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Cockatiels at Seven (Meg Langslow Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – June 30, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Virginia blacksmith Meg Langslow is working hard to add to her stock before a big Labor Day craft show when her friend Karen asks Meg to watch her toddler, Timmy, for “a little while.” When Karen doesn’t return that day, Meg finds Karen’s apartment ransacked and learns that Karen’s ex-husband has been murdered and an embezzlement scheme has been uncovered at the college where Karen works. Meg investigates, often with Timmy in tow. Meg also has to deal with her brother, who seems to be slowly moving into her house, and her father and zoo-owner grandfather, who are storing confiscated finches in her third-floor bedroom and snakes in her basement. Timmy is a lovable supporting character, and Meg becomes increasingly attached to him as she tries to decide whether she is ready to have a child of her own. Andrews mixes humor and domestic life effectively in this ninth installment of the popular series. --Sue O'Brien --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“Suspense, laughter and a whole passel of good clean fun.” ―Publishers Weekly

“If you long for more ‘fun' mysteries, à la Janet Evanovich, you'll love Donna Andrews's Meg Langslow series.” ―The Charlotte Observer


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Product Details

  • Series: Meg Langslow Mysteries (Book 9)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; Reprint edition (June 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312377169
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312377168
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.9 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #327,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is the ninth book in the Meg Langslow series. It is well written but lacks the rollicking fun of the previous novels. Don't get me wrong there are a few giggles but unlike the previous books in the series I didn't laugh out loud. Meg trying to solve a murder while trying to keep her various family members out of trouble is funny. Meg trying to solve a murder with an abandoned toddler in tow is not.

The charm and humor of this series has always been watching Meg and Michael deal with the over the top personalities around them. This book has very little of that. Although the author hints at other things that Meg would normally be worried about, we don't see it.

I enjoyed this book but was also disappointed in it. Even the title "Cockatiels at Seven" doesn't fit the story as all the previous titles have. If you are already a fan you may also find this book lacking. If you haven't already been hooked on the series this book is good but not typical.
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Format: Hardcover
The title/cover art is cute but totally misleading in that it implies a frivolous, lighthearted story containing cocktails and parties, which in fact have nothing whatever to do with the plot.

It isn't too serious, certainly, but this one has more depth of tone than previous books, focusing more on real feelings and even a little character growth. Michael features more than of late which is good (and with hardly any chuckling,thank goodness) and Jack Ransom makes a welcome (although disappointingly mundane) guest appearance but Timmy the toddler is the real star here.

However, there are no crazy relations around this time. Meg's father and long-lost grandfather are there - but they're not really amusing at all, just popping up occasionally in the background to park various reptiles and birds around Meg's vast house as usual - and their 'mystery' sub-plots are simply perfunctory, barely mentioned in passing (and although Rob's highlight scene is a classic, it's just abandoned without any further explanation as soon as it's over).

The actual mystery is quite good, although the villain was obvious as soon as the red herrings swam into view (although not to Meg, to whom it was a complete surprise despite all her sleuthing). Still, overall it's a good read, but I do hanker after a return to the classic madcap style of 'Buzzards' and 'Parrots'.

Maybe next time...?
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Format: Hardcover
This installment of the Meg Lanslow series isn't quite as funny as most of the previous volumes have been. Even when the birds get loose, it isn't the rollicking physical farce that some of the previous ones have been (parrots in the chandeliers, penguins on the croquet field...) Even Meg's relatives have calmed down some; the introduction of Dr. Blake, Meg's father's long-lost father, in the previous volume, has changed the family dynamics considerably.

I'm not saying you won't like the book - if you've been following the series, you'll certainly want to read this installment, and the mysteries involved are good ones, but it won't leave you snorting coffee out your nose suddenly, the way some of the previous books have. Or to put it another way, there were no bits that I absolutely HAD to read out loud to my spouse. One really good line about a baby wombat, but it was just a passing comment.

On the plus side, there is more than one crime committed in this volume, and the various plot threads tangle together in unexpected ways, which I did enjoy. There's the possible embezzlement at the college, the dead body (not found till halfway through the book) and the endangered species flavor of the month. There's also the mystery, though not criminal, of where Rob keeps disappearing to.

And then there's the other big question: are Meg and Michael ready to have kids? Would they be good parents? Is taking care of a friend's two-year-old unexpectedly a fair trial of how they'd cope?

Very little blacksmithing gets done, Michael is in faculty meetings for most of the book, and there are very few cockatiels involved at all. There's an emerald boa in the hot tub, and there are lots of finches.
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Format: Hardcover
I've grown to love the Meg Langslow books written by Donna Andrews. They are light-hearted and fluffy, filled with quirky characters and amusing side plots. They're great fun to read when you don't want to think too hard.

But the past few books in the series have left me somewhat disappointed. Why give your female protagonist an awesome job (blacksmith) and then almost never touch on it again? For the first time in several installments, Meg is back to work in this book, but it only last a few pages before she's interrupted. Andrews also has a habit of finishing off the main mystery rather quickly at the end and leaving a lot of loose ends. In Cockatiels at Seven, you find out "who dunnit", but not why or how, and this leads to a rather unsatisfying ending.

Still, Meg's inner voice is as amusing as ever, her husband is charming, her relatives are wacky, and the book flies by quickly. Anyone who has read the earlier books in this series will want to read Cockatiels at Seven. Newcomers looking for a good, light-hearted mystery might want to try some of the earlier works by Donna Andrews.
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