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Stork raving mad [text (large print)] : a Meg Langslow mystery / Donna Andrews.

By: Andrews, Donna.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookSeries: Andrews, Donna. Meg Langslow mysteries: ; Andrews, Donna. Meg Langslow mysteries: 12.; Andrews, Donna. Meg Langslow mystery (Holland, Ohio): Publisher: Waterville, Me. : Thorndike Press, 2010Edition: Large print edition.Description: 397 pages (large print) ; 23 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781410428745; 1410428745.Subject(s): Langslow, Meg (Fictitious character) -- Fiction | Pregnant women -- Fiction | College teachers -- Fiction | Doctoral students -- Fiction | Dramatists -- Fiction | Murder -- Investigation -- Fiction | Large type books | Women detectives -- FictionGenre/Form: Detective and mystery fiction. | Humorous fiction. | Large type books. | Humourous fiction.DDC classification: 813/.54 Summary: Meg is eight-and-a-half months pregnant with twins when she and Michael host a Spanish playwright for the production of his play by one of Michael's graduate students. Then enters the dean of the English department and a man from the college president's office, who say Michael's student is not allowed to do his dissertation and that the play must be canceled. While discussing this, the dean is found murdered. Meg's house becomes a crime scene, and the only way to restore peace is to help Chief Burke solve the murders--while rescuing the student's dissertation and Michael's tenure--all before dashing off to the hospital to give birth to her twins!
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Meg Langslow is pregnant with twins when Michael asks if she wouldn't mind having a houseguest. One of his doctoral students is directing his new translation of a play by a minor Spanish playwright, who has agreed to come to town for the production. Surely they can spare some room for such an important academic cause? Senor Mendoza turns out to be a partygoer who loves to spend raucous evenings among adoring students...at La Casa Langslow. Into this chaos arrives the dean of the English department, who insists the play be canceled. Then the unthinkable happens: The dean is found murdered, and Meg's house has become a crime scene. Now it's up to Meg to help Chief Burke solve the murders, rescue the student's dissertation, make sure Michael doesn't lose tenure, and, while she's at it, give birth to twins. "Encore! Encore!"

Meg is eight-and-a-half months pregnant with twins when she and Michael host a Spanish playwright for the production of his play by one of Michael's graduate students. Then enters the dean of the English department and a man from the college president's office, who say Michael's student is not allowed to do his dissertation and that the play must be canceled. While discussing this, the dean is found murdered. Meg's house becomes a crime scene, and the only way to restore peace is to help Chief Burke solve the murders--while rescuing the student's dissertation and Michael's tenure--all before dashing off to the hospital to give birth to her twins!

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Excerpt provided by Syndetics

