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The Real Macaw: Meg Langslow #13    by Donna Andrews order for
Real Macaw
by Donna Andrews
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Real Macaw is the thirteenth (following Stork Raving Mad) in Donna Andrews' rollicking series starring Meg Langslow, her husband Michael Waterston (an associate drama professor at Caerphilly College), and a hilarious assortment of friends and family who pass through Meg's revolving door. Regulars include Meg's brother Rob, her solicitous cousin Rose Noire, her parents, and her choleric animal welfare activist of a grandfather.

It's always chaotic chez Meg and Michael, but never more so than in The Real Macaw. Coping with sleep deprivation from attending to the needs of her new twin boys (Josh and Jamie), Meg also finds herself hosting refugees from Caerphilly's animal shelter, whose no-kill policy the new county manager is about to change as a budget cutting measure - the town is on the edge of bankruptcy.

Unfortunately, the man who organized the animals' Great Escape, womanizing Parker Blair, is murdered before their planned transfer to foster homes outside the county, so Meg is stuck with them and their caregivers. Of course, she assists Chief Burke with the investigation, while tensions heat up between town and county over the Mayor's financial chicanery and plans to seize local properties (including Meg and Michael's) for redevelopment.

Where's the macaw in all this? The bird, whose language is 'so blue they'd probably have bleeped the entire sentence on network television', is one of the refugees and a key to indentifying the killer before someone close to Meg is targeted. The Real Macaw is indeed the real McCoy in this best of cozy series.

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