Murder with Peacocks Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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Meg Langslow's summer is not going swimmingly. In her small Virginia hometown, she's the maid of honor at the nuptials of three loved ones - each of whom has dumped the planning in her hands. One bride is set on including a Native American herbal purification ceremony while another wants live peacocks on the lawn. Only help from the town's drop-dead gorgeous hunk keeps Meg afloat in a sea of relatives and outrageous neighbors.
But when an offensive newcomer, who hints at skeletons in the guests' closets, is found dead under suspicious circumstances, level-headed Meg's to-do list extends from flower arrangements and bridal registries to catching a killer - before the next event is her own funeral.
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|Listening Length||11 hours and 48 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||December 26, 2018|
|Publisher||Dreamscape Media, LLC|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #34,381 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#331 in Humorous Fiction & Satire
#433 in Cozy Mysteries (Audible Books & Originals)
#823 in Cozy Craft & Hobby Mysteries
Top reviews from the United States
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It's important to accept up front that this is meant to be a lighthearted read. The book doesn't hide this at all - it trumpets it from the start. Meg Langslow is a single ironworker who returns to her small hometown in order to be maid of honor - not to just one bride, but to three. The story is really all about those wedding preparations, the insane cast of family members, the owner of the dress shop (a gorgeous, literate hunk who everyone thinks is gay) and then a few deaths that are thrown in to annoy the wedding plans.
This is one of those books where I loved the details but cringed repeatedly at the plot itself. Meg is supposed to be a smart, educated, take-care-of-herself chick who embraces the un-girly craft of metalwork and living far from home. However, when it comes to actions, she's a doormat. She lets everyone in her life use her - her family, her friends, even strangers. The main reason she likes Michael is that he's nice to look at. The educated part is an afterthought. For some reason every other man around her is drawn to her like moths to a flame, and she judges many of them by their body shape. I just didn't find her character very rounded, or to be honest, someone I'd root for. People she's grown up with her entire life are dropping dead left and right and she doesn't care at all.
I also found the plot frustrating. It was clearly obvious from moment one that Michael was not gay - and these two spend TONS of time together, pretty much every waking moment. However, the only times he ever tries to tell her the truth, they're cut off. All the other times they're alone for hours on end, he doesn't say a word. The situation was silly enough to make you lose your involvement with the story. There are many other too-bizarre coincidences.
With so many people dropping dead left and right, the cops seem rather blithe about it all. The villagers seem to care more about themselves than about anyone who's gone. There's never any sense of *why* Meg's boyfriend is with his fiance, or *why* Meg's mom left her dad and chose this new guy. It's all contrived plot. There's an incredibly tiny amount of sleuthing that goes on, but most of it is chore running, and the occasional stumbling over clues. The ending scene in particular seems extremely kludgy.
I'm not saying I disliked the story - I read it through in a few hours, and there were numerous funny parts. It seems like it would have been *so* easy to structure it so that the constant "I'm about to tell her but some inane thing interrupts us" situations weren't happening - or that more depth was given to the characters so their actions rang true. Meg being such a shallow, spineless doormat was a continual frustration. It was a superb story crying to get out, but being bogged down by a lack of coherency. Even with the issues here, I'm actually really psyched to read the second book now. If this is what Donna Andrews did with her first try, I'm sure Puffins will solve many of these issues.
Top reviews from other countries
There are already enough reviews that recount the plot, so I’ll just give you an idea of what I like about the book:
One of the reasons I enjoy this book so much is the main character, Meg Langslow. She’s incredibly practical and down-to-earth. Sure, she can occasionally be cutting and sarcastic, but it’s never unwarranted and only when she’s stressed out. If she has one flaw, it’s that she can’t say no to her family. She loves them unconditionally and would do almost anything for them, which is how she ended up organizing three weddings for free. All in all, she comes across as very likable but flawed. For me, this makes her seem more human and ultimately much more interesting than a perfect, but bland, heroine.
Somehow, the author manages to avoid coming across as overly sentimental or ‘cute’. In the book Meg states that she ‘positively loathe[s] cute’ and the author has apparently taken this to heart as well. Meg’s family is in turns odd, lovable, harebrained, stubborn, and plain crazy, but they’re not cute. Case in point: Spike. Other cozy mysteries have adorable puppies, beautiful cats, or majestic horses. This book has an ill-tempered, aggressive miniature dog with a Napoleon complex who will literally bite the hand that feeds him.
I also like the author’s sense of humor. She has a knack for coming up with a turn of phrase that is both funny and to the point: ‘…my hopes of getting anything done were dashed by an unusually large infestation of visiting relatives.’ Which perfectly sums up Meg’s feelings towards many members of her extended family.
The author also pokes gentle fun at more traditional cozy mysteries: ‘What could possibly be causing this undeniable antagonism between Samantha and her fiancé’s future stepfather’s first wife’s sister?’ And the one time Meg actually tries to do some investigating, she’s shocked, absolutely flabbergasted, to discover that the house she wanted to search is actually locked. ‘Unheard of. People in Yorktown don’t lock their doors.’ So it makes sense that in the end the murderer is uncovered more by accident than anything else.
The book doesn’t take itself too seriously, and as long as you don’t either, you’ll have a great time with Meg and her family.