Murder With Peacocks (1999)
Winner of the 1998 St. Martin's Press/Malice Domestic
Best First Traditional Mystery Contest
When Meg Langslow is roped into being a bridesmaid for the
nuptials of her mother, her brother's fiancee, and her own best friend, she is
apprehensive. Getting the brides to chose their outfits and those of their
bridesmaids (and not change their minds three days later), trying to capture
the principals long enough to work out details, and even finding peacocks to
strut around the garden during the ceremony--these are things Meg can handle.
She can brush off the unfortunate oaf who is smitten with her, and take
philosophically her disappointment when she learns that the only eligible man
in her small Virginia town (and a delightful hunk he is)is of questionable
sexual preference. But even Meg is taken aback when the unpleasant former
sister-in-law of Meg's soon-to-be stepfather disappears and is later found
Well, that's one way to zip up a wedding, and Andrews
does a fine job of making the three celebrations more fun and more
unusual than anything you've ever read in Ann Landers.
Murder With Puffins
In an attempt to get away from her family, Meg and her boyfriend go to a tiny
island off the coast of Maine. What could have been a romantic getaway slowly
turns into disaster.
Once there, they are marooned by a hurricane and that is
only the beginning of their problems. Meg and her boyfriend arrive at
the house only to discover that Meg's parents and siblings, along with
their spouses are all there. When a murder takes place, Meg realizes
that she and her boyfriend can no longer sit by a cozy fireplace, but
must instead tramp around the muddy island to keep try and clear her
father who is the chief suspect.
Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos
Every year, Yorktown, Virginia, relives its role
in the Revolutionary War by celebrating the anniversary of the British
surrender in 1781. This year, plans include a re-enactment of the original
battle and a colonial craft fair. Meg Langslow has returned to her home town
for the festivities--and to sell her wrought-iron works of art. Except, of
course, for the pink-painted flamingos she reluctantly made for her mother's
best friend--she's hoping to deliver them secretly, so she won't get a
reputation as "the blacksmith who makes those cute wrought-iron flamingos."
Besides, she has taken on another responsibility--making
sure none of her fellow crafters ruin the historical authenticity of the
fair with forbidden modern devices--like wrist watches, calculators, or
cell phones. She's only doing it to keep peace with the mother of the
man she loves. And Michael himself will don the white-and-gold uniform
of a French officer for the re-enactment--what actor could resist a role
Meg's also trying to keep her father from scaring too
many tourists with his impersonation of an 18th century physician. And
to prevent a snooping reporter from publishing any stories about local
scandals. Not to mention saving her naive brother, Rob, from the
clutches of a con man who might steal the computer game he has invented.
It's a tough job--at least, until the swindler is found dead, slain in
Meg's booth with one of her own wrought-iron creations.
Now Meg must add another item to her already lengthy to
do list: "Don't forget to solve the murder!"
Fortunately, the more trouble Meg faces, the more fun
the reader will have--and Meg faces plenty of trouble in this
lighthearted and funny novel.
Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon
Poor Meg Langslow. She's blessed in so many ways. Michael, her
boyfriend, is a handsome, delightful heartthrob who adores her. She's a
successful blacksmith, known for her artistic wrought-iron creations. But
somehow Meg's road to contentment is more rutted and filled with potholes than
There are Michael's and Meg's doting but demanding
mothers, for a start. And then there's the fruitless hunt for a place
big enough for the couple to live together. And a succession of crises
brought on by the well-meaning but utterly wacky demands of her friends
and family. Demands that Meg has a hard time refusing---which is why
she's tending the switchboard of Mutant Wizards, where her brother's
computer games are created, and handling all the office management
problems that no one else bothers with. For companionship, besides a
crew of eccentric techies, she has a buzzard with one wing---who she
must feed frozen mice thawed in the office microwave---and Michael's
mother's nightmare dog. Not to mention the psychotherapists who refuse
to give up their lease on half of the office space, and whose
conflicting therapies cause continuing dissension. This is not what Meg
had in mind when she agreed to help her brother move his staff to new
In fact, the atmosphere is so consistently loony that
the office mail cart makes several passes through the reception room,
with the office practical joker lying on top of it pretending to be
dead, before Meg realizes that he's become the victim of someone who
wasn't joking at all. He's been murdered for real.
