No Nest for the Wicket by Donna Andrews is the seventh book in the “Meg Langslow” cozy mystery series. Publisher: St. Martin’s Minotaur, March 2005
Croquet is a genteel game, usually played on a summer afternoon on a tranquil green lawn. Extreme Croquet is a whole other story. That’s what Meg Langslow and her new friends (whether she wants to call them friends or not) are playing on the several-acre farm of her new neighbor. It’s a countryside studded with rocks, steep hills, and placid, seemingly immovable cows.
Extreme Croquet is the current rage in Caerphilly, where Meg and her fiancé, Michael, have bought a house. While this society game can get quite warm, it hasn’t reached the stage of actual homicide—at least not until Meg knocks her ball down a small cliff and encounters the body of a dead woman. Her head has been bashed in, illustrating, perhaps, one of the many uses of a croquet mallet. It turns out that Michael knew the woman from years before. Meg finds herself further drawn in when it’s discovered that the woman was seeking to expose the bad dealings of a certain local society lady’s ancestors.
In the meantime, the old house needs many basic improvements and swarms with an entire family of working men, including countless second cousins, sawing and pounding away. Meg’s father is the overseer but is easily distracted since he has a tendency to become wrapped up in his current animal charges—this time it’s ducks.
One of the beauties of fiction is that you can enjoy reading about someone who has been knocked on the head and killed. The particular joy that Donna Andrews offers mystery lovers everywhere is the wonderful gift of laughter. Her novels, filled with crazy relatives, puzzling murders, and the hilarious conquests of Meg, make for a combination found nowhere else. Fine-feathered friends are only one of the treats in this award-winning series from Donna Andrews, an author whose name has become synonymous with lighthearted, knee-slapping fun.
I’m having a blast reading this series. My rating: 4 stars