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Duck the Halls (Meg Langslow #16)

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  1,873 Ratings  ·  250 Reviews
This time, Meg has got herself into a Holy mess!

"A yuletide funfest."—Richmond Times-Dispatch

In Duck the Halls, the brilliantly funny Donna Andrews delivers boughs of holly and barrels of laughs with Meg's latest adventure in her award-winning, New York Times bestselling series. A few nights before Christmas, Meg Langslow is awakened when volunteer fireman Michael is sum
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 30th 2014 by Minotaur Books (first published October 22nd 2013)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 11, 2015 Carly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery
Book Reaction (not a full review)

I think this book may have jinxed me.

The story starts with an unknown prankster leaving a cage full of skunks in the Baptist church.

On two of the nights that I listened to the audiobook on the way home from work, I nearly ran right into a skunk. I am deathly afraid of skunks.

As with the rest of the book, the story is charming, with a boatload of wacky characters and a protagonist who is both sympathetic and humorous. I love visiting Donna Andrews' Caerphilly i
A 3.5 for me because the ending kind of went flat. Quite a few cute parts and funny characters but I think if I knew them better it would have been a more enjoyable read. Comming in in the middle of a series can be tricky that way. A well rounded story about what starts out as harmless pranks turns into a murder investigation. A small town, family and church oriented Christmas story. Skunks and bunnies and snakes, Oh No! Believable characters and good narration kept it going for me.
Carol Stanley-Snow
I LOVED THIS BOOK!!! And i love the author. Such a talent. She must have a wicked sense of humor because her characters are too funny. And, the situations are just belly laugh good!!

Mark Baker
Jan 01, 2014 Mark Baker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, mystery
With the town churches being overrun by a series of pranks, Meg is called in to organize a schedule so all the Christmas concerts and services can still go on as planned. But who is behind the pranks? And why have things escalated to murder?

This is a second Christmas entry in the Meg series, and it was purely delightful. I finished it on Christmas Eve, and it helped put me in the Christmas spirit, yes even with murder involved.

Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
Lara Thoms
Sep 14, 2013 Lara Thoms rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Duck the Halls is a cleverly written Christmas story filled with humor and suspense. The story begins with a call that there were skunks found in the choir loft of a nearby church. Who wouldn't love a story that begins with a bunch of skunks? The author manages to keep the story light and fun while still including a murder mystery. I must say that this is one of the most fun holiday stories I have ever read.
Kathy Davie
Dec 02, 2013 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, funny
Sixteenth in the Meg Langslow humorous mystery series based in Caerphilly, Virginia, and revolving around the village blacksmith and her extended family.

My Take
A sweetly easy mystery with a focus on merry and not-so-merry pranksters and the goodwill and cooperation of truly Christian people as they help each other out. I do love this example of true Christianity with people of different denominations helping each other out so beautifully. Exactly how it should be.

Lucky for Meg, both Michael and
Heather Schmitt
Jun 13, 2014 Heather Schmitt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I NEVER say this about the boatload of mystery series that I read - this series keeps getting better and better with each progressive book! I was worried that after the twins were born , Meg would disappear into mommydom, but it's refreshing to see that while she is a mom, she doesn't lose the part of her that made us faithful readers continue to follow her exploits. That is not to say she ignores the twins: husband Michael is a wonderful,hands-on father, and it's nice to see a wonderful marriag ...more
Nov 27, 2013 Kyrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Definitely one of her better books and it suited me to be reading a Christmas story this time of year.
As much as I enjoyed the mystery (and it was probable), I enjoyed the details of family and small town life, too.
I do wonder about Caerphilly - it seems to have a higher per capita murder rate than any place in the country!

Also, Meg has a gem in Michael - does she EVER take care of thier sons for longer than half an hour?

