The stork races the meat wagon to blacksmith Meg Langslow’s house.
When you’re eight-and-a-half months pregnant, much of what’s going on around you seems surreal. For Meg Langslow, who’s used to dealing with both mysteries and menageries (Swan for the Money, 2009, etc.), it’s all monkey business as usual, except that this time the zoo’s population is humans, two of them the twins she’s about to deliver. A breakdown in Caerphilly College’s heating system has led her husband, Prof. Michael Waterston, to offer the hospitality of his basement and other domestic spaces to half a dozen students rehearsing Ramon Soto’s staging of a play by persecuted mid-century Spanish playwright Ignacio Mendoza, who predictably turns up as the latest and oldest houseguest. Hot on his heels follow Dr. Jean Wright, a colleague who sits on Michael’s promotion committee, and Dr. Enrique Blanco, the college president’s pet administrator. Driven by an irrational hatred of the drama program, Dr. Wright announces that the topic of Ramon’s dissertation research, duly approved long ago, is unacceptable and demands that he cancel the production. Hardly have the interested parties begun hurling insults at each other when Meg stumbles over Dr. Wright’s dead body. You won’t believe how she’s been killed.
The 12th installment in the unending farce of Meg’s domestic adventures is not so much funny as frantic, with the overgalvanized cast members constantly upstaged by the unborn twins, whom Meg variously dubs Hansel and Gretel, Boris and Natasha and Butch and Sundance.