Tuesday, August 25, 2009
SWAN FOR THE MONEY by Donna Andrews (Minotaur)
When Donna told my husband and me she was setting a book at a flower show, even Noel got interested in mysteries. When she asked me if I'd like to be a character in the book, I was delighted. Sure enough, the rose show that Meg Langslow is asked to coordinate works right into her parents' new hobby, but it has her running from swans, climbing fences, dodging goats, and finding bodies. Meg's wacky family has brought us all a lot of laughs over the years, and this outing is no exception. Their wackiness is balanced nicely by the eccentricity of the wealthy Mrs. Winkleson who owns the estate where the Caerphilly Garden Club's first rose show will be held. (Mrs. Winkleson is sponsoring the prize for the blackest rose at the show. Meg soon learns that Mrs. Winkleson also has a thing for black horses, swans, and decor.)
The story moves from one calamity to the next, but somehow they all seem plausible. The goings on at the rose show are spot on for flower shows—except I've never heard of anyone's discovering a body! Swan for the Money deserves a spot at the head table!