Cover Image: Between a Flock and a Hard Place

Between a Flock and a Hard Place

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It is hard to believe that an author can keep getting better after so many books, but Between a Flock and a Hard Place, the 35th novel in Donna Andrews Meg Langslow series is the best yet and it isn't even one of my beloved Christmas ones. A strong sense of community and wonderful, and often unexpected, characters enhance by the humor make each investigation stand out and hold my attention beyond the typical cozy mystery. Death and a turkey invasion challenge the first responders of the small town of Caerphilly (I pronounce it Carefully) and our favorite blacksmith and amateur sleuth, Meg Langslow, but nothing stops them from helping their neighbors or stops her from finding out who killed a man who destroyed a neighborhood home in the name of reality television.
My thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books for allowing me to read an ARC of the delightful Between a Flock and a Hard Place. The Pomeranians alone make the books worth reading and they are small part of what makes this book and others in the series a must read.

#NetGAlley #StMartinsPress #MinotaurBooks #MegLangslow #DonnaAndrews

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This is really a 3.5 star book. Thanks to
#St. Martin's Press | #Minotaur Books for letting me read the egalley of this book in return for my honest review. #NetGalley It will be out Aug 06 2024 so is now available for preorder or library holds -- still in time for a beach read.

This is a good, quick visit with Meg Langslow and her assorted family and friends. There's less focus on some of the stock characters and humor, and more focus on the story -- which does involve over 200 feral turkeys who are interfering with a home makeover show in one of the usually quiet blocks of the town. This keeps Meg and Mayor Shiffley more than occupied -- even before there is a murder.

I read it in a day, and it kept my attention. I enjoy the quick and breezy pace and the characters and the town. I think it could also work for people who are not series fans, as it doesn't require or provide a lot of backstory, so it might be a good place to begin for people who don't want to go back to [book:Murder with Peacocks|545766]


I'm gratified that Ms. Andrews, while not completely able to back off this type of ending, at least didn't have Meg walk alone into danger only to be rescued by a man. Finally. Perhaps she can work out a completely original ending for the next trip into birdland.

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Donna Andrews and her Meg Langslow mysteries are reliably well-done cozy mysteries with strong clues and sneaky red herrings. Add a large crazy family and an interesting selection of animals and you are bound to have a fun few hours of reading.

In this installment, (35th in the series, but can definitely stand alone, too) there is a collision between a shady reality show, a very cranky neighbor and a large herd of feral turkeys. As the mayor’s go-to person for handling random problems, Meg must keep everyone’s temper from flaring as she confronts noisy construction, spying neighbors, and turkey poo while trying to figure out a murder.

As always, I love the care that Meg has for her friends, family, neighbors and town. She is smart and willing to get her hands dirty, but she doesn’t run into danger without thinking or letting someone know where she is going. She is generous, but not a perfect person as is most of the other supporting cast. The complex characters and their relationships are what keep me returning to this series. On top of that, these books are very funny—I never realized a turkey could seem both menacing and goofy at the same time.

The one thing I noticed in this particular novel, and it may be because I had an early reader’s copy that has not perhaps been fully edited, but on several occasions, there would be two people having a conversation, and a third would chime in that I had no idea was in the vicinity. It was strange and took me out of the story.

All in all, this was great fun and highly enjoyable.
Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the free digital copy.

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Donna Andres is my go to author for a "feel good" read. Her Meg Langslow series has never failed me. Even now, in the 35th book of the series, the characters -- and there are many -- remain individuals with well-defined quirks and tendencies, albeit they do manage to surprise us from time to time. There seems to always be something going on in Caerphilly and Meg perpetually remains busy, busy, busy, but always seems to find time for a friend or to help out the Chief with problem solving or, oops, helping nab a killer. And, as always, I marvel that she seems to remain the calm in the middle of chaos, whether facing down attack turkeys or a murderer. More amazingly, Andrews fills her books with humor and laugh-out--loud scenes that you're usually just glad aren't happening to you.

I won't really detail the plot. It's a twisty one that, quite frankly, starts with the invasion of a hoard of feral turkeys. Yes, Meg encounters them. Seriously, was there any doubt she'd wind up in the midst of some homicidal turkeys? The real question, of course, well, after "How do we get rid of them?" is how and why they've invaded a neighborhood to begin with. Is there a connection to the, uh, remodel being down at the Smetkamp home? Never mind it's more like the destruction of rather than remodel. Who killed the not at all likable Mrs. Smetkamp? Murder aside, we become immersed in turkey control/removal efforts and all I can say is that Benny, the Amazon delivery guy, deserves a medal. I bet he'll especially relish his next turkey feast.

