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How the Finch Stole Christmas!: A Meg Langslow Mystery    by Donna Andrews order for
How the Finch Stole Christmas!
by Donna Andrews
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2017 (2017)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Donna Andrews does it again in her latest Meg Langslow mystery - How the Finch Stole Christmas!, the twenty-second in this heartwarming series. And, as you can guess from the title, this one is filled with holiday havoc and hilarity.

This time, the Caerphilly crowd is focused on a Christmas Carol production, and they've brought in well known (though also well past his prime) actor Malcolm Haver to star as Scrooge. Meg's husband Michael is director. Their sons Jamie and Josh have parts as Tiny Tim and a young Scrooge, and Meg is stage manager.

But she seems to be spending most of her time trying to keep their alcoholic star on the straight and narrow! He's turned their holiday season 'into one long headache.' So Meg digs in to find out where Haver is getting his booze, as Caerphilly residents have been warned not to serve or sell to him.

Complicating Meg's life even further is a request to track down the meaning of Weaseltide; the need to deal with Haver's starstruck stalker fan; and her Grandfather's attempts to find homes for a surplus of Gouldian finches, seized from an animal smuggling operation.

A corpse is found in the woods in Clay County. The plot thickens when Meg stumbles on a barn menagerie (all the critters in poor condition) that includes a chimp and a tiger! And there's another body. But the show must go on, whether or not its star is drunk or under suspicion of murder.

With Meg Langslow involved, we know that not only will the animals be well cared for, but the murders will be solved, Weaseltide celebrated, and the holiday show a resounding success. How the Finch Stole Christmas! is the perfect holiday read for any cozy mystery fan.

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