This week we’re supposed to expound about a favorite romance hero/heroine. I suppose I could say that it’s the heroine of the book I’m currently reading – but that would be a cop-out. So I thought back to the female I most like to spend time with. And the winner, hands down, has to be Meg Langslow, the blacksmith/amateur sleuth from the series of mysteries by Donna Andrews. I mentioned the series in my post on May 11 when the topic was books we’d want to see made into movies.
I came upon these books quite by accident. On a visit to my local library, I searched the shelf of New Books for a cozy mystery. I can’t remember the title I chose, but it was one of her many bird-themed titles. Once I opened the book I didn’t close it until I’d finished it, several hours later. I went back to the library and found it was part of a series, and spent most of that winter catching up on Meg and her adventures.
Of course, I had to start at the beginning of the series, Murder With Peacocks. Meg is single, and she’s the maid of honor in three different weddings. Since Meg is known as the cool, level-headed one, all three brides dump the details of their weddings to her. Somehow, she manages to keep all three brides happy while solving a murder. There’s a handsome man who swoops in to assist Meg complete some of the endless details in her “notebook that tells me when to breathe” but alas, the gorgeous man is gay.
In Murder With Puffins, the handsome hunk reveals that he’s not gay, but since he’s an actor and a professor of theater, people in the conservative New England town assumed he was, and he hadn’t bothered to dispel the rumors. He is now Meg’s boyfriend, and he continues to help her solve another mystery and cope with her zany relatives.
In each of the succeeding mysteries, Meg and Michael solve mysteries (personally, I think if my small town had so many murders I’d move) and their relationship progresses. They get married (The Penguin Who Knew Too Much), buy a house (Owl’s Well that Ends Well), and Meg gives birth to twin boys (Stork Raving Mad). Each book is full of hilarious mishaps, misunderstandings, colorful characters, and witty conversation.
So what is it about Meg that keeps me reading? Several things:
- Meg is extremely intelligent. She doesn’t take stupid chances, and she doesn’t make the same mistake twice. She also has an extremely advanced vocabulary – I’ve had to look words up in the midst of reading.
- Meg doesn’t rely on Michael to help her, but she knows her limits and calls on her husband when she needs him. She’s capable, but she’s not a superwoman.
- Meg doesn’t live in a time warp. As I mentioned, she marries and has children, and they actually age. I haven’t read the latest title, Lord of the Wings, but I imagine those twins are talking by now. The only thing that puzzles me is that Meg’s grandfather is still extremely spry, and he’s got to be getting on in years.
- Meg and the rest of the residents of Caerphilly are consistent. Handsome, capable, and supportive husband Michael is always a delight. Flower-child cousin Rose Noir, self-important Mayor Randall Shiffley, and Meg’s regal society maven mother can be counted on to make appearances, but they always stay in character. There’s also Meg’s retired physician father, and Dr. Blake, her zoologist grandfather, and the handyman brothers whose names I can’t seem to remember.
Who’s your favorite character?