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MURDER WITH PEACOCKS by Donna Andrews

MURDER WITH PEACOCKS

By Donna Andrews

Pub Date: Jan. 12th, 1999
ISBN: 0-312-19929-5
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's

Lucky Meg Langslow. Hardly any decorative blacksmiths get invited to be maid of honor to three brides in three weeks. As Meg knocks herself out to satisfy the whims of her business partner Eileen Donleavy (who wants all 600 guests in Renaissance attire), her brother Rob’s fiancÇ Samantha Brewster (who thinks some peacocks might be one of those little touches that would make her wedding special), and her mother Margaret Langslow (who, long divorced from Meg’s cheerfully uncomplaining father, a retired physician whose hobby is poisonous plants, now plans to marry a deeply boring widower), newcomer Andrews shows why everybody depends on Meg: she’s the only family member who’s not out of her mind. Businesslike Meg can enlist her gossipy mother to save the professional reputation of the ailing dressmaker’s handsome son, rescue Samantha’s rented peafowl from the kitten she’s brought home from the tippling calligrapher’s, fend off the advances of a pair of loathsome suitors, and deal betweentimes with the odd murder or two (the widower’s meddlesome sister-in-law, a great choice for starters), because she’s channeled the Langslow tendency to mania into her deadpan prose, whose unflappable cadences (“The shower was going fine until Samantha vomited into the onion dip”) and cutaways from farcical tableaux suggest half Jane Austen, half battery acid. The resulting Three Weddings and Three Funerals, with all due respect to the overshadowed killer, will leave you helpless with heartless laughter, especially when only one of the nuptials goes even remotely as planned. The perfect wedding gift for those friends and relatives you wish would elope, or take vows of chastity.