BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Bea Reviews How the Finch Stole Christmas by Donna Andrews

Bea's Book Nook, Review, How the Finch Stole Christmas, Donna Andrews
Series: Meg Lanslow #22
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: October 24th, 2017 
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | iTunes* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

Meg's husband has decided to escalate his one-man show of Dickens' A Christmas Carol into a full-scale production with a large cast including their sons Jamie and Josh as Tiny Tim and young Scrooge and Meg helping as stage manager.

The show must go on, even if the famous―though slightly over-the-hill―actor who's come to town to play the starring role of Scrooge has brought a sleigh-load of baggage and enemies with him. And why is Caerphilly suddenly overrun with a surplus of beautiful caged finches?

How the Finch Stole Christmas! is guaranteed to put the "ho ho hos" into the holidays of cozy lovers everywhere with its gut-bustingly funny mystery.

My Thoughts:

I am so far behind in this series, sigh. But I just couldn't pass this up when the opportunity to review it arose. Fortunately, the story worked even though I was behind. I think it would probably work as a stand alone even if you've read none of the preceding books. Andrews sprinkled in the necessary back info and character info as needed, sparing us an info dump, and making it easy to understand what was going on.

The story was set at Christmas time, and it made effective use of the holiday; it's integral to the story. Andrews also made effective use of the theater. Meg's husband used to be an actor on a TV show. These days he teaches at a university and directs community theater. I always enjoy her stories that feature or make use of his acting.  Not only do we get a behind the scenes glimpse but the authenticity is so strong that I feel like I'm there. Oh, and how could I forget the fan girl? The depiction of both hardcore fans and Internet community was spot on and respectfully handled. Andrews understand the power of fans, of fame, and of bonding.

There were several mysteries going and while I had my suspicions about some matters, Andrews surprised me with some twists. The story lines were original, topical, and entertaining. There were a few places where the story dragged, and the first murder takes place after a slow build up. After that, though, the pace picked up. The mysteries at first seemed disparate but slowly came together and I enjoyed that Meg worked with the police, not in secret or against their wishes. She had reasons for being involved, her involvement made sense, and I liked that.

"How the Finch Stole Christmas" was a entertaining mix of holiday spirit, humor, characterization, and mystery. I had a good time catching up with old friends.

Some favorite quotes:

"I don't think he's a homicidal maniac," I said. "Just a common or garden murderer." "Oh, and that is so much better."

But the stable wasn't unattended. Half a dozen cats sat solemnly in a circle around it, creating the eerie impression that a delegation of Easter Island heads had come along to join the adoration of the magi. Although the effect was rather spoiled by the fact that one of the cats was scrabbling at the manger with his paws, attempting to extract baby Jesus.

"I  have no wish to defy the United States government," Manoj said. "But I have even less wish to disobey your grandfather."  Nice to know he had his priorities straight.


  1. I read one book in this series years ago and have really been wanting to read more. I'm glad to see this can be read as a stand alone! I love all the bird references and I love a few plot twists! I need to get caught up on the rest of this series.

  2. I kept up for 8 or 9 books and since I've read the odd book here and there. It's a good series and Meg is a wonderful character; she's smart, clever, quick-witted, kind, and funny.


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