago when I started Duck the Halls and realized the twins jumped from being 18 months old to being 4 years old. I started 2014 with four Donna Andrews’ Meg Langslow books to read. After Duck the Halls, I’ll only have two more (the one before Some Like Hawk and the one after it.) Good thing that I discovered that Ms. Andrews is scheduled to publish another book in the series this summer. I wonder if I can put it on hold now from the library? It is already added to my want-to-read shelf at Goodreads.
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I’ll be linking this post up to 52 Weeks Series Blog Hop.