It was funny, I laughed out loud at the live nativity, and good and made
Oct 25, 2013 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This series is always a fun romp through the family crazy tree...and the Langslows don't let you down in this one. Another fun story, with an interesting twist. Yes, there are some "familiar" pieces to the story here, but let's face it, this is why we read a series. If you're a fan, you won't be disappointed. If you're new to the series, it will make you go back to the beginning to meet all the fun and crazy people in Meg's life.
Sep 24, 2014 Sheila rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Someone is pulling nasty pranks at local churches just before the busy Christmas services. First pranks is a cage full of skunks left in the choir loft. Then a whole group of ducks being locked in the sanctuary of another church. Meg is called upon to help organize where the different churchs could hold their practices and services and finally of course there is a body involved.
Mar 21, 2014 Gloria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is one of my very favorite series. It started with The Revenge of the Wrought Iron Flamingos and has continued through many of the bird families. Meg and her various cast of characters never fail to amuse and solve the murders.
Sep 25, 2014 Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is such a fun series! I really like the huge cast of characters and the dynamics of a big family that is very involved in each others lives. This one had just the right amount of absurdity thrown in.
May 23, 2016 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Appropriate for: age 13+
You will like this book if you like: Mysteries, funny mysteries

Another great installment in the series full of Christmas cheer and lots of animals. No swear words (yay!)
I've been so busy I've barely had a chance to read this month, however, in the short snippets of time I got to read, this was the book I worked on.. This book was excellent and I was pleased with all of it! You can always count on Donna Andrews to write a superb book.
Lots of humor, but didn't do it for me the way this series normally does. A bit over the top on the animals. And its driving me nuts that Meg never takes care of the kids.
Jan 11, 2017 Jeroen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
for someone who loves christmas and murder mystery books, the christmas themed Meg Langslow books are a nice fun read around the christmas period.
Nov 04, 2015 Jamie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In her 16th tale, Meg's husband Michael has become a volunteer firefighter and the pair are awakened when he is called to his very first fire. Recognizing the address and worried for her husband and brother, who has recently joined as well, she drives down to the local church to discovered a vandal has released a cache of angry skunks in the choir loft. Agreeing to help reorganize the church Christmas functions while the space is being aired out, Meg finds herself and her neighbors under siege b ...more
Nov 18, 2013 Christyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Duck The Halls follows in the same vein as the previous 15 Meg Langslow mysteries - light, humorous and full of crazy situations and an endless supply of colorful characters. The one thing I can always count on when I read Andrews' books is that it will leave me with a smile on my face and just wash away any stress or trouble's that are bothering me (at least for a few hours). This is my go-to series when I need a pick-me-up.

While not one of my favorite books in the series, Duck the Halls wa
Being someone who has to read a series in order I was quite happy that this Christmas themed Meg Langslow mystery came up on my TBR list at the perfect time. There's nothing like reading a Christmas mystery during the actual season and unlike a certain series of Victorian Christmas mysteries this one actually revolved around and had the feeling of Christmas to it, from beautiful decorations, tons of snow freezing cold weather, this is the holiday I know well. This time around the actual murder d ...more
Over half of this novel focus on vandalism and pranks which are being carried out in local churches. Skunks, ducks, snakes etc. are let loose, and it's the Christmas season. Meg Langslow, the protagonist, gets busy trying to schedule space sharing among local congregations, including the local synagogue. This cooperation is a nice contrast to divisions that have happened in Virginia, the setting of the novel. Ten years ago the Washington Post reported :" At least seven Virginia Episcopal parishe ...more
I generally enjoy cozy mysteries. They have a kind of fantasy, over-the-top feeling as I am sure these situations just do not creep up on you in real life. And more often than not, some of these situations make you want to laugh out loud. I love that!

Unfortunately I chose book 16 to enter into this chaotic Christmas mess that is the Langslow family. I wish I started at the beginning . . . I am usually very particular about starting a series at the first book but this time, this one just crept up
Dec 30, 2013 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#16 in the Meg Langslow series. Duck the Halls (2013) is a superior entry in the perennially contender for literary prizes. The madcap residents of Caerphilly, VA set new records for hilarity in this Christmas themed masterpiece. Attempts to disrupt religious yuletide services are not a humorous topic, until author Andrews involves a dozen skunks, a tree boa, several hundred ducks and a pair of rabbits.
Duelling Christmas dinners, the antics of 4 year old twins and a living Nativity scene featur
Jan 01, 2014 Eva rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Skunks in the Baptists’ choir loft, an emerald tree boa in the Episcopalians’ Christmas decorations, and several hundred ducks in the Catholics’ sanctuary - a prankster is targeting the churches of Caerphilly and, as usual, it falls to Meg Langslow to clean up the resulting mess. And that’s before a dead body is found in the basement (the ‘undercroft’ as Meg’s mother insists on calling it) of Trinity Episcopal.