We'll Always Have Parrots (2005)
In We'll Always Have Parrots, Meg travels with her fiance Michael to a
fan convention for Porfiria, Queen of the Jungle--a cheesy cult TV show on
which Michael has a minor role. Michael hopes the weekend will give him a
chance to talk Miss Wynncliffe-Jones, the show's temperamental leading lady
and executive producer out of enforcing a certain provision in Michael's
Of course, Michael's not the only person whose career
the dictatorial star has manipulated. So when the star is found
murdered, the police have plenty of suspects. Trouble is, Meg doesn't
believe they're going to arrest the right one. Soon she finds herself
following the murderer's trail through a hotel filled with egotistical
actors, costumed fans, and a motley flock of monkeys and parrots who,
rebelling against their role as live scenery, have escaped from their
cages to take an active (and noisy) role in the festivities.
Access Denied (2004)
When Turing Hopper, Artificial Intelligence Personality extraordinaire, learns
that criminal Nestor Garcia's once-dormant credit card has been doing a lot of
shopping lately, she begins to do some sleuthing-and finds out the loot's
shown up at an empty bungalow. So Turing gets her human friends to stake out
the vicinity. But when one of them sees something he wishes he hadn't-and gets
charged with murder-everyone will have to pull together to clear his name. The
only way to do it is to find the guilty party-by luring him to attack them.
But doing so might very well get them "accidentally" deleted...
Owls Well That Ends Well
Meg and Michael have bought a house from the estate of the
uncrowned Queen of the Packrats and must clean out decades of junk. Their
solution: a yard sale.
As always, Meg's large family flocks in to help. Many
even come with junk of their own to add to the sale. Meg is coping
(barely) with all this until the body of a local antique dealer is
discovered in an old trunk.
The police temporarily close the sale down to
investigate. When the professor who can swing the vote in favor of
Michael's tenure becomes a suspect, Meg decides that the only way to
prove his innocence, and avoid being stuck with several tons of unsold
junk, is to find the killer herself, and quickly.
No Nest for the Wicket
Croquet--a genteel sport, played on a sunny summer afternoon on
a tranquil green lawn. Unless it's eXtreme croquet, the
no-holds-barred version, whose devotees prefer wielding their mallets
in poison-ivy infested swamps and impenetrable brier patches. But even
eXtreme croquet players usually draw the line at murder, so no one is
happy when Meg goes searching for her ball and finds a body instead.
You've Got Murder
Normally a workaholic techie, Zack has missed
work for several days. So his friend, Turing, does the only neighborly thing
and checks to see if Zack is logged in from home. No luck. Then she skims the
databases of local banks to find his personal identification number. Nothing.
Next she searches police and hospital records throughout the state. No Zack.
Turing is no crazed stalker: she is an artificial
intelligence personality of Zack's creation. But, unlike other AIPs,
Turing is sentient--and she senses foul play. Fortunately, when Zack
created her, he downloaded into Turing every murder mystery in his
library, so Turing would think like a detective. She does find some
clues to Zack's disappearance, but the enemies may well lie in the real
world--where Turing has no ability to move.
Fresh, funny, and surprisingly moving, You've Got Murder
is a novel you'll never forget--and the first mystery to feature the
equally unforgettable character of Turing Hopper a mainframe computer
with a mind like Miss Marple and hardware that hides a suspiciously
Click Here For Murder (2003)
Turing Hopper is one quick-thinking sleuth--so
quick that she can process up to a billion pieces of information per second.
She's an Artificial Intelligence Personality, an almost-sentient mainframe
computer, with a mind like Miss Marple and hardware that hides a suspiciously
human heart. But it's hard to do legwork without legs, so sleuthing can pose
some problems. That's where her human companions come in.
Ray Santiago's friends from work know him as a
brilliant-but-easygoing systems engineer who spends a lot of time on his
favorite online role-playing game. But the game is over for Ray: his
colleagues from work Maude, Tim, and Turing, have just found out about
Ray's murder in a dark alley. He was shot, and his laptop stolen. It
could be just another D.C. street crime. But if Turing's password was in
that computer--and it's fallen into the wrong hands--she could be in
Delete All Suspects (2005)
After a hit-and-run leaves young techie Eddie
Stallman in the hospital, Turing Hopper, a sentient computer, helps her PI
friend Tim find out who did it. Their investigation uncovers evidence of
spamming, phishing, and other unsavory online crimes. But when the feds show
up looking for an online vigilante who's also using Eddie's computers, Turing
and friends are caught in the middle. They can't let the vigilante
continue--but they can't tell the FBI everything without revealing Turing's
identity to the world.
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