by Donna Andrews
Series: Meg Langslow #28
Publication Date: October 20, 2020
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
I loved this book. I missed out on it during the Christmas season, but it’s cold and rainy here down under, so it was the perfect atmosphere in spite of it being the last day of July.
There’s always something wonderful going on in Caerphilly, even if a lot of people get bumped off. This time it’s a Helping Hands program, started by the towns’ churches’ interfaith committee, to help out people with small (or large) projects, run by volunteers lending their individual expertise. The biggest project of them all is a notorious hoarder who is in danger of having his home condemned and his family having him declared unfit to care for himself. Meg and the mayor get the Helping Hands involved and are helping him deal with all his stuff and make repairs to his home when Meg finds him bashed in the head in his garage.
The mystery plot wasn’t one of her best, though Andrews did a great job keeping the reader in a state of reasonable doubt, but the rest of the story was just lovely. Not a word normally associated with mysteries, but it was. Though there was less emphasis on the Christmas spirit in this one, I loved the ending and I loved the surprises. The only thing that I noticed (beyond a couple of minor continuity errors) was that of all her books, this one was probably the one where the titular birds (magpies) had the smallest role. The birds have never been pivotal to the plots, so it’s barely worth mentioning. Have I mentioned how much I loved the ending?
I eagerly await the next two books.