How the Finch Stole Christmas!
by Andrews, Donna

When her husband organizes a full-scale production of "A Christmas Carol" with a famous veteran actor in the starring role, Meg finds herself navigating unexpected challenges in the star's baggage and enemies.

DONNA ANDREWS is a winner of the Agatha, Anthony, and Barry Awards, a Romantic Times Award for best first novel, as well as the Lefty and Toby Bromberg awards for funniest mystery. She is a member of MWA, Sisters in Crime, and the Private Investigators and Security Association. Andrews lives in Reston, Virginia. How the Finch Stole Christmas! is Andrews's twenty-second book and fourth Christmas mystery in the Meg Langslow series.

It's almost Christmas in Caerphilly, Virginia, and Meg Langslow's husband, Michael, is directing a charity benefit production of A Christmas Carol, starring Malcolm Haver, a has-been actor who is under contract to play Scrooge. Haver, a disagreeable drunk, keeps everyone in Caerphilly on a mission to keep liquor away from him, but when Haver's secret liquor supplier, John Willimer, is found murdered, Haver is one of the suspects, leaving everyone wondering if the show will go on. Complicating matters, Meg must deal with a group of exotic animals, a plethora of puppies, and dozens of cats, all of whom need homes. Then there are also Haver's persistent super fan, a dangerous animal smuggling operation, and Meg's need to determine how Weaseltide is celebrated. The always-busy, efficient Meg solves the murders while keeping order among family and friends; all the usual, wonderfully drawn, quirky characters are present in this satisfying, humorous entry in the long-running series. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

The Yuletide festivities in Caerphilly, Virginia, are threatened by an inebriated actor, a slight case of murder, and 23 Gouldian finches.It looks like so much work for professor Michael Waterston to both direct and star in the community/college production of A Christmas Carol that's grown out of his well-received one-man show that the board hires Malcolm Haver to play Scrooge instead, figuring that the increased box-office take Haver's name guarantees will more than offset the visitor's salary. That turns out to be a decision only the Grinch could endorse. Haver's only sort of a name, only sort of an improvement on Michael even when he's sober, and only sort of sober even on his best days. So Michael's wife and assistant director, Meg Langslow, adds wrangling the star to her extensive resume (Gone Gull, 2017). Even though Meg gets help from her mother; Mayor Randall Shiffley; and the usual suspects, it's a tall order, partly because once Randall gets Haver cut off from legit imate sources of alcohol, the sozzled thespian finds an obliging bootlegger, and partly because Meg has other problems on her mind: an unidentified corpse found in a local stream; a persistent fan of Haver's who's pressing the Rev. Robyn Smith to mount a celebration of Weaseltide, whatever that is; a collection of finches Meg's endlessly resourceful grandfather has added to his menagerie; and eventually a murdered bootlegger. Will this last development keep the headliner sober long enough to tread the boards come Christmas Eve? A mildly curdled take on the most wonderful time of the year that won't offend the most devout celebrants. Spoiler alert: the finch doesn't steal Christmas, and the tale ends with a celebration of Weaseltide and the triumphant premiere of A Christmas Carol. Whew. Copyright Kirkus 2017 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Terms of Use   ©Copyright 2018 Follett School Solutions