And, there's more, much, much more. Let's see, I haven't mentioned the cyber crime, FBI involvement, unlikely cadaver/scent dogs, flatulence studies (Grandfather is always up to something scientific), sketchy reality show, out-of-work crews, stolen trucks, garden club, invasive plants, a quick history on state songs, Virginia's in particular, and, oh, so much, much more. There is rarely a dull moment in Caerphilly and Meg is usually right in the middle of it.

Read this one if you need a laugh or simply enjoy a fun mystery with more twists and turns and distractions than you can count. You're going to love the characters, from Benny the Amazon delivery guy to Kevin the cyber genius who often helps Meg make sense of what she's seeing on her screen, even if she doesn't quite understand it all. Thanks #NetGally and #MinotaurBooks - #StMartin'sPress for the virtual invite to drop in on Meg again in the always charming but eccentric Caerphilly. Having had a domesticated turkey, thus far smaller than these, launch itself at my car tire once, I could relate all too well to the awe of being the target of homicidal attack turkeys. Needless to say, I didn't get out of my car. Grin. And, oh, yeah, a virtual "Yes!" for Vern's decision at the end.

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Thank you for the EArc St Martins Press/Minotaur Books and NetGalley. If you’ve never read a Donna Andrew’s book, what are you waiting for? The stories are fun who done it mysteries that incorporate a small town, family and creatures great and small. I love seeing what adventures Meg is going to get into next. Always a great read.

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Caerphilly residents, Mr. and Mrs. Smetkamp, have won the opportunity to have their home remodeled on the reality show Marvelous Mansions. It’s a few days into the remodel project and tensions are running high between Mrs. Smetkamp, her neighbors, the production crew, and various remodelers. The house has also been “renovated” to the point that it is no longer habitable and possibly unfixable. Meg Langslow, in her official capacity as assistant to the mayor, is on site to help keep the peace. Things are made even more complicated when a team of pranksters lure Caerphilly’s flock of feral turkeys to the Smetkamp’s yard. Production is shut down so that the turkeys can be rounded out and relocated to the local zoo. While helping with the turkey round-up, Meg finds Mrs. Smetkamp’s body in the backyard. There are plenty of suspects with valid motive to have stabbed Mrs. Smetkamp to death. Once again, Meg gets caught up in the investigation. In her pursuit to find Mrs. Smetkamp’s murderer, she uncovers several other crimes.

BETWEEN A FLOCK AND A HARD PLACE is a hilarious addition to the Meg Langslow series. The book did get off to a bit of a slow start. The focus was on the feral turkeys and their invasion of the neighborhood. While hilarious, it did take a while to get around to the murder. Mrs. Smetkamp is extremely unlikable, and it’s understandable why someone would want to kill her. The addition of the other crimes was intriguing, and it kept the second half of the book moving.

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The latest in the Meg Langslow bird books. That's how I think of them the bird books. This time the bird is feral turkeys. I never knew there was such a thing. They added a comic undertone to this story. But back to the story. Meg's neighbors have been selected to be on one of those home remodeling shows for a local company. They end up making the house worse than it was. Not to mention a dead body ended up at the remodel site. Leave it to Meg and her family to flesh out the culprit and troubleshoot for the town. Not to mention figure out a way to take all those turkeys to her grandfather's zoo. Who knew turkeys were so funny. This is one of my favorites in this series of books. I wish I lived in Meg's neighborhood too, seems like there is never a dull moment.

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The Smetkamps have won a home makeover in their house on Bland Street. Marvelous Mansions is a reality show that brings historic homes modern. When they are about to start renovations a herd of feral turkeys descends on the neighborhood halting production and construction. Then the dead body of Mrs. Smetkamp is found. Meg and the police must find the culprits.

I really enjoyed this mystery. It started off a bit slow but once the mystery started I got more involved. I love this series and how Meg helps everyone. I'm hoping one day I will be able to read the whole series including the first 30 books. 😉😍

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When I know there is a new book in this series, I count down the days until I have it to read! And despite this being such a long-running series, I feel the author is so creative coming up with new mysteries for Meg to solve.

This book starts with a home improvement show filming their remodel on a house near the college. Meg has heard all the complaints until this latest one - someone has moved 200 feral turkeys from the woods to in front of this house! The turkeys are not friendly, and they begin to wreck havoc on the lawns as well as attack anyone who gets in their way.

