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    Review of NO NEST FOR THE WICKET by Donna Andrews (see her website)


    Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin's Minotaur, August 2006

    Blacksmith Meg Langslow learns exactly how dangerous a game of eXtreme Croquet can get when she follows her roqueted ball into a bog--where she finds a dead woman. It turns out that the dead woman was a bit of a trouble-maker, as well as a former girlfriend of Meg's fiance, Michael. All of the croquet players deny knowing anything about her, but the truth gradually comes out. With the fate of what might become the country's largest outlet mall (in Meg's back yard, of all places) involved, the stakes are high. Could it be members of the historical society? Or perhaps the developer? Then again, surely it isn't Michael--despite ending the relationship on a negative note.

    The local sheriff isn't much interested in Meg's help, but she can't stop herself. She talks with the locals (including the family working on restoring the farmhouse where she hopes, eventually to live and from which the workmen had a great view of the croquet game) and starts trying to narrow down the suspect list. Unfortunately, the list seems to keep growing.

    Author Donna Andrews (see more reviews of mysteries by Andrews) combines charming characters with an intriguing story in a truly enjoyable mystery. Meg might be a bit odd in her own right, but she's definitely the normal one in her family--and her family is at the croquet match in full force. Her doctor-father's not-so-secret wish to be a forensic scientist comes into play, as does her mother's constant planning, her cousin's herbal druidry (or is it dryadry), her brother's computer incompetence (you'd think that would be a problem considering he's President of a computer game company), all play important roles.

    Between late-night sheep shearing, Spike-the-dog's bad habits, and the egg-laying scheming of Duck the duck, I found myself chuckling through this entertaining story. I'm happy to recommend NO NEST FOR THE WICKET--great title, too.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 9/04/06

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    What do you think? Too generous? Too stingy? Or did I miss the entire point? Send your comments to Give me the okay to use your name and I'll publish all the comments that fit (and don't use unprintable language).

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