Dunne, March 2004, 23.95, 304 pp.
Blacksmith Meg Langslow accompanies her fiancÚ, drama professor and actor, Michael to the Friends of Amblyiopia convention though neither wants to attend. Michael has a minor part in the cult hit TV series Porfiria, Queen of the Jungle that requires him to grace several of these events as insisted upon by the executive producer Tamerlaine Wynncliffe-Jones, who also stars in the title role. Michael hopes he can persuade the unpredictable star to give him a break, but expects nothing but grief from QB as everyone calls Tamerlaine behind her back.
Following the release of screeching parrots, someone kills the unpopular star. The police quickly learn that many people associated with the show and some just attending the convention detested the victim. Unable to perch on the sidelines and not trusting the police to follow the real clues amidst a pageant of costumed characters, Meg investigates the murder, unaware that if she learns the truth a buzzard will kill her.
The fifth murder so fowl Langslow amateur sleuth tale is an amusing mystery that pokes fun at hero worship that places stars on pedestals. The only seriousness in this very humorous story line is Meg's inquiries into the homicide. Fans will delight in the zaniness of the support cast whether they are a monkey, parrots protesting their candy cotton candy roles in the TV show, actors who cannot use any pronoun but I, and Meg's wacky family. Still Meg as in the previous terrific bird brained who-done-its is the glue that keeps the plot together. Donna Andrews furbishes a fabulously loony entry in her delightful offbeat series.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner