Review of CROUCHING BUZZARD, LEAPING LOON by Donna Andrews (see her website)
A MEG LANGSLOW MYSTERY
Thomas Dunne, St. Martin's Minotaur, January 2003
When her brother asks her to help him sort out the problems in his computer game company, Meg Langslow thinks it is the nude version of Lawyers from Hell causing the problems, but the dead man on the robotic mail delivery system is far more serious--especially when the police tag her brother as the primary suspect. Knowing that the police are unlikely to look past their first catch, Meg decides to investigate on her own. But every time she tries a late-night investigation at the company, she runs into gaming programmers, psychologists having affairs, and others behaving badly.
An assortment of animals--including the pack of dogs that the programmers bring to work and a one-winged buzzard, along with a strange animal-loving motorcycle hood and hints of blackmail complicate the plot and give Meg fits as she tries to sort out what is really important. An excitng and wacky conclusion adds to an amusing and surprisingly thoughtful read.
Author Donna Andrews (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Andrews) nails the strange chemistry of a group of programmers struggling to create lives for themselves even as they survive a death-march toward product deployment. Meg is an entertaining character, thoughtful enough to be sympathetic, but with more curiosity than common sense. Although the ultimate killer is not especially hard to guess, in CROUCHING BUZZARD, LEAPING LOON, at least, getting to the conclusion is where the fun is. And this novel is a lot of fun.
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