Chapter 1 "Meg? Are you asleep?" I kept my eyes closed while I pondered my answer. If I said "Yes," would my husband, Michael, understand that I was only expressing how much my sleep-deprived body craved a few minutes of oblivion? No, I'd probably just sound cranky. I felt cranky. Most women occasionally do when they're eight-and-a-half months pregnant, especially with twins. Any woman who says otherwise has obviously never been pregnant. "Meg?" "I'm thinking about it." I opened one eye and saw Michael's tall, lean frame silhouetted in the bedroom doorway. He was holding a small brown paper bag in one hand. "If that bag contains chocolate, then I'm definitely not asleep." "Chocolate chip cookies from Geraldine's," Michael said, shaking the bag enticingly. "Okay, I'm awake," I said. "It's not as if Heckle and Jeckle were going to let me get any sleep anyway." I began the laborious process of hauling myself upright. Michael cleared some junk off the little folding table by my side of the bed, produced a plate from somewhere, poured half a dozen enormous soft chocolate chip cookies onto it, and placed a large glass of cold milk beside it. Then he pulled the curtains open, revealing that it was still fairly early in the morning, and a dreary gray winter morning at that. "At times like this, I'm particularly glad I married you," I said, reaching for a cookie. "So what's the reason for this bribe?" "There has to be a reason?" He snagged a cookie for himself and pulled a chair up to the other side of the table. "As busy as you usually are in December grading exams and reading term papers and all that other end-of-semester stuff faculty have to do at the college, you still went all the way to Geraldine's for cookies?" "Okay, there's a reason." He paused, then frowned as if puzzled. I took a big bite of cookie and washed it down with a swig of milk, to brace myself. Michael was rarely at a loss for words, so what ever he wanted to say must be momentous. "Is it okay if we have another house guest?" he finally asked. He sounded so anxious that I looked up in surprise. "Is that all?" I said through a mouthful of cookie. His face relaxed into something more like its usual calm good humor. "Michael, I haven't the slightest idea how many house guests we have already. There's Rob--" "Your brother's not exactly a house guest," Michael put in. "After two years, I think he qualifies as a resident." "And Cousin Rose Noire--" "Also more like a resident, unless you've changed your mind about accepting her offer to stay on and help us through that difficult adjustment to having the twins around." "Right now, I have no objection if she stays on long enough to help us through the difficult adjustment to sending them off to college." I reached for a second cookie. "But there's still my grandfather, and of course all those displaced drama department students filling up the spare rooms and camping out in the living room. How many of them do we have, anyway?" He frowned again. "Maybe a dozen?" he said. "Or a dozen and a half?" "Seems like more," I said. "There are at least a dozen sleeping in the living room." "Two dozen, then," he said. Still probably a conservative estimate. "More or less. And before you ask, I have no idea how much longer they'll be here. Last time I heard, some critical piece of equipment down at the college heating plant was still in a million pieces on the floor, and the dean of facilities was running around with a harried look on his face and a bottle of Tums in his pocket." I heard a series of thuds and thumps in the hallway. A month ago I'd have gone running to see what was happening, or at least sent Michael to check. Our weeks of living with students underfoot had made us blasé about such noises. "You'd think a big place like Caerphilly College could figure out how to get a boiler repaired," I said. "It's been--what, three weeks now?" "Three weeks tomorrow." Michael took another cookie. "Not that I'm counting or anything. Meanwhile, the whole campus is still without heat. And from the temperatures the weatherman is predicting next week, you'd think we lived in Antarctica instead of Virginia." "Which means the students stay for the foreseeable future," I said. "And since the Caerphilly Inn is also full to overflowing with displaced students, and Grandfather can't get the suite he usually stays in when he comes to town, we're stuck with him, too. With all that going on, what's one more person?" "You're a trouper," Michael said, with a smile that could have convinced me to invite the entire freshman class to move in. I heard the crash of something breaking downstairs in the hall. I winced out of habit, even though I knew nearly everything of ours that the students could possibly have broken had long ago been locked up in the basement or the attic. By the time I got downstairs, the student would have picked up the broken object, what ever it was, and Rose Noire would probably have washed, waxed, and polished the patch of floor on which it had fallen. "So who's our newest house guest?" I asked. "Remember Ramon Soto?" he asked. "One of my grad students?" "The one who's been holding his play rehearsals in our library? Yes. I thought he was already living here." "He is. As is most of his cast. Makes it convenient. Anyway, the play's part of his dissertation project. He's doing it on Ignacio Mendoza, the Spanish playwright." Was Mendoza someone famous? The Spanish equivalent of Shakespeare, or Shaw, or at least Neil Simon? The name didn't sound familiar, but one side effect of pregnancy, at least for me, was that my hormone-enriched brain temporarily jettisoned every single bit of information it didn't think was useful in my present situation. At least I hoped it was temporary. "Ignacio Mendoza?" I said aloud. "Is that a name I should recognize?" "Not unless you're a fan of obscure mid-twentieth-century Spanish playwrights," Michael said. He finished his cookie and moved to sit on the foot of the bed. "For Ramon's dissertation project, in addition to the critical study on Mendoza, he's done a new translation of one of Mendoza's plays and is directing it. And one thing he discovered while doing his research is that, to everyone's amazement, Mendoza is still alive." "Why amazement?" "Because most people thought Generalissimo Franco had Mendoza shot back in the fifties." He picked up my right foot and began massaging it. I closed my eyes, the better to enjoy the foot rub. Carrying around an extra fifty or more pounds does a number on your arches. "Apparently he just went to ground in Catalonia and kept a low profile for the last sixty years," Michael added. "Sixty years?" I echoed. "How old is he, anyway?" "Nearly ninety. Which is why Ramon thought it was pretty safe to invite him to come to the opening night of the play. He just assumed the old guy would be flattered and send polite regrets. No one ever expected Mendoza to accept--and at the last possible moment. We've managed to scrape up some money from the department to pay for his airfare, but even if we had enough to cover a hotel stay--" "Every single hotel room in town is full of refugee students," I said. "Plus every spare room in just about every private house. I'd have thought we were pretty full ourselves." "The students are going to rearrange themselves to free up a room," Michael said. Aha. That probably explained the earlier thumps and thuds, along with the dragging noises I could hear out in the hall. Michael switched to my left foot. "We're also going to swap a few of our drama students who aren't in the play for a few more Spanish-speaking students," he went on. "That way there will always be someone around to translate for Señor Mendoza. And the students will chauffeur him around and cook for him or take him out to eat--in fact, your grandfather's promised to help as well. And if he's in his eighties, how much trouble can Señor Mendoza be?" I thought of pointing out that even though my grandfather was over ninety, he regularly stirred up quite a lot of trouble. Of course, trouble was a way of life for Dr. Montgomery Blake, world famous zoologist, gadfly environmentalist, and animal-welfare activist. Why was Grandfather offering to help entertain our guest, anyway? Did he consider the elderly playwright a kind of endangered species? But I had to admit, Michael had done everything possible to make sure our potential house guest wouldn't cause me any work or stress. "So it's really all right if we host Señor Mendoza?" he asked. "It's fine. The more the merrier. Wait a minute--the play opens Friday and it's already Wednesday. How soon is he arriving?" Michael glanced at his watch. "In about half an hour."   Excerpted from Stork Raving Mad by Donna Andrews. Copyright  2010 by Donna Andrews. Published in 2010 by Minotaur Books. All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher. Excerpted from Stork Raving Mad: A Meg Langslow Mystery by Donna Andrews All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Publishers Weekly Review

