Cockatiels at Seven
Meg Langslow Mystery Book 9
Written by Donna Andrews
Narrated by Bernadette Dunne
Dreamscape Media, LLC (April 18, 2017)
Listening Length: 7 hours and 18 minutes
When her friend Karen drops by with her two-year-old son Timmy asking that Meg Langslow babysit “just for a little while,” Meg takes on the challenge. After all, what’s so hard about playing with a toddler? Meg puts away the blacksmithing project she’d just begun in preparation for a craft show, and goes through what Karen left with Timmy, finding several sets of clothes, diapers, bedding, Timmy’s favorite blanket, and a bedraggled stuffed kitty named Kiki. After dinner, Timmy is still with the Langslows, and Karen isn’t answering Meg’s phone calls.
When Karen hasn’t shown up for Timmy by morning, Meg begins to investigate. Taking Timmy with her, she starts her search by visiting Karen’s workplace in the financial offices of the college. A paranoid supervisor is more intent o
n where Timmy’s hands are going than talking about Karen. Later a co-worker pulls Meg aside and confides that something is seriously wrong. Police are raiding Karen’s rundown apartment when Meg arrives. She chides Chief Burke for treating Karen like a criminal when she is missing. Karen’s ex-husband had supposedly left town, but perhaps he has taken her. Could Timmy be the target of kidnappers? Could Karen be hiding from bad guys? Could she be a bad guy?
Meg continues to follow clues with the help of her large extended family. Meg’s brother Rob has been slowly moving into a third floor bedroom and has been missing for blocks of time. Meg’s dad and her newly discovered grandfather, Dr. Montgomery Blake, renowned zoologist, have been hiding some finches on the third floor and snakes in the basement. Meg learns of an old bird farm out in the country next door to a relative of Karen’s husband. Just what has her father been up to? Meg seems to be one step ahead of Chief Burke at every new discovery.
Babysitting alone is topic for a funny mystery, but Donna Andrews has expounded on this theme in so many ways. Embezzling, kidnapping, killing, and real estate schemes round out this zany story. While being hilariously funny, this ninth outing of Meg Langslow and family are a tad less madcap. With the welfare of a child at stake, the investigators are following all leads. They can’t control the trouble they get into checking them out!
Thoroughly enjoyable, and highly recommended.