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Search tags: coyer-summer-vacation-2017-summer-reading-list
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review 2017-07-23 15:07
A Buzzard and a Bunch of Loons
Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon - Donna Andrews

The Buzzard is a real buzzard saved from a dog and lost a wing and is now cared for at the offices of the Mutant Wizards. The loons, they are the group of people who work in the offices of the Mutant Wizards. Meg is helping her brother out at the offices of the Mutant Wizards, the company he created to market and develop his game (Lawyers from Hell). He feels that something is not right and asks her to come help him. She agrees as she is recuperating from a Blacksmithing accident that broke her hand. Her official title is "Office Manager," but she is answering the switchboard, trying to find someone that will come in and work the switchboard and find out what is happening in the company. 


The buzzard is named George and sits up in the front with Meg and she is the only one who feeds and cares for him. The staff bring their dogs to work and play pranks all while working on version 2 of the game and developing other games with different specialties (Doctors, Psychotherapists, Police, etc). Outside there is a Veterinarian who is trying to catch a pregnant feral cat and then begins to come into the office to try and liberate the one winged buzzard. 


Ted, is a programmer, who takes credit for work he doesn't do and plays pranks and blackmails others. One day he decides to pretend he has been stabbed while riding around on the mail cart and when he is finally murdered, no one notices until he ends up back at Meg's desk. She now has to find out who really killed Ted and save her brother and one of his employees from being arrested for the murder. 


There are a lot of moments where you just have to laugh at the antics. I find many of the things hard to believe actually happening, but that doesn't stop it from being funny. 



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review 2017-07-17 00:14
Fun to the Very End
Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos - Donna Andrews

Yes, I do recommend this book. I love the funny things that happen and the wordsmithing. She uses a large vocabulary and there are moments that just make you laugh out loud. 


Just want a fun cozy mystery? This one is for you. 

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text 2017-07-16 21:51
Another Update....Lord of the Rings
Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos - Donna Andrews

I tried to click on the CD-ROM's icon to open it. A gray box popped up, saying, "Please enter the unbreakable top secret password."

"That's definitely Tad's sense of humor," I said. "In case we had any doubt which CD-ROM was his."

"I tried everything I could think of," Michael said. "Including all the Greek words I know."....

"I don't have to guess," I said. "that writing just told me. That's not Greek, it's Elvish."


"Or maybe Elven; I forget which is correct. It's been years. Ever read Tolkien?"

"Yes, but as you said, it's been years," he said. 

"remember the scene where they kept trying to guess the password to the door of Moria, and realized that it was right there in the inscription--'Speak friend and enter'?"


Page 211 of "Revenge of the Wrought Iron Flamingos" by Donna Andrews


I loved this quote and it was another that I read out loud to my middle who loves "The Lord of the Rings" and was tickled over a quote from a "Psych" book that she read where that was the stupidest password...password. 


She and Michael are working together to find out who killed Benson. He seems to have made a lot of enemies and many of them were in the area or close by. Tony, another crafter, is known for stealing other people's work and saying they developed along parallel lines, but his work is shoddy and poorly done. He had seen Meg showing a flamingo to her mother's friend at another fair and decided to make one, too and then compare to her work. Because his work is unoriginal and shoddy he is able to sell for less and people think they are getting something. 


I so enjoy these stories. So much happening and so many eccentric characters. 


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text 2017-07-14 23:28
Update: First Murder by Chapter 15
Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos - Donna Andrews

I love how Donna Andrews books are able to be read out of order because she doesn't just dump a murder victim on us, she gives us time to meet the characters and learn some back story. 


There are so many laugh-out-loud moments in her book. In Chapter 15, we are introduced to a new character, a deputy sheriff who comes from a big city in OH. You see in the small town of Yorktown, VA most everyone is related to everyone else. This big city deputy is from "Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, no Canton." Now I am curious is the in there just for Ohio readers or does it change like some songs do to other areas? I wonder this because it was funny to find a person from my neck of the woods (I am from near Cincinnati and have been to the other places frequently). 


In another moment, she gives some great history lessons on the Revolutionary War. For instance why you don't walk barefoot on VA battlefields (cacti). 


My all time favorite moment was when Michael and Meg go to the Cannoneers Camp and beg them to stop blasting the cannon all night long. As they discussed why they were doing it, the one man says it is to please Madame Van Steuben. Meg explains that in history, Von Steuben was the Prussian general brought over by Washington to get the men into better fighting shape so they could win the war. Then she explains to Michael that they are referring to this mother. The men are terrified thinking that they have offended the son of the woman footing their bill, but he laughs and loves the description. 


As I laughed out loud to this my daughter decided she needed to get into this book, too! 


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review 2017-07-03 16:08
The 2nd Book in Meg Langslow Series
Murder With Puffins - Donna Andrews

I'll start with the books can be read out of order (I found it hard to find many when I got to that in the order, but read what I could get in whatever order I could). In book two, Meg and Michael are finding it hard to find time alone. If they go to where Michael is staying, a couch in another professor's house, or where Meg is staying, her mother's house since the artist using her place refuses to vacate, they decided to go to her Aunt Phoebe's cabin on Monhegan Island in Maine. Michael is a professor at a University in Caerphilly, VA, where housing is so limited that it is hard for people to find a place to stay and end up staying in places they normally wouldn't (someone's couch). Since this is the 2nd time for reading these books, I was curious as to the place actually existing (family in VA and staying there for visits to family in VA and MD). It seems that there is a Caerphilly, but it is a park or country club, not an actual city or county. It does make the story go along well as there are points where hard to find living space comes into play during the future stories. 


On the trip over on the ferry, they realize that they chose the worst time to travel to the island. They are traveling through a hurricane that is winding down but comes back during their stay. Also, during their stay, they find her mother, father, brother, Aunt Phoebe and her mother's friend. They also run into the local that most people do not like. He has made himself a nuisance with the locals and shoots anyone he considers a trespasser, even if they are on the public path. 


When her father disappears on the island so he can watch the hurricane hit, she and Michael are sent to search for him. Then her aunt takes off after Resnick, also because she believes he is shooting at the birds (not her niece). Meg and Michael find Resnick dead in a tidal pool and pull him out and get him settled into the freezer at an empty restaurant. Meg realizes that her family is going to be the first ones looked at, although the whole island is covered with people who had a reason to want Resnick dead. She and Michael begin to search for who really murdered Resnick. 


These books are great because they have some very funny, improbable moments and yet, they increase vocabulary. I like them on Kindle because you can turn on the vocabulary booster and it will provide definitions on words that you don't know or read with a dictionary handy. I love that I can assign the books to my girls and they will learn some words that they didn't know before and in the process increase their own vocabularies. 



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