Thursday, August 4, 2016

Review of "Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon" by Donna Andrews




Once again there's trouble brewing in Caerphilly, Virginia. Rob Lanslow feels something is amiss at his computer game company 'Mutant Wizards'. So he convinces his sister Meg Lanslow - blacksmith and amateur sleuth - to sign on as temporary receptionist, hoping she can uncover the problem. Sure enough, Ted - the office practical joker/pain in the neck - is soon murdered as he rides around on the automated mail cart.

The Chief of Police, who pays minimal attention to evidence, arrests Rob for the murder. So Meg, convinced her brother is innocent, jumps into action to investigate. 'Mutant Wizards' employs a full array of oddball characters as well as sharing their premises with a group of psychotherapists, so there are plenty of suspects. Also on hand are Meg's dad, who enjoys a spot of sleuthing himself, and Meg's fiance Michael, who phones in his admonitions from an acting gig in California.

As Meg uncovers a variety of clues several possible motives present themselves. Did someone murder Ted to get his living quarters in housing-deprived Caerphilly? was Ted a blackmailer? was Ted involved in a harmful lawsuit? Meg has to find out.

The murderer is revealed in a finale that's mildly amusing but so drawn out that it becomes a bit tiresome.

This is an entertaining light mystery with fun characters, my favorites being George the one-winged Buzzard who eats microwaved mice, and Spike the bad tempered dog who bites anyone within reach.

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