A few nights before Christmas, Meg is awakened when Michael is summoned to the New Life Baptist Church, where someone has rigged a cage full of skunks in the choir loft. The lengthy process of de-skunking the church requires its annual pre-Christmas concert to relocate to Trinity Episcopal, despite the protests of Mr. Vess, an elderly vestryman.
Meanwhile, when Meg helps her grandfather take the skunks to the zoo, they discover that his boa has been stolen - only to turn up later during the concert slithering out from the ribbon-bedecked evergreens. It's clear that some serious holiday pranksters are on the loose, and Meg is determined to find them. But before she can, a fire breaks out at Trinity, and Mr. Vess is discovered dead.
©2013 Donna Andrews (P)2013 Dreamscape Media, LLC
I don't usually rush out for all the "best sellers", but give each intriguing book/author a look. I have found many diamonds in the rough.
A 3.5 for me because the ending kind of went flat. Quite a few cute parts and funny characters but I think if I knew them better it would have been a more enjoyable read. Comming in in the middle of a series can be tricky that way. A well rounded story about what starts out as harmless pranks turns into a murder investigation. A small town, family and church oriented Christmas story. Skunks and bunnies and snakes, Oh No! Believable characters and good narration kept it going for me.
I love Donna Andrews' books! They are so funny and creative in their mysteries! This is one of my favorites, probably because when someone skunks the New Life Baptist Church the night before their big Christmas concert, the entire community pulls together to support each other. All the churches donate space, and the community spirit seen in the latter books available on audio (there's a big gap of books not available on audio) is exemplified in this book.
The plot keeps its humor and has very creative twists. The ending comes as a real surprise. My only complaint is that four year old children are not toddlers and don't talk like them. "G'amma come with us?" is one particular statement. But in the scheme of things, that hardly matters. I've listened to this book at least a dozen times and it never grows old!
I meet Donna Andrews at a book signing for her first book and have collected them all in either book or audible form. I wish the characters and town were real so I could live there.
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