'Tis the season to be jolly - and for Meg Langslow to round up stray animals of all sorts as well as a killer. Duck the Halls!
The brilliantly funny Donna Andrews delivers boughs of holly and barrels of laughs with Meg's latest adventure in her award-winning, New York Times bestselling series. A few nights before Christmas, Meg is awakened when volunteer fireman Michael is summoned to the New Life Baptist Church, where someone has rigged a cage full of skunks in the choir loft. The lengthy process of de-skunking the church requires its annual pre-Christmas concert to relocate to Trinity Episcopal, where Mother insists the show must go on, despite the budget-related protests of Mr. Vess, an elderly vestryman. Meanwhile, when Meg helps her grandfather take the skunks to the zoo, they discover that his boa has been stolen - only to turn up later during the concert, slithering out from the ribbon-bedecked evergreens. The next morning is Sunday, and the congregation of St. Byblig's, the local Catholic church, arrive to find it completely filled with several hundred ducks.
It's clear that some serious holiday pranksters are on the loose, and Meg is determined to find them. But before she can, a fire breaks out at Trinity, and Mr. Vess is discovered dead. Who would have murdered such a harmless - if slightly cranky - old man? Who has the time during the busy holiday season to herd all of these animals into the town's churches? And will Meg ever be able to finish all of her shopping, wrapping, cooking, caroling, and decorating in time for Christmas Eve? A Yuletide treasure for the ages, Duck the Halls is guaranteed to put the "ho ho hos" into readers' holidays.
Now with an excerpt from Donna Andrews' next Meg Langslow holiday mystery How the Finch Stole Christmas!, available in October 2017.
The residents of Caerphilly, Va., must struggle to maintain their Christmas cheer in Andrews's lighthearted 16th Meg Langslow mystery (after The Hen of the Baskervilles). Pranksters are creating some not-so-merry problems for police chief Henry Burke, volunteer fire chief Jim Featherstone, and the parishioners of the town's churches. Some very unhappy skunks fill the choir loft of the New Life Baptist Church; a large snake puts in a surprise appearance at Trinity Episcopal's Christmas concert; and the sanctuary of St. Byblig plays host to a flock of messy ducks. Meg's organizational skills come in handy as she takes charge of coordinating revamped schedules for the many holiday activities that can't take place in the affected churches. The stakes rise when another prank takes a life at Trinity. Andrews leavens the action with her trademark humor, including dueling Christmas dinners and an extravagant and extravagantly funny live nativity scene.