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    Review of THE PENGUIN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH by Donna Andrews (see her website)


    Thomas Dunne, St. Martin's Minotaur, August 2007

    Meg Langslow is finally moving into the old farmhouse where she and her fiance intend to live. Of course moving is complicated by family--in Meg's case, that means parents, a brother, and a couple of hundred cousins. Not family but very much there is a body--the recently deceased body of the owner of the local zoo. As more and more of the zoo animals arrive at Meg's home, she realizes she needs to get to the bottom of the mystery. Could it really be as simple as an angry teenager, worried about lawsuit over killing an escaped dik-dik? Is the elderly but still spry TV zoologist really interested in funding a seocnd-rate and run-down zoo, or did he have more nefarious objectives? And what's with the angry animal activists--can they really believe wild animals should be let loose on the people of Virginia? Meg can't help investigating, coming up with complicated theories, and trying to be the voice of sanity in a relatively insane family.

    Fans of Donna Andrews's Meg Langslow series are up for more of what they've come to appreciate. Meg's dad continues his animal-loving and kookie ways, her mother rules the roost, her brother finds inspiration for video games everywhere, and her fiance hopes they can finally get married. Which is the whole point of the moving party--a party that is supposed to end with an elopement and a honeymoon far from the madding family. Of course surviving that long might be a problem as Meg finds her back yard filled with dangerous trenches, herself dumped in a lion's den, and a sharpshooting crossbowman who happens to miss.

    THE PENGUIN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH is pure fun. Andrews's writing is enjoyable, the dysfunctional Langslow family is charming, Meg herself is sympathetic, and the situations she finds herself in are outrageous. As a mystery, this is seriously over the top. As pure fun, it's dead on.

    See more reviews of mysteries by Donna Andrews.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 10/13/07

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