Hen of the BaskervillesHen of the Baskervilles by Donna Andrews is the 15th book in the “Meg Langslow” mystery series. Publisher: Minotaur Books, July 2013

A dastardly murder and the kidnapping of a prize chicken threaten to ruin Caerphilly’s state fair—fortunately, Meg Langslow is on the case of The Hen of the Baskervilles

The newest mystery in Donna Andrews’s gut-bustingly funny, award-winning, New York Times bestselling series is anything but elementary. Meg Langslow is helping Mayor Randall Shiffley organize the Virginia Un-Fair, Caerphilly’s entry in the race to replace the old state fair (which has gone bankrupt). Before a line can even form outside the ticket booth, however, a pair of Bantam Russian Orloff chickens are stolen from their coop in the chicken tent. Soon, a rash of vandalism crops up at the fair, showing no heritage farm animal, prize vegetable, or artisanal craft to be safe.

While patrolling the fairgrounds, determined to catch the perp, Meg runs into her friend Molly, who has been building a successful business making goat cheeses. Molly is terrified that she may lose her farm because her idle husband Brett has left her for Genette Sedgewick, a rich hobby winemaker, and is demanding his half of the land. Meg enlists Mother’s help to find Molly a divorce lawyer, but later that night, Brett is found murdered and Molly is swiftly accused as his killer.

Meg is convinced that her friend wouldn’t so much as harm a fly, but can she find the real killer before it’s too late? Will she track down the vandal who has been terrorizing—however creatively—the fair’s participants? And will Michael be able to convince her to add members of his new favorite heritage breed to their growing menagerie? Meg’s most hilarious caper yet, the curious incident of the hen in the nighttime will have readers rolling on the floor with laughter.

I always appreciate my annual visit to Caerphilly, VA because I know I’m going to be hanging out with Meg and her eccentrically quirky family and their menagerie of animals that will both delight and entertain me. This was a fun and hilarious read with some laugh out loud moments as Meg does her best to solve a murder and find the person responsible for vandalizing and absconding with the animals at the un-fair. This fast-paced and action-filled drama kept me on my toes, quickly becoming a page turner that I could not put down. This is another great story with a solid plot, witty dialogue, and a great cast of characters led by Meg Langslow and her uniquely terrific family. I can’t wait to read the next book in this wonderfully crafted series.

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