• The Gift of the Magpie

  • A Meg Langslow Mystery, Book 28
  • By: Donna Andrews
  • Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne
  • Length: 9 hrs and 30 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (200 ratings)

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The Gift of the Magpie

By: Donna Andrews
Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne
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Publisher's Summary

An AudioFile Earphones Award-winning production.

New York Times best-selling author Donna Andrews returns with another Meg Langslow mystery crafted "firmly in the grand tradition of Agatha Christie's Christmas books" (Toronto Globe and Mail).

The 28th audiobook and the seventh Christmas mystery in the Meg Langslow series, The Gift of the Magpie is yet another wonderfully merry and funny book from New York Times best-selling author Donna Andrews.

Meg’s running Caerphilly’s Helping Hands for the Holidays project, in which neighbors help each other with things they can’t do and can’t afford to have done. Her hopes for a relatively peaceful (if busy) Christmas vanish when someone murders Harvey the Hoarder, whose house the Helping Hands were decluttering. Was there any truth to the rumor that he had something valuable hidden beneath all his junk? Was one of his friends, neighbors, or relatives greedy enough to murder him for the rumored treasure? And what about the magpie that has been bringing her family bits of tinsel and costume jewelry - does the bird’s latest gift hold a clue to solving the crime?

Full of intrigue, this Christmas mystery will take listeners home to Caerphilly, where the suspense falls as thick as the snow.

A Macmillan Audio production from Minotaur Books

©2020 Donna Andrews (P)2020 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about The Gift of the Magpie

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Ridiculous

Save yourself time and money and pass on this book. if I could give it zero stars I would. the author needs a better editor.

1 person found this helpful

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Cheesy Cliches

If you love really bad hallmark Christmas movies, the cheesiest of cheesiest cliches, and enjoy the phrase "I left them to it", then this is the book for you.

1 person found this helpful

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Wonderful latest in a great series

I just finished the Meg Langslow series. If you haven’t tried this series you are missing a great read/listen. Bernadette Dunne is one of my favorite narrators for audio books and she does this one total justice.

1 person found this helpful

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great Meg Mystery

Loved the hoarding/ treasure hunt angle. Great twist- in a couple of places! One of my favorites in this series.

1 person found this helpful

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A no snow Christmas

A little long on the exposition;; more of a character study than mystery. I am satisfied that she finally wrote a Christmas story where it didn't snow. I understand this is more normal foe Virginia. There is one newly introduced character I hope we'll see in future books

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More than just about Christmas

Donna Andrews, author of 28 (and counting) humorous mysteries about Meg Langslow and her small town of Caerphilly, VA, has written eight books set at Christmas*. The latest, The Gift of the Magpie, uses Christmas not only as the backdrop but as the catalyst that inspires the actions.

The Interfaith Women’s Council has started a program called Helping Hands for the Holidays that provides any needed service to anyone in the community. As part of that service, Meg takes on the challenge of helping “Harvey the Hoarder” to declutter his house in order to meet local safety and health regulations. Convincing Harvey to agree to give up some of his long- stored treasures / junk seems like it will prove to be Meg’s biggest challenge of the Christmas season. Then she finds Harvey murdered, and her priorities dramatically shift.

I am not usually a big fan of holiday- themed books. However, the use of Christmas as a literary device instead of merely as the theme of the audiobook makes The Gift of the Magpie highly enjoyable. I greatly appreciated getting to learn more about a social issue that affects so many within our communities. I liked gaining insight into the mindset of someone with this mental health disorder. This audiobook guides listeners to gain empathy for people with hoarding disorders.

Further, I appreciated seeing the personal growth of Meg as she comes to see Harvey through new eyes of compassion. She soon lets go of the fear that most experience when meeting someone different from ourselves. In the process, listeners will gain a sense of empathy for those dealing with the hoarding instinct as well.

I really appreciated the various projects that Helping Hands for the Holidays does to serve the community. It models the way that such programs should ideally work, and we see how serving one individual can create a domino effect to help the community even more.

Bernadette Dunne performs this, as well as all the other, audiobooks in the series. Dunne is, in my opinion, one of the best narrators out there. Given how many audiobooks I listen to each week, adding up to hundreds each year, I have listened to a vast number of narrators, but Dunne always makes my list of three top 5 favorites. I appreciate all aspects of Dunne’s performances, but she excels especially at giving life to each character. Not only does each one have a distinct voice that Dunne has clearly developed for that character, listeners will find themselves personally involved with each one.
When I listen to one of Dunne’s audiobooks, I feel that I am being transported to the location of the book’s action and am standing in the midst of the characters, personally involved in the conversation. No wonder she is such a favorite narrator!

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed getting to listen to The Gift of the Magpie. This book has not only a great mystery and delightful humor, but also a human element, in this case in the topic of hoarding, and what can lead to the disorder, often left untouched in a great many patients with the sense of shame they feel in being afraid to seek professional help. So I was highly impressed by the manner it used the background if Christmas joy to highlight a genuine issue in the world . I hereby give The Gift of the Magpie five stars!

*I include here Stork Raving Mad (book 12), which is set just before Christmas but is not actually Christmas-themed. The other seven Christmas books include Seven Geese a-Slaying (book 10), Duck the Halls (book 16), The Nightingale before Christmas (book 18), How the Finch Stole Christmas (book 22), Lark! The Herald Angels Sing (book 24), and Owl Be Home for Christmas (book 26).

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An okay entry in this series

This Book is about average in the series. I like Christmas ones the least, and this one was super Christmasy. I expect that many readers would love that aspect. I read these every year, and I know what to expect, but I enjoy catching up with the characters.

The reader is good, but many of her characters sound the same, and I had trouble distinguishing which character was speaking.

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Wonderful story.

Donna Andrews gives an unexpected twist at the end for our favorite hero Meg Langslow.

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loved it

more good stuff from Donna. I love this family! Dunne always does a great job

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A great mystery

I like mysteries and Who done its much more than thrillers or police psychodramas and this is a classic mystery with multiple little themes happening around the main plot line. this plot is great for anyone who is interested in mysteries

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  • M.Y.Standford
  • 10-27-20

Fun as always

Enjoyed the characters I love once more
the chaos, the mystery , the animals every thing you want in a cozy read

1 person found this helpful