I’ll be perfectly honest: the title is what grabbed my attention here, for the seventh in the Meg Langslow cozy mystery series by Donna Andrews. Well, the title and the references to Extreme Croquet – any Red Queen fans out there? Narrated by Bernadette Dunn, please read on for my review of
No Nest for the Wicket
The first introduction to Meg, her fiancé Michael and the little town of Caerphilly came in the form of an extreme croquet tournament – and what an introduction it was! Rather than a manicured lawn and the parasols and picnic baskets there are hillocks and sheep, cows and rocks to navigate, play around or even through as the game progresses. Or doesn’t progress as early on Meg emerges from a ravine only to find a bludgeoned blonde lying dead in the middle of the playing ground. But, when the game stops, the fun just begins. The teams in this tournament mean that there are plenty of suspects (24) to choose from, and while Meg would really like to play, she can’t help but do a bit of investigating.
If the tournament wasn’t enough upset, Meg and Michael are sleeping in the barn while their house is being renovated, so aside from the players for the tournament, there are construction workers and residents who could all be suspects: and until the woman is identified, anyone could have hit her in the head with a mallet or sledgehammer. But that’s only the beginning of this crazy yet engaging mystery: from animals to people, the characters are funny, quirky and completely fresh and unique. No wasted time on overthinking descriptions: dialogue and interactions drive this story forward, dropping hints, red herrings and laughs in equal measure. With a little side-trek to a Civil War battle site and some drama surrounding development and the potential future of the Caerphilly community, there are plenty of pieces in this little gem of a story.
Narration is provided by Bernadette Dunn and I couldn’t help but be impressed with her ability to navigate some of the ridiculously hilarious moments without pause, but always adding that smile to her voice so the humor was easy to recognize. Each character was distinct in voice or pace, and the dialogue was always crisp and clear, so much so that even the rapid-fire moments of dialogue were flawless. As an introduction to a series and narrator, this was one that I won’t forget for a very long time, and am interested in starting this series from the beginning to see if the fun hold out.
Stars: Overall 4 Narration 4 Story 4
Title: No Nest for the Wicket
Author: Donna Andrews
Series: Meg Langslow #7
Genre: Contemporary Cozy Mystery
Narrator: Bernadette Dunne
Published by: Dreamscape Media LLC, Minotaur Books
Published on: 13 December, 2016
Source: AudioBook Jukebox
Audio Length: 7 Hours: 1 minute
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LINE YOUR DUCKS UP IN A ROW…
The hilly terrain next to the old Sprocket house that Meg Langslow and her fiancé, Michael, are refurbishing is the perfect location for an "extreme" croquet field--even the legs of cows and sheep are convenient extra wickets. A sport traditionally reserved for genteel society, croquet has become all the rage in Caerphilly…until it appears someone in town has taken the "rage" a bit too literally.
AND KNOCK 'EM DEAD.
While stumbling down a steep bank after her ball, Meg encounters the body of a fresh female corpse with a mallet-sized dent in her head. If that isn't reason enough to call a time-out, it turns out that Michael knew the woman from years before. Ever curious, Meg decides that playing arm-chair sleuth is far more important than working on her game…and soon she finds herself in the perfect position to solve the murder mystery--or become the next victim.
See the Meg Langslow Series on Goodreads
A copy of this title was provided via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.