Murder over a Book? “Owls Well that Ends Well”

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Owl's Well that Ends Well by Donna AndrewsIn Owls Well that Ends Well, Meg Langlow has her hands full of junk, and she wants to get rid of it! Her boyfriend, Michael, had bought a house sight-unseen from the heirs of the greatest hoarder on earth, with the stipulation that the heirs will get a percentage of the profits of everything Michael and Meg make by selling the contents. Thus develops the biggest yard sale in the world! Everyone they know seems to want to contribute junk to get rid of at this yard sale, making it the event of the year for most everyone of the small college and farm town of Caerphilly, Virginia.

With people trying to get a jump on nabbing the best items and others getting into fights with fellow shoppers, this yard sale seems to have reached Meg’s limit of what she can tolerate. Then, she notices that people, in particular Gordon-you-thief, the owner of the local rip-off antique store, keep sneaking into the barn, which has been clearly labeled off limits in order not to disrupt the nesting barn owls. When a woman comes to them with a trunk she wants to purchase, but which is locked, they discover the murdered body of Gordon-you-thief stuffed in the trunk, and thus begins a crazy investigation into those who may have confronted the victim. Since Michael is about to come eligible for tenure in a theater department that is a subdivision of the snobby English department that has never awarded tenure to a theater professor, it is crucial to both him and Meg to keep the good will of his committee members. So when the police chief arrests Giles, Michael’s main ally at the university, Meg eagerly rises to Giles’s defense, working hard to untangle the mystery. She even goes so far as to spy on the police chief’s interviews by squeezing into the ancient dumbwaiter, which leads to a really fun scene. The police think Giles committed this murder in a fight over a book, leading to a unique motive that Meg’s father delights over.

This book, the sixth in the series, was just released on audio, performed by Bernadette Dunne, whose narration I really enjoy.

Owls Well that Ends Well is a great representative of Andrews’s bird series, which use fun puns about birds in the titles while incorporating the birds into the story. The books are all witty, and this one concludes with one of the funniest examples of a literal illustration of a literary aphorism. I give this book five stars!

To purchase this book for yourself, click here on Amazon.

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