Written by: Donna Andrews
Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne
Series: Meg Langslow, Book 7
Length: 7 hours and 1 minute
Publisher: Dreamscape Media, LLC ( November 29, 2016)
While their home is undergoing extensive repairs, Meg Langslow and her boyfriend Michael are camping out in the barn. They have plenty of room for other campers at their home for a weekend of Extreme Croquet. The terrain of their yard along with the uneven field across the road in Mr. Early’s sheep farm along with a nearby cow pasture provide a perfect course, with the legs of sheep and cows providing extra wickets if needed. Communicating by cell phones from distance positions in the course, Meg delays the game to find a lost ball. What she finds is a dead female body at the bottom of a small cliff. The woman was not a participant in the game. Actually, no one seems to know who this woman was.
Chatter throughout the game and while waiting for police Chief Burke to arrive had been about a nearby farm owner selling his acreage to real estate developers for an outlet mall to be built across the street from Meg and Michael’s new Victorian home. Dissenting votes came from residents who said this was historic land, the site of a small local battle during the Civil War.
Meg is wondering what happened to the professor from the University of Virginia who was to come pick up 23 boxes of the papers of Edwina Sprocket, former owner of their home, that they figured some historian would want to review. Until the murder victim could be identified, Chief Burke advised to store the boxes in a safer place, so nothing could disturb them. This meant that Meg and Michael had to go through them that night. What they found included the original newspaper account describing the local battle. They bring that to the town’s librarian for authentication, and she bursts into laughter.
The extreme croquet game was beginning to start up again the next day when a woman’s purse was found in the field. Finally, the murder victim is identified, but even she isn’t whom she appeared to be. As usual, Meg had discovered as much about the victim as Chief Burke was about uncover himself.
I truly admire Donna Andrews who can write such a hilarious mystery from such ordinary events, events that if taken singly would present laughter. Bunch them all together, however, and it becomes bedlam. It wasn’t uncommon for me to giggle to myself or even laugh out loud over the improbable but plausible plot around the unfortunate murder. Ultimately, the solution to the murder is discovered in plain sight, but only after all the clues were uncovered.
Bernadette Dunne lends her tranquil voice to narrate this frenzy of events. Told from the first person perspective of Meg Langslow, she mirrors her calm demeanor throughout the turmoil. Dunne does equally well at portraying the characters crowding Meg’s life, including the various croquet players.