Die Like an Eagle by Donna Andrews
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Meg Langslow, a blacksmith and assistant to the mayor of Caerphilly, takes on the role of Team Mom for the Caerphilly Eagles, her sons’ youth summer baseball league. On opening day, she finds a dead body in the porta-potty at the ball field, delaying the game and instigating a search for the murderer. When Meg and the police discover that the victim was the lookalike brother of Biff Brown, the unlikable head of the summer baseball league and a contractor with questionable work ethic, they wonder whether Biff was the killer — or the intended victim.
Die Like an Eagle was a fun cozy mystery complete with a protagonist who apparently can’t help but find dead bodies wherever she looks. This twentieth installment in the Meg Langslow mystery series has all the twists and secrets you’d hope for in a good cozy, as well as entertaining characters and that small-town feel that’s always important. As with most cozies, I do wonder how such a small town could have so many murders, but I guess with a series set over many years, it’s a little less crazy.
I haven’t read the earlier books in the series, and that didn’t take away from my enjoyment at all. I’m sure it would be interesting to see how Meg got where she did, but there were no obvious plot lines being continued from previous books, so I’d definitely say that this can be read as a standalone, even if you haven’t read any of the other books.
It was fun and summery to involve baseball, and I enjoyed the seasonal theme. I don’t know much about baseball and I know even less about youth leagues, but it wasn’t a big enough part of the book to matter. It was nice to read something with a summer theme without it just being beaches and barbecues.
The characters are quirky and interesting, and I love that Meg is a blacksmith. She didn’t do a ton of smithing here, but it’s a cool profession for a female character. I also liked that some of the other women were great athletes. I really love seeing women being portrayed as strong, well-rounded characters without super traditional roles, and this book was very good at that.
The mystery, which is definitely just as important, was really very good. There were several potential suspects and I was surprised at who the killer turned out to be in the end. It seemed like so many people could have done it, and I really liked that the author kept me guessing throughout.
This book had everything I look for in a cozy: memorable characters, a great mystery full of secrets, and a seasonal theme that helped anchor the story. I really enjoyed reading it and gave it four stars.
*ARC from NetGalley