Publication Date: July 17, 2012
In Some Like it Hawk by Donna Andrews, the former mayor of the small town in which Meg Landslow lives mortgaged all of the public buildings and absconded with the cash. Local records clerk, Phineas Throckmorton, barricaded himself in a basement and has been there for a year surreptitiously helped by a few faithful locals. When one of the “Evil Lender’s” employees is killed by a shot that seemed to have come from the barricade, no one can tell the “Evil Lender” that Phinny has an alibi without giving away the supply game that the lender had recently stepped up efforts to crack by bringing in a PI and a Hawk to kill the barricaded Clerk’s pigeons. Can the townsfolk prove Phinny’s innocence without losing the buildings?
Some Like It Hawk: A Meg Langslow Mystery (Meg Langslow Mysteries) is the fourteenth book in the Meg Landslow series. I have read a few others but nothing that stands out in the mind.
Meg is doing blacksmithing demonstrations in the town square and taking part in the festival that the town has set up to earn money and also cover their tracks in taking supplies to the man in the basement of the Town Hall. Because of the loud, squeaking, door (which no one seems to think of oiling) they have to time entry to coincide with big events. We’re told not everyone in town is in on the joke but it seems that they are. The current mayor, police chief, the people in the church tents…the only ones not in on the joke seem to be the “Evil Lender’s” guards … less than affectionately known as “The Flying Monkeys” because of the resemblance of their uniforms to those in the Wizard of Oz. This is a classic cozy and doesn’t seem to aspire to be anything else. It’s a laundry list kind of book — Meg is doing this and this and this—and happens into things relevant to the mystery. We’re 43% into the book when the dead body is only discovered and everyone involved is subjected to their hands and clothing testing for gunshot residue.
As per the formula with cosies, Some Like It Hawk has its share of quirky characters. One of the more quirky characters is a Medical Examiner who is claustrophobic and won’t go into small spaces unless he’s dressed like a vampire. Imagine my surprise when not too many pages later we encounter a forensic expert who won’t go into small spaces unless he’s dressed like a gorilla! Don’t get me wrong, maybe this series is rife with quirky diversity but in this novel, these are the two big quirky folks — and so similar. Would it not have been more believable to the reader to meld these two characters into one? Again, maybe they were part of a colorful tapestry of the diverse series but in this one, they really stood out. Laurell K. Hamilton’s series comes to mind. Ms. Hamilton has said in the past that she could not use Quinn and Richard in the same book of the Anita Blake series, as they were too similar. Andrews may have done well to heed that example (in this reader’s opinion).
Meg and other characters are exhausted throughout this book and I felt tired with them. This was a good book but not a great one. It had a strong plotline that dragged because of the minutia with which we engaged with the main character. We were reminded of things many times and it felt as though Meg was going back over things many times just because the main character, herself, was so drained.
I’m going to recommend this series to my father and folks who like a good cozy. People who like to engage in the day to day minutia with a character. Don’t expect this book to be like the authors that Andrews is compared with at Amazon — romance, this was not. Daffy fun, it was not. This was cozy with some laughs. Taken for what it is, you won’t be disappointed.
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