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Swan for the Money (Meg Langslow, No 11) Hardcover – July 21, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (July 21, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312377177
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312377175
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,249,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A rose show can drive a person to murder, as shown in Andrews's thorn-in-cheek 11th Meg Langslow mystery set in Caerphilly, Va. (after 2008's Six Geese A-Slaying). Meg's parents would love to snag the Winkleson Trophy for the darkest rose at the local garden club's first annual show, but they face stiff competition from Philomena Winkleson, who's hosting the event at her ritzy Raven Hill estate. Before the event, Meg's dad's roses are sabotaged, and Philomena's white purebred Maltese is kidnapped. During the mishap-filled show, Philomena annoys everyone with her obsessive must-win attitude. While exploring the estate, Meg discovers a woman stabbed in the back with a pair of secateurs (i.e., gardening shears). At first she thinks it's Philomena, but the victim is in fact another garden club member. Weeding out the murderer keeps Meg hopping. Andrews's droll humor saves the sometimes slow-moving plot. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Andrews’ Meg Langslow series just keeps getting better. Lots of cozy writers use punny titles, but Andrews backs them up with consistently hilarious story lines."--Booklist

"The rose-show world has never been more entertaining. With colorful characters, a solid mystery and laugh-out-loud moments involving territorial swans and fainting goats, readers will have a rollicking good time with the new Meg Langslow mystey."--RT Book Reviews (4 stars)


More About the Author

I've been writing since I learned to print, but didn't get published until Murder with Peacocks won the Malice Domestic/St. Martins Press Best First Traditional Mystery contest in spring 1998. Since then I've written six more comic mysteries books featuring ornamental blacksmith Meg Langslow: Murder with Puffins (2000), Revenge of the Wrought Iron Flamingos (2001), Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon (2003), We'll Always Have Parrots (2004), Owls Well That Ends Well (2005), and No Nest for the Wicket (August 2006). I've also started another series in with the sleuth, Turing Hopper, is an artificial intelligence personality living inside a corporate computer: You've Got Murder (2002), Click Here for Murder (2003), Access Denied (2004), and Delete All Suspects (2005).

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 44 customer reviews
Her characters are delightfully quirky & the plots kept me guessing til the end.
Susan E. Benson
As always in this series, animals steal a good part of the show, with angry swans and fainting goats joining hungry deer on center stage.
booksforabuck
Keeping her characters balancing each other is a gift that Donna utilizes well in this story.
Abi 1

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeanne Tassotto VINE VOICE on October 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is the 11th in the Meg Langslow series of comic, cozy mysteries. Meg is a successful ornamental blacksmith, recently married to Michael, a soap opera star turned drama professor. They live in the college town of Caerphilly which seems to be populated with more than its fair share of eccentrics, oddballs and just plain kooks, most of whom are related to Meg. Each story incorporates not only memorable characters and wildly improbable situations but also somehow include some sort of bird into the story and into the title.

Meg's parents have taken up a new interest - growing and showing roses. As usual Meg has found herself roped into this new enterprise, her elegant mother has maneuvered Meg into organizing and running the biggest rose show of the season. The committee had vetoed Meg's suggestions of where to hold the event as too boring and so the estate of an eccentric rose enthusiast was secured instead. Unfortunately the owner, Mrs Winkleson, is not a charming eccentric like Meg's family, but is an overbearing, obsessive bully. Mrs Winkleson has decreed that the event must conform to her preferred color scheme, black, white and grey. She has even offered a special prize for the blackest rose of the show. As is the norm with this series Meg bounces from one zany misadventure to the next, aided (or hindered) by family and friends as they stumble over a dead body or two along the way.

The appeal of this series is not in the mysteries but in Meg and the ever expanding cast of secondary characters. The overall story arc of this series is quite pronounced so for maximum enjoyment begin at the beginning.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark Baker HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's just hours from the first annual Caerphilly Rose Show, and things are getting out of hand. Not only does Meg have to organize the volunteers and make sure everything is set up correctly, but someone is sabotaging her parents' best shot at the black rose award, something unique to this competition.

Things aren't going well for Mrs. Winkleson either. The eccentric woman is hosting the show on her estate. She is obsessed with trying to make everything in the world conform to black and white. And her little dog has been kidnapped. Things get even worse when a body shows up. Does it have any connection to the other things going on? Who is taking this show seriously enough to kill?

This series is always a fun treat, and the eleventh book is no exception. The plot got a little bogged down approaching the half way point, but it quickly picked up again for the second half. The series regulars are fun as always.

But what made this book for me was Mrs. Winkleson and her animals. She collects animals based on their black and white color scheme. And they are a riot. I especially loved the fainting goats. Everything they showed up was a riot. The animals provided the best laugh out loud moments, but the humans did provide a few grins and chuckles as well.

If you haven't discovered this series already, you are in for a treat. Really, you can pretty much jump in anywhere and enjoy the adventures of Meg and her extended family.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on August 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
For once, Meg Langslow believes her parents have taken up a safe hobby that could not harm anyone. They are growing roses especially working on hybrids with a hope of creating a black version. Elated with their new pastime that is so safe, Meg agrees to organize the Caerphilly Garden Club first annual rose show.

The event is being held on the Winkleson estate because wealthy, influential but mean spirited Mrs. Winkleson wanted a home court advantage with everyone owing her favors and those who do not she bullies so she can win the Black Sawn Trophy. Meg goes to see the estate's beautiful fenced in rose garden, but instead of beautiful blooming flowers, she finds a dead female contestant. Soon afterward, the hostess becomes unconscious after taking a drink. It looks like someone was trying to kill her using cyanide. Meg as usual snoops, but quickly finds everyone including servants, but especially the club members have strong motives to kill Mrs. Wilkerson.

Donna Andrews is highly regarded for her comedic often slapstick amateur sleuths (see SIX GEESE A-SLAYING); her latest is once again a hilarious whodunit as eccentricity, including Meg's parents, runs rampart throughout the plot. The contestants are to say the least an unconventional crowd of oddballs, misfits, geeks, and hermits in which Ms. Andrews uses hyperbole to emphasis the diverse differences. Between protecting her out of control parents and dealing with belligerent club members, harried servants and sinister killer swans, Meg has her work cut out solving the rose garden murder.

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Quirkywriter on September 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I'm a sucker for the Meg Langslow series by Donna Andrews. Every single one is a winner. Murder With Peacocks is one of my all-time favorite books and Andrews remains on my list of writers of the most fun books. The stories are set up by the fact that Meg just can't say no when imposed upon to undertake some wildly complicated event (or events, as in Murder with Peacocks). Add in extremely quirky characters (and yet these people remind me of MY family), a victim who seems to be chosen to bring maximum complications into Meg's life, a touch of the nastiest little dog on the face of the earth, and Andrews stirs up a fun read every time. Swan for the Money continues the tradition as Meg tries to coordinate a rose show, handle an eccentric and nasty hostess, keep her relatives in line, and still find time for the love of her life, husband Michael. Will Meg be able to hold the aggressive swans at bay, and make a success of the rose show? Will her dad find the culprit who massacred his experimental roses? Will the nasty hostess come to a bad end? And will Meg ever get to ask Michael to pick up a pregnancy test while he's in New York away from nosy neighbors?
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