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by Donna Andrews
St. Martin's Press, January 2000
311 pages
ISBN: 0312970633

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

With the tons of books sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read and reviewed, I was mildly guilt-ridden when I picked up Murder with Peacocks by Donna Andrews from my local library. I'd been seeing it listed on so many of the "Best Read of 1999" lists that I just had to know what was so great about this book.

In this winner of the 1998 St. Martin's Press / Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Contest, you will be pleased to find just that... a traditional mystery. Andrew's main character is a frantic Meg Langslow who has somehow managed to get roped into spending her summer fulfilling the duties of maid of honor in not one, not two but THREE weddings: her best friend's, her brother's and her mother's. Somewhere in the middle of this crazy cast of characters and hectic wedding planning, Meg also has to contend with the disappearance (and later found dead) nasty former-sister-in-law of her mother's future husband. To top it all off, her armchair detective father has roped her into investigating the death, putting both of their lives at risk.

While this may sound like a confusing romp, the simple, straight-forward manner in which the story is written is one of its biggest selling points. This is a classic traditional mystery story with tons of wacky characters, lots of fun and a bit of romance thrown in to spice things up. All in all, a truly delightful read, Murder with Peacocks was well worth the disruption into my to-be-read pile.

Reviewed by Cathy Gallagher, August 2001

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