cover image Cockatiels at Seven: A Meg Langslow Mystery

Cockatiels at Seven: A Meg Langslow Mystery

Donna Andrews, . . St. Martin?s Minotaur/Dunne, $23.95 (276pp) ISBN 978-0-312-37715-1

Snakes alive! Newlywed amateur sleuth Meg Langslow finds a creepy crawler at every turn in Andrews’s charming ninth mystery (after 2007’s The Penguin Who Knew Too Much ) as Dad and Grandpa stock her Caerphilly, Va., farm with what they promise to be temporary reptilian guests. These, however, become a minor distraction after long-lost friend Karen drops off her lively toddler, Timmy, for Meg to babysit. When the mom fails to return for Timmy, Meg investigates. Is Karen in hiding or in danger or both? Meg learns that Jasper, Karen’s sleazy ex, had been a computer programmer for the same college where Karen works and Meg’s new hubby, Michael, teaches. Armed with this info, Meg starts digging and uncovers far more than she bargained for, including Jasper’s corpse. Suspense, laughter and a whole passel of good clean fun make this another strong installment in this popular cozy series. 6-city author tour. (July)