Meg and Randall, the mayor, work together to come up with a plan to move the turkeys to the local zoo. However, on the morning they execute their plan, Meg finds the body of the homeowner, Mrs. Smetkamp, in the back shed. Mrs. Smetkamp was not an easy person to work with, so the suspects are plenty.

Can Meg find the killer before they find her?

Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for an advanced copy of this book.

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Renegade turkeys, a home renovation makeover, turkey wranglers and a murder - all in a day's work for Meg Langslow and her Caerphilly crew.

I love all of Donna Andrews books but this one had me trying to solve the mystery while laughing so hard, I'm sure my family wondered what was going on. The mystery keeps you reading and the humor and eccentric characters of Meg's world keep you laughing and enjoying the relationships and helping nature of almost all of the small town.residents The scene describing the turkey retrieval was so much fun and all the loose ends were tied up nicely in the end. I can say, I'll never look at an umbrella the same way! LOL!

If you're in the mood for an entertaining mystery with humor, this is a great choice!

The opinions expressed in this review are my own and I received an ARC from NetGalley.

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Meg isn’t doing much blacksmithing these days, but she is still busy with her extended family and her job as the assistant to the mayor. A house makeover film crew has invaded the town and brought chaos to a sedate and traditional neighborhood. Much of what the homeowner and the producer want isn’t allowed by the city. Then, one night a huge flock of wild turkeys shows up in the house’s yard and more hilarity ensues. While wrangling the turkeys, a body is discovered and now there is a murder to solve.
Nothing is easy as there is a mysterious, weird renter in the attic next door, a nutty former owner of the house who keeps tabs on the place, a house makeover by a producer who knows nothing about construction, and a murder victim who was disliked by literally everyone.
I had a suspicion as to the solution to the mystery early on, but the story is so much fun to read that it didn’t matter and I loved the way everything was tied up in the end.
Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the ARC.

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The Meg Langslow Mystery series is one of my very top favorite series, and I was thrilled to read an advanced copy of Between a Flock & a Hard Place.

Meg Langslow, bless her, is once again in the thick of things - this time a flock of feral turkeys that has been dumped at the site of a historic home slated for renovation for a reality TV show. The homeowner, Mrs. Smetkamp, is demanding, officious, and expects Meg to solve all the problems. The home renovation crew is pushing the limits of the building codes, and are about to destroy the house instead of renovating it. Meg’s problem-solving skills are put to the test when her plan of a crew of turkey-wranglers arrives in the wee hours of the morning to round up the turkeys…only to find the body of Mrs. Smetkamp stuffed in a shed. Who is the trouble-making prankster who brought the feral turkeys to a residential neighborhood? Where has the director of the project disappeared to? Who is the killer?

This is the 35th book in this award-winning mystery series, and a very welcome entry. Of course each book can be read as a standalone, but it’s such a delightful series that I highly recommend reading all the books. The series is populated by wonderfully quirky characters that I’ve come to know and love across the range of books. There is always a bird theme involved, and this one is hilarious with the feral turkeys.

The author, Donna Andrews, is brilliant at keeping each book fresh, with plenty of humor, plot twists, and crafting a puzzling mystery. I want to live in Caerphilly, be BFFs with Meg, and just immerse myself in this world.

Thank you to St. Martins Press and Netgalley for the privilege of reading an advanced copy.

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I look forward to every single book by Donna Andrews. Her cozy mysteries are simply a delight and all the Meg Langslow characters in Caerphilly are so much fun. BETWEEN A FLOCK AND A HARD PLACE has to be in my top five favorite books in the series. Between the troublesome turkeys and the incompetent home improvement show, this one was just a hoot!

Meg’s neighbors, the Smetkamps, have won a home makeover. But things aren’t going well. Not only are the neighbors upset, but the renovations aren’t up to code… and then there is the giant flock of feral turkeys that has invaded their yard. Every cozy mystery series has a theme, and Donna Andrews knocks it out of the park with quirky bird appearances in every book, from peacocks to toucans to falcons. The turkeys manage to cause quite a bit of chaos, which is hilarious to read on page, and as Meg and her friends are trying to help their neighbors, the question remains… how did the turkeys get there?

Just as they think they may be coming up with a plan to snatch the turkeys, they find the body of poor Mrs. Smetkamp… and then Meg not only has to figure out who set the turkeys loose on the neighborhood, but who killed her neighbor, and if the two crimes are related. I enjoyed this one. The mysteries are always well plotted with good clues that are not easy to figure out and keep you guessing all the way to the very end! I can’t wait for the next Meg Langslow mystery! 5/5 stars.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary ARC copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books and NetGalley for review purposes.

