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Duck the Halls: A Meg Langslow Mystery (Meg Langslow #16)

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  1,361 ratings  ·  208 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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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
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
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.
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.
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.
Heather Schmitt
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
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
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.
It's Christmastime in Caerphilly, and Meg Langslow is looking forward to carols, turkey, and time with her crazy and extended family. Then someone leaves a cage full of twelve wild skunks at the New Life Baptist church, and suddenly Meg finds herself in charge of rescheduling all their Christmas events into other churches, including her own Trinity Episcopal. Everything is going as well as could be expected, until an emerald boa disappears from her grandfather's zoo, and ends up in the garlands ...more
Susan Ferguson
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
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.
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.
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
Katharine Kimbriel
Apr 12, 2015 Katharine Kimbriel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of humorous cozies
Shelves: mystery, humor
You can always count on a wide spectrum of grins, chuckles, and LOLs when reading a Donna Andrews novel. This goes double for stories about Meg Langslow and her crazy, endearing family. The troops are in fine form in this Christmas season tale of escalating pranks that end in a murder. If you’re paying attention, you’ll figure out why the crazed events are happening, but you may be surprised by the killer—and also by the tiny piece of information that turns out to be the key to all.

Longtime fans
Evelyn Harvill
These books are entertaining but Meg's near-complete inability to say no and her family's COMPLETE lack of regard for anything that might matter to her (like one crummy evening alone with her husband and children) is getting insupportable. No one in her family except her husband cares about her at all, they only care about roping her into whatever little projects or huge projects - "Meg, I've asked 50 or 60 people to come help me with a project, and I've told half of them they can stay at your h ...more
Dharia Scarab

Since I don't normally write reviews unless I have something specific to say, here's the break down of how I rate my books...

1 star... This book was bad, so bad I may have given up and skipped to the end. I will avoid this author like the plague in the future.

2 stars... This book was not very good, and I won't be reading any more from the author.

3 stars... This book was ok, but I won't go out of my way to read more, But if I find another book by the author for under a dollar I'd pick it up.

4 sta
Susan Earle
A very enjoyable and light hearted read. The cliches were not too overdone, so that the story was a thoroughly relaxing and good read. Meg proves herself to be a master at organization and negotiation, making sure everyone in town is able to host their Christmas festivities. A series of pranks involving skunks, a boa constrictor, and ducks has Meg shifting and scheduling choir rehearsals and worship programs and services for her whole community. Working quietly behind the scenes, she also helps ...more
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
#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
Another very fun addition to the Meg Langslow series.

It's Christmas and there's a prankster about, causing trouble in the local churches. Meg is called on the reschedule everyone's Christmas events around the available spaces while others are cleaned and repaired. But things get serious when a body is found.

It's typical, crazy fun and everything gets terribly complicated and nothing seems to go right. Meg's family are their usual, whacky selves and Meg is trying desperately not to accumulate any
I'm a sucker for puns which is why Donna Andrews brings me back with every new book title. I swore off cozies quite some time ago but I have given her a pass. The Lanslow family has some odd characters but not so peculiar they couldn't exist. Actually, I think I've met some of them. Anyway, I always find myself appreciating that Andrews doesn't go for the cheap, easy laugh by making these characters the butt of her jokes. Rather, she shows respect for all her characters, even the ones who are un ...more
I would give this six stars if I could. Each of the books in this series are hilarious and this does not disappoint. I couldn't hardly put it down to enjoy my own Christmas celebrations! Yet, amidst the humor, the author does not make the crimes that are uncovered any less real or shocking.

In this book in the series we learn more about Meg Langslow's mother, making her a more believable, if still formidable, character. I hope we see more of her in future books, along with the rest of Meg's delig
Donna Andrew once again gives the best gift anyone could receive anytime of year! Laughter, absolute laughter right from the belly. This the 16th mystery in the Meg Langslow series is filled with holiday cheer, music and family fun as well as murder and mayhem. Duck the Halls also brings a whole new meaning to the word pew, it's not just a place to sit in church, as the member's of one of Caerphilly's congregations soon finds out when a cage full of skunks are found in the choir loft! No one wi ...more
As always, I really enjoyed this Meg Langslow mystery. I figured out the culprit and the motive well before the end, but it is so well and lightly written, with such appealing characters, I savored it all. The inclusive, ecumenical Christmas message was welcome also (she even included, tangentially, the Unitarians! which, being one, I appreciated). All Christian except for a bit at the local temple, but it is a Christmas story, so that was reasonable.
Long live Donna Andrews and Meg Langslow!
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
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
Kathy Davie
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
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
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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 20 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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