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Let It Crow! Let It Crow! Let It Crow!

NYT Bestselling author Donna Andrews returns with a new holiday themed cozy and it is delightful!

When I started this, I thought, "Wow, book 34 in the!" Andrews has sustained this delightful series for a very long time. Is it the quirky characters and the shenanigans they get into? The relationships between the characters? The clever bird-themed titles? Is it Meg, one of the most likable, level-headed, and smart amateur sleuths around? Yes to all of that, but also, these are just really well plotted whodunnits and fun to read. And this is one of my faves of the series!


Meg, a blacksmith by trade, becomes a fill-in for her mentor on a reality TV show blacksmithing competition after he is injured. The world of blacksmithing is cutthroat, and many do not like that there is a woman in their midst, and she and another blacksmith are sabotaged. On top of that, Meg's skills as a sleuth are put to the test when one of the contestants is killed.


I loved this setting! Christmastime in a castle owned by a wealthy former heavy metal band drummer. There was unconventional holiday decor, hidden passages, a gorgeous library, lots of festivities, and the TV bladesmithing competition. It was all very atmospheric! And I enjoyed seeing Meg in her element doing lots of blacksmithing. The writing is engaging and humorous; it draws you in and makes you feel like you are visiting old friends. Yet, this one could work as a stand-alone because the setting focuses the story a bit more on the TV show and the mystery than on Meg's circle of friends and family. Fast-paced and entertaining, this had several red herrings, some good twists, and a large suspect pool, all of which kept me guessing. I thoroughly enjoyed this! Highly recommended to fans of the series and anyone looking for a fun holiday cozy mystery!


Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press Minotaur Books for the gifted ARC!


My steep was Hot Cinnamon Spice from Harney and Sons Tea, a fave at our house all Fall/Winter in both the black and green tea versions.

www.harney.com


PUBLISHER'S SYNOPSIS

Meg has been roped into participating in a weaponsmithing competition, a Forged in Fire wannabe organized by a blacksmith friend. Meg originally turned down an invitation to participate, but the night before the filming starts, someone attacks Faulk, her blacksmithing mentor, breaking his arm and eliminating him from the contest before it begins. Meg agrees to step in as his replacement to keep the project from failing. She's not thrilled that the filming will take place during December – Christmas is already a crazy time for her. Since the competition is taking place on Ragnarshjem, the picturesque estate that her friend Ragnar, the retired heavy metal drummer, is turning into a Goth castle, Meg won't have to spend Christmas alone and gets to bring Michael and her twin sons with her.


So Meg joins the cast, to the dismay of several old-school blacksmiths who think women have no place in the profession anyway. And if the show's producers were hoping for drama, they're in luck. The blacksmithing world is a small one, and some of the contestants arrived already laden with grudges and feuds.


It's a high-stakes, cutthroat competition between people who wield large hammers and make swords and have forges full of fire at their disposal. What could possibly go wrong?









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