As with most of the Meg Langslow books, the mystery takes a backseat to the general ma
Cheryl Gatling
It is the week before Christmas, and everyone in town is making preparations. The annual Christmas concert at the New Life Baptist Church is a community event. Everyone comes. But this year their choir loft gets skunked. A cage containing twelve skunks is left in the choir loft, and the whole building becomes unusable. Meg, our narrator, gets drafted to reschedule all the events to other churches. Then there is a "prank" involving a snake, and a "prank" involving a whole lot of ducks, and all th ...more
Susan Ferguson
Apr 23, 2014 Susan Ferguson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love these books. The humor is marvelous and the stories are great.

With Christmas less than a week away, the churches in town are being pranked. The Baptist Church is overrun with skunks, which have sprayed the caretaker and the air intake duct in the church. The Church is having to close and cancel their big, annual concert. The other churches step up and offer space for the concert, rehearsals and other church activities. The new Episcopal pastor volunteers Meg to connect with the other chur
Sylvia McIvers
Not My Religion (tm) but I live in America and recognize all the trappings of the holiday - including the song which generated the pun in the title.

Meg's husband is a volunteer fire-fighter, and someone set fire to the church right before the big holiday. Meg goes along for the ride, and to keep her guy safe by wishing really hard. Only it isn't a fire, its a really nasty prank. The famous choir won't be able to use it, and Meg's Mom is (of course) in charge of her own church's Lady's Auxiliary.
Feb 10, 2017 Barb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A few nights before Christmas, Meg is awakened when Michael is summoned to the New Life Baptist Church, where someone has rigged a cage full of skunks in the choir loft. The lengthy process of de-skunking the church requires its annual pre-Christmas concert to relocate to Trinity Episcopal, despite the protests of Mr. Otis, an elderly vestryman. Meanwhile, when Meg helps her grandfather take the skunks to the zoo, they discover that his boa has been stolen—only to turn up later during the concer ...more
Sep 18, 2013 Hillary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: won-books
I received a free copy of this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.

This was my first book in the Meg Langslow series. I wasn't confused by any of the character relationships and enough was explained so that this book, being number sixteen in the series and all, made sense to me. However, I might have enjoyed the book more had I previously read the other books in this series. Duck the Halls wasn't the greatest book in the world, but it was well-written and it had a decent story. Did I care w
Nov 30, 2015 Claire rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 21, 2013 Lucy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Christmas with Meg Langslow and family, friends & neighbors involves a lot of chaos, some of which Meg is supposed to keep organized. Somebody is playing pranks that result in having to re-schedule a lot of Christmas events. Michael is preparing for his annual one-man performancs of A Christmas Carol. The mothers-in-laws each insist on hosting Christmas dinner with exotic or unusual dishes so Meg & Michael plan a more traditional Christmas Eve dinner of the traditional dishes, meant to b ...more
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #6 - Duck the Halls 1 2 Jan 21, 2014 07:51AM  
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Donna Andrews was born in Yorktown, Virginia, the setting of Murder with Peacocks and Revenge of the Wrought Iron Flamingos, and now lives and works in Reston, Virginia. When not writing fiction, Andrews is a self-confessed nerd, rarely found away from her computer, unless she's messing in the garden
More about Donna Andrews...

Other Books in the Series

Meg Langslow (1 - 10 of 22 books)
  • Murder With Peacocks (Meg Langslow, #1)
  • Murder With Puffins (Meg Langslow, #2)
  • Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos (Meg Langslow, #3)
  • Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon (Meg Langslow, #4)
  • We'll Always Have Parrots (Meg Langslow, #5)
  • Owls Well That Ends Well (Meg Langslow, #6)
  • No Nest for the Wicket (Meg Langslow, #7)
  • The Penguin Who Knew Too Much (Meg Langslow, #8)
  • Cockatiels at Seven (Meg Langslow, #9)
  • Six Geese A-Slaying (Meg Langslow, #10)

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