Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon (Meg Langslow Mystery # 4) - Funniest ending to a mystery I've ever read!

Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon  - Donna Andrews

This might be my favorite book of the series to date. I loved the new cast of characters, the enclosed setting, and the humor. I was afraid I'd wake LL with my laughter.


Meg and Michael are making do with the Cave, a tiny one room where their sofa is their bed and you can hold the hand of the person in the bathroom from the kitchen. Her workspace isn't' better and she damages her left hand. But her brother Rob's computer game company, Mutant Wizards, needs a receptionist and he needs someone to check out if anything odd is going on. Meg meets the lunatics running the asylum (in other places known as programmers),

"Our computer security staff have logged thousands of attempts to break into our system," Liz said. "Fortunately they're highly qualified individuals."

"The main qualification seems to be that they have to be paranoid as rabid wolverines, to the point that they wouldn't trust their own mothers," I added. "And these guys are; they're very good."

their corporate lawyer, the therapists who dislike sharing the office space with the hooligans, and George - the one winged buzzard - the office mascot.

Patients [of the therapists], on the other hand, always tried to act as if George didn't exist, or as if there were nothing out of the ordinary about sharing a waiting room with a live buzzard. Perhaps they thought it was some kind of Rorschach test, and if they mentioned it, someone would immediately say, "That's a good question. Why do you think we have a buzzard in our waiting room?"

Meg's main jobs seem to be answering the phones, herding "cats", and feeding George microwaved mice. Until one game designer, who liked to ride the automated mail cart, is found on it dead, with a mouse cord wrapped around his neck.Once again a family member, Rob, is in the police's sight. Once again, Meg does what she has to in order to protect her family.


I liked the, mostly break from Meg's family. They are fun but I loved getting to know the men and women passionate about Lawyer's from Hell; I also appreciate the author carrying the idea from the first book through all of them. I enjoyed how the author changed the dynamic between Michael and Meg. Having him film in California had Meg doing much on her own but still talking it out with him and Michael actually still manages to be quite involved. Their long distance relationship was shown realistically and Michael wasn't just shoved to the side and forgotten.

I awoke to find myself gazing into the glassy eyes of a moth-eaten taxidermied moose.

"Meg! Answer me!" it pleaded in a small, hollow voice.

"Yes?" I said.

Apparently the moose didn't hear me...I glanced down and saw my cell phone lying in the grass beside the moose's cheek.

And it was hilarious. Once I burst out in a full belly laugh before remembering how late it was and tried to stifle it. This all culminated in the reveal of the killer (who completely surprised me - I'd guessed some other mini-mysteries but had no idea who'd done it). I have a page of quotes just from that scene and the continuation of the...flood was simply perfect.



After the third night of sneaking into the building to look for clues, when each time she did multiple people turned out to be there after hours, Meg and her dad figured out where Ted (the victim) had been sending the automated cart. This lead them to realize Liz, the company lawyer, had killed him. Just as they figured it out, of course, she's there with a gun to take out "those meddling kids". But what follows is high comedy as the "deserted" building turns into Grand Central Station. In twos and threes various characters come in until the duct taped hostages are lined up two deep! I've never laughed so hard; I don't know who was more ticked off, Liz as more people arrived in the middle of her clean up or Meg as nobody bothers to creep in and manage to surprise the killer.


"Dammit, why the hell are there so many people creeping around here in the middle of the night?" she [Liz] finally snarled, stomping one foot.

Exactly the way I'd felt the previous two nights, when I was trying to skulk around the office that seemed suddenly more heavily populated then it was in the daytime.

But tonight, I was hoping a few more people would show up, and that one of them would manage to get the drop on her.

Of course, to do that, he or she would have to be actually creeping, instead of thrashing around like a drunken giraffe. If you asked me, there wasn't nearly enough people creeping around.


Finally, it's up to George and Spike, the demon dog, to take down the killer. This book has to have the best ending of a mystery EVER!



I headed back to the reception room. Not that I didn't trust Michael to keep Liz neuralized. But Chief Burke had a very big "I told you so," coming, and the way I wanted to deliver it was to have him walk in to find me holding a gun on the real killer.

I never claimed to be subtle.

(show spoiler)



In a series that has been strong from the start, this book truly shown. If you love good mysteries, animals, quirky characters, and witty writing, I can't recommend this series enough.


A few quotes I had to share:


"No, I will not give you Mr. Langslow's home number,...I can take a message, and if you rephrase that last remark a little more politely, I just might remember to give it to him. What was that? Thank you - the feeling is mutual."


"You have the right to remain silent," he intoned, and then he gave the entire Miranda warning. Not that he seemed to need the card and he didn't rattle it off, either. He paced himself, savoring each word, with the rich, round delivery of a revival tent preacher or an old-fashioned small-town politician. By the time he finished, you wanted to stand up and sing "God Bless America."


Liz was digging in her purse. "Damn," she said. "I could have sworn I brought another clip. I'm not sure I have enough ammo for all these people."


"Don't you just hate that?" I said. "You plan a quiet little murder and all these freeloaders show up."

(show spoiler)