Book Review: Donna Andrews’ Some Like It Hawk

Posted August 23, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

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Book Review: Donna Andrews’ Some Like It Hawk

Some Like It Hawk

by Donna Andrews

three-stars

Series: Meg Langslow #14

Other books by this author that I've reviewed include The Real Macaw, The Hen of the Baskervilles, Duck the Halls, The Good, the Bad, and the Emus, Lord of the Wings, The Nightingale Before Christmas, Die Like an Eagle.

Genres: Cozy Mystery

This Hardcover has 344 pages on July 17, 2012. Discover more about it at Goodreads. You can also buy it at Amazon

Fourteenth in the Meg Langslow usually much funnier mystery series revolving around Meg the blacksmith and her interfering family.

My Take

I can’t wait for the funny bits to hit…and I’m, mostly, still waiting. Definitely not one of my favorites in this series. Although, I did enjoy the big Evil Lender getting theirs in the end!

I do love what everyone does to keep the entrance hidden. Andrews really did do a clever job on this one. I guess I just miss having so many of the family participating this time. It is pretty funny that Meg keeps inviting the opposition to stay at their house. The one where the public library is currently living in their former ballroom.

Too funny! I love the bit about Lad, Seth Early’s border collie, “finding” lost children!

It is a tense situation. The Evil Lender seems to have it all on their side and Meg and Michael are worried that the county will seize their farm and land to pay them off.

The Story

The townsfolk of Caerphilly are working hard at raising funds for their bankrupt town. They have a festival to which everyone is contributing their time or a percentage of their sales right on the town square. The tour buses are that mixed blessing: lovely fat wallets that open but the wallets come attached to the people.

The festival also makes a good cover for the supply line the people have organized for the lone holdout in the City Hall basement. It helps that there is one major criteria the organizers have of participants: They have to be loud.

Big mistake when they tried to blow Denton up… Nuh-uh, he just doesn’t take to that sort of thing and he’s got a few of his own ideas about what’s going on.

The Characters

Meg Langslow is a blacksmith with a keen interest in solving crime. She does come by it quite fairly; her dad, Dr. Langslow, is just as nosy, er, interested in crime. Josh and Jamie are her and Michael’s eighteen-month-old twins. Michael Waterston is her husband and a drama professor at Caerphilly College. Spike is their fierce, evil, little, wonderful watchdog. Rob Langslow is Meg’s brother and a big kid who hasn’t really grown up yet. In spite of the fortune he’s made as a game designer. Mother is a force of very efficient nature and designs interiors beautifully.

Rose Noire is Meg’s very holistic cousin; Eric is the teenaged nephew conscripted for the summer to babysit—his sister Natalie broke her ankle; Tinkerbell is Rob’s dog and she’s helping Spike babysit as well; Cousin Festus Hollingsworth is an excellent lawyer on the case to battle the Evil Lender — and keep them from seizing Meg and Michael’s farm under eminent domain; and, cousin Horace Hollingsworth prefers to wear a gorilla suit and is the crime scene investigator in Yorktown and Caerphilly when needed.

Caroline Willner is Grandfather’s girlfriend and she runs a wildlife sanctuary near Caerphilly. She’s definitely up for some B&E. Zeke is Dr. Blake‘s — Grandfather’s — night watchman at the zoo. Zeke may be old, but he’s steady.

Chief Burke is becoming resigned to Meg’s interest and grateful to her dad; Dr. Smoot is the local medical examiner…sigh… Vern, Sammy Wendell, and Aida Morris are some of the local deputies; Debbie Ann is the police dispatcher.

Phineas K. Throckmorton is a pigeon-fancier and the basement holdout who has barricaded himself inside. Turns out to have been a brilliant idea. Shannon is…um…not yet dating one of the Flying Monkeys. Reverend Wilson has been reassuring the chief about lying and injustice.

The Shiffley family has certainly come into its own in this story. Their construction company is busy with maintaining the tunnel, erecting benches for the festival, and Randall is the new mayor very carefully appearing to cooperate. Judge Jane contributes her bit.

George Pruitt, a member of that family, is the reason the town is bankrupt. He pulled a runner and made off with the funds. Hamish Pruitt is the town’s disgraced former attorney — the family is angry at him since he failed to stop the recall vote; he’s now running a hamburger stand that’s only good for a suicide run.

The Evil Lender, a.k.a., First Progressive Financial, has foreclosed on most of the town with the new mayor holding forth in a tent on the square. Mr. Fisher is one of the “civil” representatives from FPF while Colleen Brown is a vice-president who saw a bit too much. The townspeople call the security people the Evil Lender has hired the Flying Monkeys due to an uncanny resemblance to the Wicked Witch of the West’s soldiers. Lieutenant Wilt and Officer Reilly are some of the overzealous ones.

Stanley Denton is the hapless, but not helpless private investigator the Evil Lender hired to find out how Phinny is getting his supplies. Unfortunately, everyone immediately spotted who and what he is; fortunately, he’s an intelligent man. And a new character added to the series. Muriel runs the cafe where Denton loves to eat pie. Charles Doane operates a natural pest control business, Some Like It Hawk, and has been hired to control a pigeon infestation in an environmentally responsible manner — they lied.

Kate Blake is a reporter from the Washington Star-Tribune and absolutely desperate to break out of human interest stories.

The Cover and Title

The cover has a strong faded red…what a contradiction that is!…background and a tabletop fan blowing a collection of patriotic ribbons at an overheated hawk. Hmmm, definitely a metaphor for the heat hitting the townsfolk of Caerphilly as well as the Evil Lender.

The title is a cute play on how hot it is in Caerphilly over this Fourth of July holiday as well as bringing in Meg’s grandfather’s interest and a new employee of his with an interesting line of work whose business is hawks. Bring a fan and some lemonade to this encounter, ’cause Some Like It Hawk.


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