Hen of the Baskervilles - Donna Andrews

Another enjoyable adventure with Meg Langslow. In this episode, Meg is in charge of the logistics for the Caerphilly UnFair, which is in danger of destruction by theft and vandalism. A quilt has gone missing, a pumpkin has been smashed, and animals, including some heritage chickens, are disappearing from the fair grounds. The game is afoot--or possibly awing--and Meg is determined to get to the bottom of the shenanigans.

As always, I have issues with some of the cozy mystery tropes that Andrews employs. This is one of those series that I wish could content itself with being a mystery rather than a murder mystery. I'd eagerly read about the Curious Case of the Crushed Cucurbita, or the Question of the Disappearing Quilt, or the Chickens that Did Not Cluck in the Night-Time, or anything else that Andrews can dish out. But to me, murder always has a certain weight and tragedy that is a poor fit for Andrews' ebullient style.

Even so, these books are like candy, and the pros far outweigh the cons. I love Meg as a character. She is a ridiculously good-natured person, to the point that one of the series' ongoing jokes is how many people end up enlisting her aid, but her practicality and sense of humour make her appealing rather than saccharine.

Plus, this book involves a llama costume contest, including a dragon/Viking llama pair. Just saying.