Title: Swan for the Money: A Meg Lanslow Mystery
Author: Donna Edwards
Release Date: July 21, 2009
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Rating: 4 out of 5
From the publisher’s website:
Rose growers are so eccentric that they make Meg’s family seem almost normal, and so competitive that they will do nearly anything to take home the show’s grand prize––making them prime suspects when Meg discovers that someone is attempting to kill the wealthy woman on whose estate the competition is being held.
Swan for the Money is the eleventh book in Donna Edwards avian mystery series (though they aren’t necessary about birds, each alludes to a bird in its title). I haven’t read any of the previous books in the series, but this sounded like a great light mystery so I decided to give it a chance.
I did enjoy reading Swan for the Money, though I had no background in the series. It was a fun, light read and I really enjoyed learning about growing roses. Additionally, I thought that Mrs. Winkleson was hilarious, a character everyone loves to hate. She was the hostess of the competition, and her proclivities were an endless source of amusement in this novel. Her insistence that everything on her estate, from the decor of her house to her farm animals, be pure black and white (no greys allowed!) was very comical.
The characters in Swan for the Money weren’t as easy to get to know as one might hope. As the characters have been developed over eleven previous books, Edwards doesn’t really take the time to introduce them in this novel. As a result, I spent the first 50 pages or so of the book thinking Meg’s husband was her brother. If you are looking for character development, you might want to start at the beginning of this series.
Additionally, though I thoroughly enjoyed the process of uncovering the mystery, I figured out the identity of the murder pretty quickly. In fact, I was really surprised that no one else in the book realized it until the end. Still, it was the quirkiness of this novel that I enjoyed, so knowing the identity of the murderer didn’t take away too much from this book.
I enjoyed Swan for the Money enough to want to seek out the rest of the books in the series. Though it had its flaws, it was a lot of fun to read. If you’re in the mood for a light-hearted, entertaining book, Swan for the Money is a sure bet.