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The Real Macaw: A Meg Langslow Mystery (Meg Langslow Mysteries) Hardcover – July 19, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews
Book 13 of 19 in the Meg Langslow Mysteries Series

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for The Real Macaw:

*Winner of the Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery Novel*
"As always, Andrews laces this entertaining whodunit with wit, a fine storyline and characters we've come to know and love." --Richmond Times-Dispatch

A gaggle of praise for Donna Andrews and the Meg Langslow Mystery Series:

 “If you long for more fun mysteries, a la Janet Evanovich, you’ll love Donna Andrews’s Meg Langslow series.” —Charlotte Observer

“A long-running series that gets better all the time. A fine blend of academic satire, screwball comedy, and murder.” —Booklist

“With colorful characters, a solid mystery and laugh-out-loud moments. . . readers will have a rollicking good time with the new Meg Langslow mystey.” —RT BookReviews (4 stars)

Six Geese A-Slaying produces at least one chuckle—and sometimes a guffaw—per page. Joy to the world, indeed.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Andrews’ eighth Meg-centric mystery moves along like the best beach reads.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Deliciously daffy. . . Andrews demonstrates her absolute mastery of the comedic mystery, deftly balancing outrageously funny scenes with well-paced suspense.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)


From the Back Cover

Feathers are about to get ruffled.

During an early-morning feeding for her four-month-old twins, Meg Langslow hears an odd noise and goes downstairs to find her living room filled with cats, dogs, hamsters, gerbils, rabbits, guinea pigs, and a stunningly foul-mouthed macaw. What the―bleep―is going on here?

"As always, Andrews laces this entertaining whodunit with wit, a fine storyline, and characters we've come to know and love."―Richmond Times-Dispatch

Turns out that a financially-strapped local animal shelter has repealed its no-kill policy and, in an act of protest led in part by Meg's own zoologist grandfather, the animals have been stolen and resettled around town. But now the volunteer who helped transport the shelter animals has turned up dead. The animal-rights activist's untimely death seems very, very wrong… Was it the result of a lover's quarrel? Or is something―or someone―more sinister at play? And, arguably as important, will Meg ever rid her home of these pesky houseguests and get back to the business of nesting with her newborns? Squawk.

"A hilarious series."

Kirkus Reviews

--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Meg Langslow Mysteries (Book 13)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (July 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312621205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312621209
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #756,657 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
During a 2 a.m. feeding for her four-month-old twin sons, Meg Langslow hears a noise downstairs and discovers dozens of animals from a local animal shelter have been moved into her living room. Due to budget cuts the shelter repealed its no-kill policy so her father, grandfather, and members of an animal rights group have stolen the animals out of protest and to keep them safe but when the volunteer who was to organize the clandestine transport of the animals to new homes doesn't show up, the group brings them to the only logical place: Meg and Michael's farm.

It turns out that the volunteer has been murdered and Meg discovers motive among his jealous lovers and those who are hiding a dark side of town politics. In the meantime the animals must be kept at the farm as evidence and exhausted new mom Meg gets involved in the investigation and the care of the animals while trying to care for her own babies.

I'm a fan of the Meg Langslow series and enjoyed this book. I do understand that this is fiction and not meant to be taken seriously, so I resisted the urge to overthink the idea a mom of infant twins leaving them to chase after clues while being able to still pump breast milk, keep up with feedings, and take naps with her home being overun with people and animals. I kept hoping Meg would react like a real sleep-deprived new mom and have a breakdown to restore order and boundaries but it never happened which fits with the character and sometimes comical tone of the series.

I'm not sure how Meg being a mom of two young children will work with future stories in this series but I'll read the next book to find out.

I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher but the opinion of it is my own and was not solicited, nor was a positive review required.
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Format: Hardcover
The book was OK, but surely not laugh out loud funny, whereas many of her previous books have been. I have truly enjoyed her previous entries in this series, BUT, my feeling is that once you have a popular series that is working, you do not throw another distracting element into the mix. In this case, it was the twins. Meg did not have time to do her zany stuff because she was too busy pumping breast milk, feeding the babies, worrying about the babies, and calling Michael to check on the babies. There were so many other characters, that no one had time to be entertaining. The standout of the whole book was the Border Collie.
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Format: Hardcover
Of all the Meg Langslow books, this was the least interesting to me. I love the series, and every other book in it rates 5 stars on my radar. However, I got really tired really fast hearing about the twins, the twins, the twins. The usual zaniness of a talented and entertaining author was muted from the injection of massively boring amounts of Motherhood. Been there, done that, not interested in hearing way too much about someone's cute kids. I'd rather hear about Meg the blacksmith.

Part of me also wonders why Meg has become such a willing doormat for her insane family. Don't get me wrong, the insane family is fun, but Meg is a wife, mother and property owner, and needs to start setting some limits. I'd hate to see another lively and interesting heroine turn into a dull stereotype. Meg needs new horizons. She also needs to kick her overblown relatives to the curb - let them be fun and crazy from a distance.

There were some bright spots, such as the workaholic Border Collie who assigns himself herding duties of the neighbor's sheep. Also the whole plant moving scene. This is an author who can make even mundane events sparkle. But on this case there was too much mundane, and not enough sparkle. I also find her husband's constant willingness to shoulder last-minute child care just way too good to be true.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In the middle of a 2AM feeding with her four month old twins, Meg hears noises from downstairs. Investigating, she finds her grandfather, father, brother, and a bunch of animals. Seems the trio have robbed the local animal shelter and rescued the dogs, cats, hamsters, and one macaw that were set to be killed in order for the county to save money.

The trio had planned to meet up with Parker Blair and use the truck from his furniture business to take the animals to pre-arranged safe places in neighboring counties, but the plan hit a snag when Parker never showed up. Turns out that this was because Parker has been murdered. Was this because of his overactive love life, his involvement in the robbery, or something even more sinister?

If I had one complaint about this book, it was be the fact that I didn't find it that funny. I can remember back in the heyday of the series when I would literally be laughing out loud at the antics of the characters. Now, they've become so familiar that I find them at most amusing.

That's not to say I didn't enjoy this book. I love the characters, and it's always nice to spend time with them. While the plot started out feeling like a retread of an earlier book in the series, it soon took off into some unexpected directions that kept me very interested in the story. I enjoyed every page.

This book will appeal to Donna's many fans. While it may not be the best book in the series, it is still a very fun read.
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