cover image Swan for the Money: A Meg Langslow Mystery

Swan for the Money: A Meg Langslow Mystery

Donna Andrews, . . Minotaur, $24.95 (306pp) ISBN 978-0-312-37717-5

A rose show can drive a person to murder, as shown in Andrews's thorn-in-cheek 11th Meg Langslow mystery set in Caerphilly, Va. (after 2008's Six Geese A-Slaying ). Meg's parents would love to snag the Winkleson Trophy for the darkest rose at the local garden club's first annual show, but they face stiff competition from Philomena Winkleson, who's hosting the event at her ritzy Raven Hill estate. Before the event, Meg's dad's roses are sabotaged, and Philomena's white purebred Maltese is kidnapped. During the mishap-filled show, Philomena annoys everyone with her obsessive must-win attitude. While exploring the estate, Meg discovers a woman stabbed in the back with a pair of secateurs (i.e., gardening shears). At first she thinks it's Philomena, but the victim is in fact another garden club member. Weeding out the murderer keeps Meg hopping. Andrews's droll humor saves the sometimes slow-moving plot. (Aug.)