Donna Andrews really comes through with her seventh book in her “bird series,” No Nest for the Wicket . Meg Langslow’s relative Mrs. Fenniman has decided to organize a croquet tournament, but in her own unique style, she can’t run just any old traditional tournament. She has to hold a tournament of Xtreme croquet, with crazy obstacles taking place in pastures of two acres filled with quicksand, rivers, and “walking wickets,” since players can get points for going through a wicket by sending their ball under any animal in the field. When Meg’s ball gets “roqueted” into a sand trap, she finds the body of a beautiful young woman staring at her, but no one in the tournament claims any knowledge of the victim.
Then Michael, Meg’s drama professor fiance, comes home and recognizes the victim as his ex-girlfriend. Fortunately, Michael has an alibi, but his explanation of Lindsey, the victim, reveals that almost everyone in the tournament had known her during her year as a history lecturer at Caerphilly College.
The case seems to involve a battle over a proposed new outlet mall that might be located next door to Meg and Michael’s new farm. This then gets wrapped up in a historical enigma, the Civil War’s Battle of Pruitt’s Ridge, which might have taken place at the proposed development site. But then why had Lindsey been so interested in the topic and hinting that she could show anomalies about it if not given her way in other matters?
As in the other books in this series that have been recorded, Bernadette Dunne does a fine job of performing the narration of this book.
No Nest for the Wicket is one of the best books in this series. Not only is the premise of Xtreme Croquet so wildly ridiculous as to be hilarious, the angles the investigation takes, as they uncover first one person and then another who knew Lindsey, is done very creatively. The historical research also made this book extra enjoyable. I give this book five stars and eagerly await the audio releases of the other books yet to be recorded.
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