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Murder With Puffins Hardcover – May 5, 2000

4.1 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Meg Langslow and her boyfriend Michael want to be alone, but fate's conspired to make it all but impossible. Meg takes her aunt Phoebe up on an invitation to spend an Indian summer weekend at Phoebe's supposedly empty cottage on the coast of Maine. Braving a hurricane and a horde of determined birdwatchers, they make the last ferry to Monhegan Island, only to find their plans to be alone dashed by the unexpected appearance of Meg's entire family, including Aunt Phoebe. To make matters worse, a famous and slightly megalomaniacal sculptor, who may have been Meg's mother's lover years ago, has taken up residence on the island. When he's killed in an accident that turns out to be murder, Meg's sweet, slightly dotty father is fingered as the suspect. The elusive puffin, revered by bird lovers and captured in kitsch by an island artist named Rhapsody, is the leitmotif in this charming cozy, the second outing in author Donna Andrews's series. The first book, Murder with Peacocks, won the Agatha Award for the best first traditional mystery. Murder with Puffins is a bit short on drama and suspense, though long on charm. Meg and Michael are appealing, but the minor characters, especially Meg's parents and the colorful island locals, are infinitely more interesting. --Jane Adams

From School Library Journal

YA-Meg Langslow and her boyfriend take a ferry to an island off the coast of Maine to share a quiet, romantic weekend together. Instead, they arrive during a pre-hurricane storm and find most of her family staying in what should have been her aunt's empty summer cottage. With the ferry cancelled and the tempest upon them, they all try to make the best of several uncomfortable situations: the weather, cramped quarters, coping with the many birders who are also stranded on the island, and everyone's anger at the island's resident artist, Victor Resnick. When his body is found in a tidal pool, Meg focuses her sleuthing skills on finding the murderer, a wet and slippery proposition as the storm rages on. Andrews creates a host of quirky individuals, complete with intense birders and cranky curmudgeons. Her sense of humor adds a lot to the novel, with one-liners and situations guaranteed to bring a smile. Built on the plot lines of a traditional "cozy" style of mystery, the story wends its way to a satisfying ending, treating readers to an entertaining cast of characters in an interesting locale.
Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1st edition (May 5, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312262213
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312262211
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #872,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Donna Andrew's second book was good but certainly did not measure up to her first book, Murder with Peacocks. Missing was the wacky craziness that had you laughing out loud and turning the pages as quick as you could to find out the ending. Murder with Puffins carried you along, but there seemed to be a lot lacking from the first. You read and felt like you didn't get as involved with the characters as you did in the first book. I was able to pick this one up and put it down a number of times with no problem, where with the first one I sat and read it from cover to cover without putting it down at all. After having such a wonderful hit her first time, I know it must be hard to measure up to that the second time. Don't get me wrong, Murder with Puffins was still a good mystery, just not as good as Murder with Peacocks. If you haven't read either of the author's books, I would suggest reading Puffins first and then read Peacocks which in my opinion was a 5 rating.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
All Meg wanted was a quiet weekend alone with her boyfriend Michael. She thought she'd hit the perfect solution when she remembered the family cabin on the island of Monhegan. When they arrive, however, they find that the island is in the path of hurricane Gladys. Furthermore, her family has also decided get away for a few days. Trapped in the small cabin with her family on an island full of stranded birdwatchers, Meg and Michael try to make the best of it.
Then a local celebrity is found murdered near his house. His list of enemies includes most of the island, but Meg's dad is the chief suspect. Now, Meg is searching the rain soaked island for clues, hoping she can clear her dad before the real killer leaves when the ferry resumes after the storm.
While I enjoyed the first book in this series, I loved this one. The plot is more focused here. It starts out slowly, but once the body is found, things quickly get moving. There are several great plot twists, and the story reaches a satisfying conclusion. Yet, the book is still filled with the humor that made the first fun to read. And the characters are alive and interesting as well.
Anyone looking for a fun, light-hearted mystery need look no further then this series. I'm already planning my next visit with Meg and her family and hope to enjoy many more to come.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
In general, I am not a fan of the 'cozy' mystery story. No offense intended, but my taste runs to dark fiction, horror, and other equally bleak genre. However, every once in a while, an uncontrollable fit comes over me, and only the lighter side of the mystery world will do. The 'cozy' is my way of escaping my normal fare without turning my back on murder and mayhem. No doubt a form of having my cake and eating it too. In pursuit of these sudden urges, I recently discovered Donna Andrew's stories about Meg Langslow and her romantic partner Michael Waterston, and have been keeping 'Murder with Puffins' on hand for just such an emergency.
Meg and Michael are also trying to escape, in their case they are trying to get away from their charming but eccentric families and friends. Meg takes advantage of a standing offer and heads off with Michael to Monhegan, a semi-civilized island off the coast of Maine. What they did not count on was finding that the entire Langslow clan has independently arrived at the same idea. Upon arriving on the island, Meg discovers that she has fled the frying pan for the fire.
True to form, in the middle of a chaos concocted of a mass of birdwatchers, an equal number of Langslows, and a hurricane, the most unpopular person on the island dies in mysterious (and inconvenient) circumstances. Since one of the possible suspects is Meg's father, our two intrepid vacationers thrust themselves hip deep in an investigation that leads them to every quirk and secret Monhegan contains. Nor does it help that the weather has made communication with the outside world impossible.
One of Andrew's admirable traits it that all her characters seem to have some level of native intelligence.
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By A Customer on May 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Meg, the delightful heroine of Andrews' first mystery, MURDER WITH PEACOCKS, is back with another charming, often hilarious mystery. Instead of the south, the book is set on a New England island, in the middle of a hurricane. Meg and Mike escaped there for some quiet time. Ha! Not with Meg's parents, relatives, and assorted loony inhabitants of the island (not to mention the puffins) around. Meg and her long suffering boyfriend are drawn into a delightful mystery concerning the murder of the dastardly island painter. The mystery is engrossing, the characters likeable, and Andrews' writing is first rate. What more could you want in a book? Great reading!
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By A Customer on April 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Meg and Michael have a healthy romantic relationship, but struggle to find some private intimate time together. She lives with her parents and he rents a room in a professor's house. Even when they go dining in a restaurant they have no privacy as everyone seems to recognize Meg as the person who recently solved a big profile murder case. Though fame may last for fifteen minutes, Michael shakes his head in disbelief when other diners constantly bombard Meg for autographs or ask her prurient questions. Seeking some quality time by themselves, Meg and Michael go Aunt Phoebe's cabin on Monehegan Island off of the Maine coast.

When they arrive, they find the abode filled with other people including Phoebe, Meg's immediate family, and an old family friend. A nasty storm traps everyone on the island. To get away, the couple takes long walks together. On one of their treks, they come across the murdered corpse of famous artist, local resident Victor Resnick. Circumstantial evidence points towards Meg's father or aunt as being the most likely perpetrators to have killed the villainous Mr. Resnick. The intrepid Meg and her valiant beau plan to prove otherwise.

Donna Andrews first novel, MURDER WITH PEACOCKS, won the 1997 St. Martin's Malice Domestic Award. Her second book, MURDER WITH PUFFINS, proves that Ms. Andrews was no rookie flash, but a talented author with the potential of becoming a superstar. Her likable characters are offbeat and endearing and enhance the fast-paced, entertaining story line. Fans of regional amateur sleuth tales will gain much pleasure from this wonderful novel.

Harriet Klausner
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