In Stork Raving Mad by Donna Andrews, Meg Langslow is weighed down by twins due any day and a house completely full with at least two dozen drama students and a bunch of computer student interns crowded into sleeping bags in every spare room. The furnace in Caerphilly College has been broken for over a month, creating frigid conditions unsafe for the student living facilities, so Meg and Michael are doing their part to help with the crisis by letting many of Michael’s drama students hunker down in their home. Then, Dr. Wright, an English department dean, and Dr. Blanco, an employee of the administrative services department, arrive unannounced to see doctoral candidate Ramon Soto. The student has translated and will be directing a play by Señor Mendoza, a Spanish playwright heretofore believed killed by Franco but who has arrived to see the play, adding another visitor to Meg and Michael’s house.
The pair have arrived to announce that because the drama department is a sub-department of the English department, Ramon’s dissertation must be disqualified. After all, despite the fact that Ramon’s own work is in English, the source material came from Spanish, and they are an English department. Upset at what seems to be yet another attack on the drama department, Meg gets Michael, who risks putting his own tenure on the line by organizing a meeting with the two drama professors who were given tenure years before the English department started its attacks on the drama department. Dr. Wright and Dr. Blanco go to separate parts in the house to work on their own issues before the drama professors arrive for the planned meeting. When the drama professors arrive and get ready for the meeting, Meg goes to inform Dr. Wright they are all ready, but finds her dead, apparently of a blow to the head.
Stork Raving Mad is the 12th book in the Meg Langslow series and just as much fun as the other books in the series. I especially had fun hearing how Meg and Michael, deciding not to know the sex(es) of the twins, call them silly names of pairs, such as Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, Rosencranz and Gildenstern, or Woodward and Bernstein. Meg’s descriptions of having to deal with carrying twins also have plenty of humor to them.
The plot of this book has lots of great angles to it, and it really keeps us guessing as to the identity of the murderer, jumping from suspect to suspect as the plot develops. There are so many creative twists to the book that I was kept drawn to the book, only reluctantly putting it down for a few minutes. I have enjoyed every book in this delightful series, but this is an especially strong one.
As with all the books in the series, the characters really keep this book fun. Not only do we get all the usual creative, vividly drawn characters, but we get plenty of fun new characters to add to the cast list. The situation of dozens of students living in the house, added to the lively character of Señor Mendoza, gives us lots of people to enjoy.
Bernadette Dunne continues as narrator of this audiobook series. She serves as a terrific narrator, giving real life to the book. Dunne uses such great expression as she reads, using strong timing and inflections. She also uses creative voices for each character, which is especially valuable for this book because of the many unique characters.
I really loved listening to Stork Raving Mad. This book exemplifies the madcap fun of the series and keeps us guessing about the murderer and also about Meg’s babies, as we wonder about their sexes and real names (since I rather doubt they will be named Chip and Dale!). I give this book five stars.
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