In Agatha-winner Andrews's wacky 12th Meg Langslow mystery (after 2009's Swan for the Money), chaos erupts in the crowded household of expectant parents-to-be Meg Langslow and her husband, Caerphilly College associate professor Michael Waterston. Not only are they hosting numerous students made temporarily homeless due to a broken college heating plant but their library becomes a crime scene after the murder of English department diva Jean Wright. At first, it appears Wright received a fatal blow from an Egyptian fertility goddess statue, though later evidence suggests she was poisoned. The victim had arrived with Dr. Enrique Blanco of administrative services to inform Ramon Soto, a student of Michael's, that they are canceling the performance of his dissertation topic, an obscure "anti-Franco, anti-Fascist" play, because it contains "offensive and unsuitable material." Hilarity ensues as Meg refuses to let her pregnancy prevent her from catching a surprising killer. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Booklist Review

It seems impossible, but once again Meg Langslow's home has been invaded by tons of eccentric characters. Regular readers of Andrews' series, of course, have long recognized that such occurrences are business as usual in Caerphilly, Virginia. It's not enough that Meg and husband Michael are expecting twins any day, and that the usual family members are running in and out of the home, but they are also hosting a couple of dozen displaced drama students. You'd think the college could somehow get the heating plant fixed, but remember this is Meg's wacky world. Meg and Michael are also playing host to the eccentric Spanish playwright whose play is being produced by one of Michael's graduate students. Trouble starts for real when the dean of the college English department announces that the play must be canceled. Next thing you know, the dean is dead, and Meg's house has become a crime scene. Naturally, Meg must help Chief Burke solve the crime. This is the twelfth entry in a long-running series that gets better all the time. A fine blend of academic satire, screwball comedy, and murder.--Coon, Judy Copyright 2010 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

The stork races the meat wagon to blacksmith Meg Langslow's house.When you're eight-and-a-half months pregnant, much of what's going on around you seems surreal. For Meg Langslow, who's used to dealing with both mysteries and menageries (Swan for the Money, 2009, etc.), it's all monkey business as usual, except that this time the zoo's population is humans, two of them the twins she's about to deliver. A breakdown in Caerphilly College's heating system has led her husband, Prof. Michael Waterston, to offer the hospitality of his basement and other domestic spaces to half a dozen students rehearsing Ramon Soto's staging of a play by persecuted mid-century Spanish playwright Ignacio Mendoza, who predictably turns up as the latest and oldest houseguest. Hot on his heels follow Dr. Jean Wright, a colleague who sits on Michael's promotion committee, and Dr. Enrique Blanco, the college president's pet administrator. Driven by an irrational hatred of the drama program, Dr. Wright announces that the topic of Ramon's dissertation research, duly approved long ago, is unacceptable and demands that he cancel the production. Hardly have the interested parties begun hurling insults at each other when Meg stumbles over Dr. Wright's dead body. You won't believe how she's been killed.The 12th installment in the unending farce of Meg's domestic adventures is not so much funny as frantic, with the overgalvanized cast members constantly upstaged by the unborn twins, whom Meg variously dubs Hansel and Gretel, Boris and Natasha and Butch and Sundance.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.