(I will share this review on my socials when we get closer to publication date. Loved it!)

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I only discovered Donna Andrews’ books about a year and a half ago, and I’ve enjoying them immensely ever since.
This book is no exception. There isn’t really any blacksmithing, and some supporting characters are only mentioned in passing, but it’s an interesting change from a cast of thousands to barely more than a dozen.
A home improvement show is filming an episode in one of the quaint older neighborhoods when a flock of turkeys is let loose on the front lawn of the home slated for renovation. The town comes up with a plan for capturing the birds, but in the middle of the round-up, the woman who lives there is found murdered. As a woman who has spent her life fixing things, Meg Langslow is right in the thick of things.
There’s plenty of humor, great characters, a well-established community, and a few wildcards just to keep things interesting.
Oh, and Meg’s grandfather and her cousin are looking for ways to reduce the methane emissions of sheep!
From the previous books, I already knew what Horace, Randall, the chief and other characters were like, but I would have enjoyed a few more nuggets about each of them, and I’m not sure whether their character development will be evident to new readers. Of course, the best solution for that is to read ALL the books!
My thanks to NetGalley for making this ARC available. I’m looking forward to getting my print copy in a few months.

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I stayed up way too late two nights in a row to finish this book. It was funny and fresh and full of unexpected incidents. This is the family everyone dreams of. They are quirky, smart, funny, and so supportive of each other. I can't wait for the next book in the series.

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Thanks to Net Galley for a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.

I love Meg Langslow and this series. This book was one of the best in recent history. A house make over gone bad and a flock of feral turkeys set the stage for a murder ( or two). Some of the usual characters make an appearance along with several talented Pomeranians. I didn’t want it to end.

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Another author where it's not really fair because I'm prejudiced. I've been reading her since the beginning and went to meet her at the Festival of the Book in Charlottesville, and she was very nice and fun. Meg Langslow is one of my favorite literary characters and I've gotten these as gifts because people know I read online and wanted me to have a comfort copy of books they know I like.
There is always a bird theme, and this premise is hilarious: there are aggressive turkeys taking over a neighborhood and nobody knows where they came from. At the same time, there is a supposed home renovation going on that is part of a TV show. Combine these with some odd and interesting new characters, mix with the characters I already know and love, and sit back and watch the fun. As always, I was left satisfied in the end with how things turned out, and I can't wait for the next installment. Thanks to Donna Andrews Minotaur Books, and NetGalley for letting me read this early in exchange for an honest review.

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A home renovation to the point of destruction, a flock of angry relocated feral turkeys, as well as a dead body, left Meg's quiet neighborhood in Caerphilly in turmoil and a tizzy. Finding the turkey movers, the home-wrecking producer, and a killer keeps her, the sheriff, and the deputy busy and distracted as, one by one, the perpetrators are discovered and dealt with.
I recommend between a Flock and a Hard Place as a surprising and entertaining read.

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Andrews will forever be one of my favorite cozy mystery writers. She's done it again with a mystery that is simultaneously twisty and hilarious and oh so compelling. Once I picked up this story, I couldn't put it down. As Meg handles yet another neighborhood crazy situation in handling a sudden turkey infestation, readers meet an intriguing cast of suspects that will leave you guessing at whodunnit. I loved the idea of a home makeover gone wrong and the twist at the end about why the murderer did what they did left me so surprised! Even after 35 books, Andrews leaves me guessing and leaves me wanting more books from the Langslow crew!

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There's a lot going on in the latest Meg Langslow mystery. Another reality show is in town, this one filming a home rennovation for Marvelous Mansions with absolutely no concerns about how their plans are going to inconvenience the rest of the neighborhood or what the local building codes are. Someone has released a huge flock of feral turkeys into the area, terrorizing the locals and the construction crew. And there's been a murder.

This is a well established series with a LOT of characters. I jumped in with the last book (Let It Crow! Let It Crow!) and absolutely loved it, but I had a harder time getting into this one. Maybe it was because it was so fast paced, or maybe because I had a hard time relating to the turkeys. (We've got a local flock that I've never seen as a threat -- are wild turkeys and feral turkeys different critters?) The mystery itself is just complicated enough to be interesting and has a satisfying conclusion. I should really go back and start this series from the beginning.

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