In Gone Gull by Donna Andrews, Meg Langslow is helping her grandmother, Cordelia, open a craft center on Biscuit Mountain. Because of other groups that have taken advantage of artisans, artists have expressed reluctance to get involved until Meg and her entire family sign up to teach classes in things like blacksmithing, nature photography, flower arranging, and children’s theater. Soon artisans of all media sign up to teach, and Cordelia succeeds in hiring an amazing chef to make things even more desirable for students. But when the students and teachers arrive for their first week, a vandal damages work in many of the art rooms. Meg works hard to prevent more problems during the second week, and in the midst of her rounds early one morning, she comes upon the stabbed body of the rude and abrasive painting teacher, Edward Prine.
This starts an investigation into the murder, enlisting Meg’s medical examiner father, her crime scene investigator cousin Horace, and her computer technician nephew. In the meantime, Meg’s famous zoologist grandfather discovers that a painting by Prine was modeled after some gulls thought to be extinct 100 years earlier. So Dr. Blake spends his time wildly chasing after this gull.
Gone Gull is certainly a fun book in its continuation of the Meg Langslow series. However, it lacks some of the special touches of the other books, especially since it doesn’t contain some of the previous beloved characters and gives others only small roles. I did not find the conclusion as satisfying as other books in this series, either.
Bernadette Dunne performs the audio edition of this book and makes it highly enjoyable. I have loved all her performances of this series, but she seems to get better as the series progresses. She continues to use effective voices for each character and strong expressions.
Gone Gull was a good book, especially compared to other books by writers other than Andrews, but it does not measure up to the high quality of the series in general. I still highly enjoyed the book and give it four stars.
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